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| Friedrichstrasse, Berlin, Germany
I cannot think of anywhere you feel the heartbeat of modern Europe as you do in the cosmopolitan Friedrichstrasse, Berlin. Named after the famous Prussian king Friedrich der Grosse (Friedrich the Great), king in the time of absolutism and enlightenment. He was coached by the French philosopher Voltaire. The railway station (Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse) has served East-West and North-South traffic, leading to all corners of Europe. One U-line (underground), six S-lines (four elevated, two underground) are passing as well. Before World War 2 it was a busy street.
| During the Cold War Friedrichstrasse was a
dull street with big scars from the war and with crossing
points between East and West: Check Point Charlie in one
end and the railway check point at Bahnhof
Friedrichstrasse in the other. At this Bahnhof I have been
waiting for hours while the East German police searched
the train with dogs. At the underground U-bahn station
Westerns were able to go under East Berlin without visa
and buy tax-free, because East Germany was desperate for
hard currency. Now times are changing. The area has been a
tremendous building site for several years. Fashion shops,
five star hotels and department stores are opening in this
famous and busy street, which to me is a symbol of the
dramatic history of Europe in the 20th century.
During the Cold War the station was divided in two sections, East and West. Here is the "West-platform"
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