Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Her-story at a glance.

I was told today that I am going to Berlin tomorrow. I've never been there before so I thought of polishing my knowledge about European history. Guess what I´ve found out?

* Berlin came from Slavic word "bog" which means swamp

* Hitler was a Catholic (!); he was not German but an Austrian commoner

* The Brandenburg Gate was patterned after the entrance to the Acropolis, and was built to symbolize

* Although the first Holy Roman Emperor was Charlemagne, the continuous line of emperors began only with Otto the Great (a German) in 962

* Despite its name, for most of its existence the Holy Roman Empire did not in practice include Rome within its borders

* The term Holy Roman Empire dates only from 1254

*The Reichstag we associate with the Nazis, was actually the legislative body of the Holy Roman Empire

I thought it was rather odd that we call it The Holy Roman Empire, whereas the seat of power was not even in Rome! Of course in those times, it referred more to territory rather than the city itself.

I also realized that the original EU members are part of the Empire's territory namely Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, and Luxembourg. We all agree of course that this was not purely coincidental.

If I were told last week that I was going, I would have had enough time to visit the library and prepare. I need at least a week to do my reading. But one thing is for sure. I am definitely going to have a great time. lol


Mel said...

pwede magupod sa berlin? dream ko makaabot dida. maano ka man didto?

that Hitler was a catholic is a shocker to me? thought he was an atheist.

Aristarkhos said...

great. enjoy yourself. try to see both parts of the city - the old and the new.
Berlin is an amalgamation of two cities that existed on either side of a river - Spree, I think. They were called Brl and Colln. Brl in slavic means marsh.

I think I knew about Hitler. The fact that he wanted the Aryan race to dominate was contradictory to his own appearance...dark hair and dark eyes. :)

The Brandenburg Gate is toppped with a quadriga - a horse chariot driven by Victoria, the Roman goddess of Victory. Apparently, first it was Eirene, a winged woman driving a chariot.
Then they placed a Prussian eagle on an iron cross with her, and made her Victoria.
These were removed again during the beginning of the wall...by East Germany.

About the Roman Empire...I didn't know about Rome not being within its borders...reading up about that empire will take ages. :)

Interesting point about the early EU members...very interesting.

Droomvla said...

Mel, sige upod na. lol Nakabalik na ugaring kami. Regalo sa akon ni Frank an trip kay nag anibersaryo baga kami almost 2 weeks ago.

Di ko man ngani aram na katoliko siya. I will post some pics later. Kaaabot mi lang.

Droomvla said...

Hello Aristakhos. (BTW, your name sounds very Greek. lol)

I saw both the East and the West. We stayed at the western part of Berlin. I thought for awhile I was in Chicago! lol

At the top of my list was the Brandenberg Gate-Tower, so we went there last Wednesday morning (passing by the Reichstag on our way.) I also saw the quadriga. The original quadriga was destroyed during the war, so they only have a replica mounted there now.

To be honest, I also need to do more reading on the Roman Empire. When we went to the Berlin Dom, where all the sarcophagi of the former rulers of the Prussian empire were buried, I really felt like an idiot. Not really knowing who´s who! lol

Aristarkhos said...

Not knowing who is who is alright. It is pretty confusing. Am reading a book on the history of Berlin and the Wall - that is why I even know this much. haha!
But I realised what an impact the Prussian Empire made on Europe.

By old and new of Berlin, actually I meant the old and new in East Berlin. ;) The author of the book on Berlin mentioned how cosmopolitan W.Berlin was...not very different from his English home.
I think Friedrichstra├če was what my Berlin friend showed me. Some of it was in the west and the rest in the east. Considered the poorer area...but she told me it has gone through a lot of change...malls, construction, etc.

Yes, my nick - Aristarkhos - is a Greek name. :) From a book I enjoyed reading (and completing)...called Spartan by Valerio Massimo Manfredi. Same guy who wrote the Alexander trilogy...then made into a horrible Hollywood flick with Collin Farell playing the lead role.

Plan to put up pictures of your stay in Berlin?

Droomvla said...

I also did not know the importance of the Prussian empire until last week, and especially Friedrick the Great.

Some areas of Berlin (both East and West) are abandoned. I noticed that there are more beautiful houses in the eastern part, than in the west.

The Western part like any other place on the planet with the American military presence, is very "American." For awhile, I was really convinced that I was in Chicago!

Friedrichstra├če is quite long walk... but is not as impressive as Unter den Linde, in my opinion.

I also found out there that the wall was built only in 1961. I thought all along that it was there right after the WW II!

Berliners are not the friendliest people I´ve ever met. The city dwellers are a bit hostile to foreigners, although I can imagine that most of their earning is from tourism.

But I was impressed by the fact that the city has several orchestra, and the beautiful bridges, parks, woods & open spaces! I think there are more bridges there than in Venice itself! lol

I´ll check out that book, Spartan. See if you truly resemble the character. HAHAHAHAHA