Be a Tourist in your Own City!

Martin-Gropius Bau. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Martin-Gropius Bau. Photo: Ulla Hennig

The Martin-Gropius-Bau is one of the most famous exhibition halls in Berlin. It is named after one of the architects that built it – Martin Gropius – and was openend in 1881.

It was severely damaged in the last weeks of World War II. It is standing near the former Berlin Wall and about 10 minutes from where I live. Whenever I pass it I see flocks of tourists leaving their busses and streaming into the building. For them, it is an important item on their “what-to-see-in-Berlin” list, for me it always been a normal everyday sight.

Taking the camera with me changes that way of seeing things. I look at those places now with the eyes of a tourist, sort of re-discover my city.

Do you have this feeling, too, when you are taking pictures of the world around you?

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About Ulla Hennig

I live and work in Berlin. Taking photos is one of my hobbies, and writing is one of my hobbies, too. So I decided not only to show some of my pictures here but also present some of the thought which came wth the pictures.

8 responses to “Be a Tourist in your Own City!”

  1. Joanna Young says :

    I think it’s a great idea to be a tourist in our own world – keeping our eyes wide open. I find that social media helps with this – I pay more attention because I’m thinking of things I want to share with you all later.

  2. Brad Shorr says :

    Hi Ulla, It’s amazing how much I miss right under my nose. When my wife is driving, I may notice things along the road I never noticed before, even if I’ve driven on the road a thousand times. A camera is an excellent way to force yourself to observe and focus. I think I’ll try it.

  3. Terro says :

    What a great idea, Ulla. We get so stuck in our ruts that we scarcely notice the remarkable that surrounds us every day.

  4. Patricia says :

    I have started taking my camera with me on my walks, but my hand eye is not good and my daughter says most of my shots are too blurry – I do it anyway…it does make you look differently and see anew what is everyday…

    Thank you for this nice post and picture

  5. Jackie says :

    What a beautiful building. I’ve definitely noticed since starting my blog how I see even the most ordinary things in a totally different way.

  6. Ken Allan says :

    Kia ora Ulla!

    I lived most of my childhood years in Dunfermline, the birthplace of THE Andrew Carnegie and the town where King Robert-The-Bruce had his palace. His ruined palace is still there and Robert-The-Bruce’s ancient abbey is still attended by its congregation today. Dunfermline is a beautiful ancient town with a cobblestone High Street.

    I lived through my student years and taught in Edinburgh. I need say no more about the history of this ancient city, nor its beauty.

    Those formative years taught me not only about beauty in town and city but also how to look for it.

    For the last 35 years I’ve lived and raised family in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is a beautiful city, of this I have no doubt. I take photographs of the interior and exterior of that city for these places are true gems to be remembered and my children are doing the same.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  7. Joanna Young says :

    @Ken, how nice to see you here! I was fascinated to read that you were from Dunfermline – that’s where my father is from. He does a lot of work to preserve and celebrate the history of the town, and I’ve learned a lot from him about paying attention to the hidden stories of places and buildings… if we know how to look….

  8. Ken Allan says :

    Kia ora Joanna!

    As it happens, Young is a family name, on my father’s side. His brother, James (Jimmy) Young Allan, was Dunfermline District Councillor for the area of Townhill and who is still remembered in the name of the James Allan Community Leisure Centre in Paton Street, Dunfermline.

    You’re right about “the hidden stories . . . if we know how to look”.

    A large part of my childhood was spent playing down The Glen, otherwise known as Pittencrieff Park – I lived in Pittencrieff St which flanks The Glen. So much of what is still familiar is now classified as historical. I knew the geography and the buildings intimately.

    My mother, who used to work in Abbot House, close to the Abbey, sent me a copy of The Capital In The Kingdom The Archaeology Of Medieval Dunfermline, when it was published in 1994. I was fascinated to identify the parts I remember in the documentation. It confirmed my power of observation.

    When I revisited and went to see these parts in 1992, even at that time, most of the areas were cordoned off from public access – areas that I’d walked and scrambled over and played in as a child.

    Thanks for the space to communicate here, Ulla!

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

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