|Can you see the little white|
booth under the photo of
the Soviet soldier?
I was mostly tired out at this point, but I did walk through the other wing of the Pergamon long enough to get a photograph with part of the Ischar Gate and to note that the ancient Babylonians were very creative jewelry makers.
(To the right I am experimenting with the self-portrait function of my digital camera. The headphones are for the audio guide. I'm actually standing in front of a side panel of the gate, which is peaking into the frame in the upper left. These are enormous walls of colorful glazed bricks with animal motifs--but they're even smaller than the main gate, which was too large to reconstruct in the museum!)
Friday was my first work day, at the Staatsbibliothek Berlin (State Library). First I had to register with the local authorities; an hour and a half later, I headed to the building in Potsdamer Strasse (under construction). It turned out that I needed to be at the other building, in Unter den Linden, so on my way I rode my bicycle past the Holocaust Memorial and the Reichstag (the dome in the background, below left) and under the Brandenburg Gate (below right, seen from the east). The whole library building is a construction site but resolutely open for the users who can brave the tarps and the hallway that smells of urine! More on that in a future post.
Because no books are delivered on Saturdays, I worked from home that day, and because the afternoon was warm and sunny, I decided to take a walk to/through one of the cemeteries in my neighborhood. Although there were some family members out tending to their plots, many of the graves are in disrepair. This is largely because when the Wall went up, it separated the cemetery from its parish, which could not maintain it. There are many interesting markers, such as the statue from the eighteenth century (below left), now protected by a canopy. The wall graves are often ornate hunks of marble, stone, or occasionally brick. The most unique tombstone I found is recent, from 2004: it consists of fist-sized marble balls, each painted with a number or letter, on metal rods, creating a bead effect. I also made the unexpected discovery of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s final resting place (below right); in Leipzig DH and I visited the house he died in.