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Berlin Reborn - Europe’s Cultural Capital of the 21st Century
September 13-20, 2014
Uncover the variety of perspectives, experiences, and fascinating history of the complex post-war city of Berlin with the Berlin Reborn - Europe’s Cultural Capital of the 21st Century experience, operated by National Trust Tours. Learn how Hitler rose to power and how the shadow of the Third Reich’s enormous crimes influences post-war Germany, and experience the city’s amazing transformation since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Situated in the heart of downtown Berlin, the five-star Westin Grand Hotel affords luxurious accommodations and unparalleled service and hospitality.
- Enjoy the academic leadership of local scholar Stefan Albrecht
- Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Dresden Castle and see the astonishing restoration of the historic Green Vault and the exceptional treasures therein
- View Berlin’s many superb ancient treasures, including the world-renowned Egyptian bust of Nefertiti, the Ishtar Gate, and the Pergamon Altar
- Explore Sanssouci Palace, Frederick the Great’s summer retreat, considered Germany’s most outstanding palace complex, with almost 300 acres of intricately landscaped gardens, glorious fountains, orangeries, and heroic statues
- Examine Berlin’s cutting-edge architecture, including the remarkable Norman Foster glass dome adjacent to the Reichstag, the Jewish Museum, the recently opened Neues Museum, Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery, I.M. Pei’s stunning addition to the German History Museum, and Gehry’s surprising DZ Bank interior
Study Leader Information
Stefan Albrecht, an expert Berlin scholar who received rave reviews after leading previous National Trust trips to Germany
September 13 - Saturday - Departures for Berlin
Take independent flights to Berlin, Germany.
September 14 - Sunday - Arrivals in Berlin
Upon arrival at Berlin’s international airport, take independent transfers to the superior, Westin Grand Hotel the heart of downtown. At 4:00 pm, meet study leader Stefan Albrecht and set out on an orientation walking tour, including Peter Eisenman’s soul-searching Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Parizer Platz, the historical square adjoining the iconic Brandenburg Gate, and the intriguing DZ Bank building whose classic façade belies its signature Frank Gehry interior. Conclude at the Reichstag building and gain immediate access to the sensational glass dome designed by Lord Norman Foster. Enjoy a welcome dinner in the renowned rooftop restaurant of the Reichstag.
September 15 - Monday - Introduction to Berlin
Walk to the German History Museum, housed in a Baroque palace, and view I.M. Pei’s stunning addition, as well as the museum’s vast collection of historical images and artifacts. After, set out on a coach tour of Berlin featuring the outstanding architecture on display in the Embassy district, including the combined Nordic Embassies, the Mexican Embassy, and the Dutch Embassy.
Enjoy lunch in the former home of silent film actress Henny Porten before seeing West Berlin highlights, including the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and Checkpoint Charlie, the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point during the Cold War. In East Berlin, drive through the Nikolai quarter, the city’s oldest district; Gendarmenmarkt, an elegant, French-inspired square housing the Konzerthaus concert hall and the French and German cathedrals; and the Kurfürstendamm, one of Berlin’s most famous avenues. Conclude with a special architectural tour of the remarkable Jewish Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
September 16 - Tuesday - Museum Island
Walk to Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and repository of ancient art and architectural treasures from Babylon to Egypt to Rome. Stop first in front of the Altes Museum, one of the finest neoclassical buildings in Germany, and learn about Karl Friedrich Schinkel, one of the most prominent German architects who reshaped the relatively unspectacular city of Berlin into a representative capital for Prussia. Visit the Pergamon Museum to view ancient Babylon’s astonishing and colossal Ishtar Gate, the Roman Market Gate from Miletus, and the dramatic Pergamon Altar. Following a light, family-style lunch, visit the Neues Museum by renowned architect David Chipperfield and see highlights from the Egyptian Museum, including the remarkable bust of Nefertitti. Explore the evening independently to enjoy the city’s many cultural offerings such as a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
September 17 - Wednesday - Dresden Excursion
Drive to Dresden, which has been amazingly reconstructed after its near complete destruction in the February 1945 Allied bombing campaign. View the Dresden Castle walkway emblazoned with Meissen porcelain images of the past rulers and margraves. Visit the newly restored historic rooms of the Green Vault, one of Europe’s most sumptuous treasure chambers, and view magnificent artworks of gold, silver, precious gems, ivory, bronze, and amber. At the majestic Zwinger Palace, see highlights from the priceless collection of the Sempergalerie, such as Raphael’s Sistine Madonna and Vermeer’s The Procuress, as well as works by Dürer, Rembrandt, and Cranach. Return to Berlin for an evening at leisure.
