Berlin Reborn Early in this century, Berlin's Potsdamer Platz was among the liveliest squares in Europe. Some 50 years later it was a desolate space between East and West Berlin, destroyed in World War II and watched over by guards. Now Potsdamer Platz is buzzing again. New buildings by Daimler-Benz, Sony, and others anchor the plaza, and in the midst of it all is the new Grand Hyatt Berlin. The 325-room hotel is a model of modernity and restraint, its rooms stylishly comfortable. (Even the tables used for coffee breaks look fashionable.) The Grand Ballroom seats 600 for a banquet; while the Bibliotek offers an elegant smaller meeting space.
The city is aiming to increase inbound incentive travel. A new airport opens 2007, capping years of effort to increase direct flights from the U.S.
The German government has moved from its former home in Bonn back to Berlin. Visit the city now and catch this fascinating transition, as a massive investment in time and resources is put toward redefining Berlin. Among the most compelling and unnerving experiences in the new Berlin is a visit to the jagged titanium and zinc structure that is the new Jewish Museum. It is not to be missed.
November 9 marks the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As the second decade of reunification begins, the former East and West move forward with reflection and exuberance, reconciling their history and their future.