Top Five Things to Do in Berlin This Fall

From Renaissance art to jazz music, there is no shortage of cultural activities in Berlin this fall By: Beatrice Baisa
The Festival of Lights will brighten up Berlin from Oct. 12-23. // © 2011 Scholvien
The Festival of Lights will brighten up Berlin from Oct. 12-23. // © 2011 Scholvien

When the days get shorter and the leaves start falling outside, it’s a great time to pay a visit to Germany’s capital city. The temperatures are pleasant and the city’s parks and tree-lined streets present themselves in full fall color making it the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the finer things in life. This fall season, Berlin is highlighting its rich art scene with a packed program of events and openings. What follows are the top five events that visitors will not want to miss.

Festival of Lights
From Oct. 12-23, among nature’s picturesque seasonal changes, Berlin is transformed into a sea of color and light. During the Festival of Lights, the city’s famous landmarks, such as Brandenburg Gate, the TV Tower and Berliner Dom Cathedral, are illuminated by glittering lights. The popular nightly light show is complemented by art and cultural events. For an even more memorable experience, visitors can take a “light-seeing” tour by bus, boat or Velotaxi. The opening ceremony “LightsOn” will take place in the middle of the Postdamer Platz in front of the Kollhoff Tower and the Piano House. Keeping with tradition, the ceremony will inaugurate all of the festival’s illuminations, art installations and activities. With more than 20 impressive illuminations on 19 buildings, 10 streets and two squares, the Festival of Lights will sure to light up the night.

Pergamon Museum
Beginning on Sept. 30, Berlin’s Classical Antiquities Collection will present Yadegar Asisi’s monumental 360-degree panorama of Pergamon – Panorama of the Ancient City. The exhibition devoted exclusively to the ancient city of Pergamon (present-day Bergama, Turkey) will stage a photorealistic 72 by 328 foot simulation panorama, mounted inside a purpose-built rotunda in the courtyard of Berlin’s Pergamon Museum. It is designed to give visitors an understanding of the fragments of buildings and sculptures on show in the museum. The goal is to present them in their original settings and in context, offering insight into the culture, architecture and daily life of a Helleno-Roman city during the time of classical antiquity. An archaeological exhibition of artifacts and excavations from Pergamon will complement the display.

Renaissance Faces
Art lovers will appreciate the Renaissance Faces exhibition taking place at Museum Island’s Bode Museum through Nov. 20. This exhibition is highly rated for its 15th-century works by Da Vinci, Lippi and Botticelli among others. Renaissance Faces will offer stories of beautiful women, merchants and courtiers. It will also explore the era’s unique artistic riches in the accompanying collection of paintings, medals, sketches and sculptures.

From Oct. 14-16, Stroke.Artfair will exhibit art inspired by urban living. The event, which is new to Berlin, will take place at the historic Postbahnhof and will feature artists and galleries from all around the world. Visitors can catch a glimpse art in the context of today’s urban environments, including graffiti, street art, tattoos, advertising and graphic design.

JazzFest Berlin
Presenting a diverse program of traditional as well as progressive jazz, big band and large ensembles, JazzFest Berlin features internationtal talent from American jazz stars to local folk music and global sounds. This year, the festival will be casting a spotlight on Poland, featuring the country’s Mikolaj Traszka Clarinet Quartet and Atom String Quartet. Homage will also be paid to the two accomplished film composers: Krystof Komeda for his work with Roman Polanski, and Nino Rota for his work with Federico Fellini. JazzFest will take place Nov. 2-6 in different locations around the city.

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