September 18 - Thursday - Kulturforum & Environs
Drive to the Kulturforum, a Berlin quarter with many cultural institutions located within walking distance of the Potsdamer Platz. Visit the Gemäldegalerie, housing a remarkable collection of paintings by the old masters, including Dürer, Holbein, Titian, Botticelli, Van der Weyden, Bruegel, and one of the largest Rembrandt collections in the world. Examine the architecture of Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery before transferring to the historic seven-level department store KaDeWe, the largest and oldest department store on the continent. Enjoy an independent lunch at KaDeWe’s expansive food and café level. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
September 19 - Friday - Sanssouci Palace
Drive to nearby Potsdam and spend the morning exploring Sanssouci Palace, the exquisite summer palace of Frederick the Great, who was one of the most liberal and farsighted of the Prussian monarchs as well as an enlightened patron of the arts. Considered Germany’s most outstanding palace complex, Sanssouci’s design is a remarkable marriage between landscape and architecture, with almost 300 acres of intricately landscaped gardens, numerous pavilions, fountains, orangeries, and heroic statues. After strolling through the palace interior and the magnificent gardens, return to Berlin to prepare for tomorrow’s departure. This evening bid auf wiedersehen to Berlin during a farewell dinner in one of the city’s finest restaurants.
September 20 - Saturday - Departures for U.S.
Transfer independently to Berlin’s international airport for flights back to the United States.
Per person - $3,595
Mention Historic Hotels of America when booking your tour and receive three $100 gift certificates, each good toward a $100 refund when you book through HistoricHotels.org and stay for at least two-nights at a Historic Hotels of America hotel.**
To book a tour please contact our tour VIP desk at +1 202 772 8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Tour price is per person based on double occupancy, with a minimum of 20 paying participants. For a single supplement $695. Land prices are calculated as of January 2014 and are subject to change. Participants are responsible for all aspects of their air arrangements, round-trip into and out of Berlin, Germany. Final balance must be paid by check to ISDI. Final payment will be invoiced and is due on June 5, 2014. Registrants will be accepted beyond this date on a space-available basis with payment in full by check.
Included in tour cost: Six nights’ accommodations at the five-star Westin Grand Berlin; Breakfast daily, three lunches, two dinners, two glasses of wine or beer with dinners; Bottled water daily; Leadership of an expert Berlin guide; Services of an experienced ISDI Tour Manager; Entrance fees for all included visits; Land transportation by private motorcoach; Gratuities to local guides and drivers; Taxes, services, and hotel porterage fees.
Not included in tour cost: Airline tickets, taxes and fuel surcharges; Airport porterage; Transfers to and from the airport; Personal items such as liquors and mineral water except where noted in the itinerary; Excursions, activities, or meals during travelers’ free time; Personal services; Travel extensions; Personal insurance for health, baggage, and tour cancellation; Gratuities for chambermaids; Any other items not specifically included.
**Maximum of one $100 certificate may be claimed for a refund with a minimum two night stay booked through HistoricHotels.org following the return of your tour and completion of your hotel stay. The refund will be issued within 45 days of the completion of your stay upon submitting a Great Experiences & Tours $100 refund application. Refund application must be submitted with a copy of your hotel folio receipt, the original confirmation number from your booking on HistoricHotels.org, and the Certificate number issued to you for booking your tour through Historic Hotels of America. Certificates issued are a promotion only valid toward future reservations made through HistoricHotels.org and do not have any cash value. One certificate may be used per room per two night or longer stay at the same hotel. Eligible rates include rates publicly available at time of booking. Reduced rates, rooms included in another travel or tour package, employee rates, advance purchase rates, and certain last minute sale rates are not eligible for this promotion.