Berlin Festival of Lights

sketchperez | 10.14.2018

I happened to be in Berlin just in time to see the Festival of lights, a city wide spectacle that combines historic buildings with modern lights. I grabbed this information straight off of their website:

Each year in October, Berlin turns into a city full of light art. The artful displays on the famous landmarks, monuments, buildings and places are turning the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS into one of the best known light art festivals in the world.”

Here’s a map of all light installations, you can click on it to see the full pdf. We took a fairly short walk relative to everything there is to see, you can see our path indicated by the pink line. The light show goes on every night, so it’s best to break it up to really enjoy everything. Not to mention, there are tons of people. Some parts were like walking in Time Square or Disney! Which makes sense because last year almost 2 million people attended the Festival of Lights.

We began our journey at St. Marienkirche, close to the Alexanderplatz station where the U-Bahn (subway) left us. This was a great place to start for us as it gave us great views of the Berlin Tower.

Here I got to practice my slow shutter speed settings on my Nikon. I’ve always wanted to capture photos like this, but have never really been successful. I’m incredibly happy with how these came out. There was a lot of light coming from cars, motorcycles, and trams, which provided cool results.

From here we made our way to the Berliner Dom. All along the way I spotted many people with these cool looking light up globes.

The Berliner Dom is short for, ‘The Evangelical Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church in Berlin, Germany.’ This is Berlin’s largest and most important Protestant church as well as the sepulchre of the Prussian Hohenzollern dynasty. (Reference)

What I liked about it was how it looked like one big 3d graffiti piece. Seeing the statues juxtoposed with stark saturated colors was mesmerizing.

We continued through the public square of Bebelplatz. Again, everything looked like graffiti, which I’ve taken this to be a staple of Berlin. Even coming from New York City, I’m still amazed at all the graffiti here in this city. Maybe back in the 80’s-90’s it would have been another story, but for the most part New York has cleaned up a lot, meanwhile Berlin looks as gritty as ever. This aesthetic speaks a lot to the personality of Berliners in regards to it’s anti-establishment, artsy character.

We ended our walk at the Brandenburger Tor. This is probably the biggest production, accompanied by grandiose sound and by far the place most packed with people. Visit Berlin calls the Brandenburg Gate one of the most iconic sights in today’s vibrant Berlin.

More than just Berlin’s only surviving historical city gate, this site came to symbolise Berlin’s Cold War division into East and West – and, since the fall of the Wall, a reunified Germany.”

It was an epic spectacle to see and we can’t wait to continue going out to see more of the lights around the city. Coming to Berlin in October is something you won’t want to miss. As stated by a local resident in Berlin, “All creative people want to come to Berlin.” This is far from an overstatement. Not only can you see this in the people, but shows like this one prove that it’s physically ingrained into the fabric of the city.

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