June 16, 2017 by JT
Recommended Listening: A Sunday Smile
I have had this post open in my tabs for the entire week — here’s to finally finishing it!
After the orientation on June 3rd, I and a few of the other Cultural Vistas program participants did more exploring, visited a couple places, and did some cool things.
The pictures don’t quite convey the actual immensity of the cathedral — this place is huge. I got dizzy just walking up the stairs to the entrance. The inside and outside of the Dom is absolutely gorgeous, decorated in beautiful Neoclassical and Baroque architecture, and contains a massive pipe organ in its upper level (which was really cool to look at, and made me wish I could play the organ). The words on the face of the cathedral read, “SIEHE, ICH BIN BEI EUCH ALLE TAGE BIS AN DER WELT ENDE” on the left hand side, and “UNSER GLAUBE IST DER SIEG, DER DIE WELT ÜBERWUNDEN HAT,” on the right, meaning, “See, I am with you every day until the end of the world; our faith is the victory that has overcome the world.”
(Google informed me that these were biblical quotes, which is obvious, I guess, but I wanted to double check)
While the Berliner Dom offers guided tours on certain days, that Saturday we were there for an amazing choral performance by the English Choir Berlin. They performed Choral Evensong in the Anglican tradition. I was a little hesitant to take pictures or video any of the performance (out of respect, and also partially because I spent most of the performance totally in awe), but here’s the booklet from the performance:
You can listen to them on their website (linked above), or, if you’re in Berlin, go see them! They were absolutely amazing, and I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to see them live. The inside of the Dom provided acoustics that were nothing short of ethereal, and the mass itself was also beautiful — overall, it was an experience I won’t soon forget.
The Berliner Dom is located on the Museuminsel, or the Museum Island, in the Mitte district of Berlin. Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains five (yep, you guessed it) museums: Altes Museum (“Old Museum”), Neues Museum (“New Museum”), the Alte Nationalgalerie (“Old National Gallery”), the Bode Museum, and the Pergamon Museum.
A couple hours before seeing the choir perform, I visited the Old National Gallery, which was also a very exciting experience! The Old National Gallery contains Romantic, Impressionist, and Modernist paintings from the 19th century, along with many other styles, and also houses many sculptures.
Here are a few artworks I particularly liked:
and finally, an exclusive photo of me recovering from jet lag: