Berlin still sees life double 30 years after the fall of the Wall
Two zoos, two television towers, two airports, two football teams - Berlin was a bidding scene between the two Germans, creating duplicates that have survived to this day - 30 years after the fall of the Wall.
"The two sides are competing for who will restore Berlin the best and the fastest," a researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Contemporary History explained to France's press Hano Hochmut.
Former East Berlin, in the luxury district of Friedrichsfeld, still houses the largest zoo in Europe - Tirpark. Far less renowned and rich than its western counterpart, the Zoologischer Harten, the East Berlin Zoo was created in 1955 to compete with its imposing neighbor, built a century earlier, in 1844.
More than 120 animal species were represented in this zoo, some of them originating in the Eastern Bloc. After the unification of Germany, the two gardens strive for the closest possible cooperation.
For Berlin, it is what the Eiffel Tower is for Paris - the Tower of Alexander at the former East Berlin Television Tower has been a tourist symbol of the capital since its construction in 1969.
However, for a long time, its construction has been used for propaganda: "The Soviet bloc has been trying every way to demonstrate its great success. And it is no coincidence that the shape of Fernzeturm copied that of a satellite, a Soviet satellite," Hano Hochmut points out.
The antenna, 368 meters high, still emits a signal; however, this is not the case with her younger sister Berliner Funkturm, located in the western district of Westend. As in Fernzeturm, a gourmet restaurant operates today in the "small" 150-meter steel tower.
The renovation of the Deutsche Opera, partially destroyed during World War II, ended in 1961, a month and a half after the Wall appeared. At the time, it was the only opera in the western part and was one of the most significant cultural sites in Germany.
Subsequently, two operas were opened in the former East Berlin - Unter den Linden's staff opera by conductor Daniel Barenboim, and a few hundred meters later - by Comisse Opera.
Schönefeld East Berlin Airport manages to accommodate several runways and a site with the necessary facilities. But because of the Soviet blockade, US and French allies, with the help of German personnel, managed to build a new Tegel airport in the northwest in 90 days to support the "air bridge" that supplied the western part of the city in 1948-1949, and to supplement the airport. Tempelhof turned into a Berlin park after a while.
The other two are still being used in anticipation of the Berlin-Brandenburg Willy Brand Airport to open in 2012. The deadline has been postponed due to multiple design defects and cost overruns - in the end people doubted whether they would see the project fulfilled at all.
The day of May 27, 2019 will remain forever in the memory of Berlin football fans. Established in 1966 in the East, FC Union Berlin for the first time qualified for the First Bundesliga - the highest level in German football.
The club, which plays with teams in red and white, has a small stadium in the city's eastern quarter, mainly standing, and claims to still defend workers' traditions and anti-fascist values. The derby against its western rival Herta Berlin, founded in 1892 and a Bundesliga veteran using the legendary Olympic Stadium, is turning hot.