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Warnemunde, Germany

Once considered just a quaint fishing village at the mouth of the Warnow River, Warnemunde emerged in the 20th century as Germany's 5th largest shipping center, and with the rise of the Cold War and the Berlin Wall, was the most important Baltic outlet for all of East Germany.

When the wall came down and the nation reunified, Warnemunde became a major center for all of Germany's shipping, shipbuilding and fishing industries. This once-small port is an impressive gateway to your adventure in the great city of Berlin.

Brandenburg Gate is a beloved emblem of the unity of the German people and all their hopes for the future. Built in 1789 as a tribute to Prussian war victories, the gate became the central crossing point between east and west when the hated wall divided the city in two. Its elegant columns, classical friezes and historic statuaries, once pitted by war and neglect, have been painstakingly restored to their original beauty.

Berlin's place in world history can be seen in the city's many fine museums, especially at the Allied Museum, the Neue Synagogue/Central Judaicum Museum, the Egyptian Museum, and the Pergamon Museum, noted for its Greco-Roman antiquities. Particularly fascinating is the Checkpoint Charlie Wall Museum, built on the site of the demolished border crossing, where you'll find remnants of the Wall bearing graffiti splashed protests to the Cold War.

The landmark Reichstag building, burned by the Nazi's to facilitate their seizure of power, has been newly restored for a genuinely democratic legislature, while the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a stark symbol of war, has been preserved in its semi-destroyed condition. Also noteworthy are Charlottenburg Palace, once the home of the German royal families, and the Berlin Cathedral, shuttered during the Cold War and newly restored as an important place of worship.

The sweeping, tree-lined Unter den Linden Strasse, with its luxury hotels and chic cafes, is one of Berlin's finest shopping venues, full of boutiques, galleries and a wide variety of gift shops. And what you can't find along there, you're sure to discover at the very popular shopping district, Kerferstendamn.
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