Berlin is a dynamic place, still in the process of self-reinvention more than 30 years after the collapse of its infamous Wall. Most traces of World War II have been obscured, and although vestiges of Eastern Bloc prefabricated construction (plattenbau) remain, modern economic forces have remodeled the city. The transition is most evident at Potsdamer Platz — the historic public square laid waste by Allied bombing and neglected during the Cold War — which now boasts buildings designed by some of the world’s leading architects. The Museumsinsel (Museum Island) is the cultural heart of the city, centerpieced by the Pergamonmuseum, which contains an astonishing collection of classical antiquities, including the immense Pergamon Altar and Babylon’s blue-tiled Ishtar Gate. Berlin is also blessed with a vibrant restaurant scene and world-class performing arts venues.

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