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In and Around Berlin   By: (1837-)

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IN AND AROUND BERLIN

BY

MINERVA BRACE NORTON

CHICAGO A.C. MCCLURG AND COMPANY 1889

COPYRIGHT BY A.C. MCCLURG AND COMPANY A.D. 1889

TO MY HUSBAND,

WHOSE GENEROUS SYMPATHY MADE POSSIBLE THESE PAGES;

To my Countrymen and Countrywomen

WHO HAVE VISITED BERLIN;

TO THOSE WHO HOPE TO GO THERE,

AND TO THE

LARGER NUMBER OF ARMCHAIR TRAVELLERS,

I Dedicate this Book.

M.B.N.

CONTENTS.

CHAP. PAGE I. FIRST IMPRESSIONS 9

II. FAMILY AND SOCIAL LIFE 20

III. EDUCATION 51

IV. CHURCHES 79

V. MUSEUMS 103

VI. THE GERMAN REICHSTAG AND THE PRUSSIAN PARLIAMENT 125

VII. PROMINENT PERSONAGES 133

VIII. THE EMPEROR'S NINETIETH BIRTHDAY 159

IX. STREETS, PARKS, CEMETERIES, AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS 179

X. PALACES 195

XI. THE HOMES OF THE HUMBOLDTS 209

XII. PHILANTHROPIC WORK 221

XIII. AROUND BERLIN 249

IN AND AROUND BERLIN.

I.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

It was seven o'clock of a gray November morning when we arrived in Berlin for our first residence abroad. The approach to the city reminded us of the newer parts of New York, and we found that the population was about the same. But here the resemblance ceases. New York is the metropolis of a great nation, the heart whence arterial supplies go forth, and to which all returning channels converge; the cosmopolitan centre of a New World. Berlin is the increasingly important capital of the German Empire, growing rapidly, but still the royal impersonation of Prussia and the Hohenzollerns; seated in something of mediƦval costume and quiet beside the river Spree; as content to cast a satisfied glance backward to Frederick the Great and the Electors of Brandenburg as to look forward to imperial supremacy among the Great Powers, and the championship of continental Protestant Europe.

There is one continuous thread woven through the old history and the new, and this appeared in the first hour of our stay. Everywhere on the streets the one thing most strange to our American eyes was the number of striking military uniforms mingled with the more sober garb of civilians. Officers of fine form and gentlemanly bearing, in uniforms of dark blue with scarlet trimmings and long, dragging, rattling swords, were commanding the evolutions of infantry in the main streets; while frequent glimpses of gold laced light blue or scarlet jackets or of plumed and helmeted hussars animated the scene on the crowded sidewalks. Germany is, as it has been from the beginning, a military power.

We drove first to the home of an American friend. We were not prepared for the four long flights of stairs up which we were directed by the porter on the ground floor. "What reverses of fortune have come to A.," thought we, "that she lives in an attic!" The tenement was a good one, to be sure, when we found it, large and lofty apartments with many windows, commanding a fine view. But to one unused to many stairs, and weakened by continuous illness in a long sea voyage, the exhaustion of that first ascent was something to be remembered. It was, however, but the precursor of hundreds of similar feats, which our residence involved, as nearly all families live up several flights of stairs. Only once did we see an elevator in Germany. In the elegant hotel known as the Kaiserhof, the sojourning place of princes, diplomatists, and statesmen, we took our seats in a commodious elevator, rejoiced at the thought of such an American way of getting upstairs. It was fully five minutes before we reached the moderate elevation of the corridor on which our rooms opened; the liveried and intelligent official in charge, evidently a personage of importance, meanwhile replying to our queries and enjoying our evident surprise at the slow motion, until we forgot our annoyance in the interest of the conversation which ensued before we reached our destination... Continue reading book >>




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