Giving to
Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center

The Art Connoisseur's Berlin

October 10 – 18, 2014

Discover the heady blend of grand museums, contemporary architecture, and cutting-edge culture in the avant-garde city of Berlin, deemed by the New York Times to be one of the "hottest destinations on the planet." You'll explore the city's beautiful new buildings, art galleries, and embassies while also digging deep into Berlin's historic core. Learn from an expert historian while visiting Berlin's museums and private art collections. Celebrate new architectural works by Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry, and others while examining the vestiges of the city's early-20th-century identity.

Join Bryn Mawr Professor Lisa Saltzman, on a week-long tour to the avant-garde city of Berlin, and discover the city's heady blend of grand museums, contemporary architecture and cutting-edge culture. Learn how Hitler rose to power and how the shadow of the Third Reich's enormous crimes influences post-war Germany, and experience the city's amazing transformation since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Led by a local guide who is an expert Berlin scholar, this week-long itinerary offers a wonderful variety of perspectives and experiences on one of the world's most fascinating cities. Visit Berlin's most impressive museums and cultural attractions. A full-day excursion to Potsdam, once the stomping grounds for Prussian nobility with countless palaces and formal gardens, will enlighten you to the area's rich history, and a walk across the famous Bridge of Spies will shed light on Cold War hostilities.

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Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)


Day 1: US Departures

Independent departures from the U.S.A

Day 2: Berlin Arrivals

Independent transfers to the four-star Hotel Melia, an ideal downtown location near many of Berlin's most important attractions, including Museum Island and the Reichstag. Enjoy free time for relaxing and settling into the Melia.

In the afternoon, meet your guide and set out on an orientation walking tour of the area around your hotel. Enter the Pariser Platz, and admire the classic architecture lining the renowned Unter den Linden Boulevard, including the Brandenburg Gate. Also, see the American Embassy and Frank Gehry's intriguing DZ bank building, whose sedate façade belies its avant-garde interior and fishlike dome. Continue the Reichstag building, avoid the long lines, and gain immediate access to a special elevator that will take you straight up to the sensational dome designed by Lord Norman Foster. Learn about the energy conservation implemented in the dome's design, which tops one of the "greenest" buildings in the world.

Enjoy a welcome dinner in the renowned rooftop Käfer restaurant, immediately adjacent to the dome. Hotel Melia (D)

Day 3: An Introduction to Berlin

Today is dedicated to a cultural and historical overview of Berlin, designed to provide context and depth as you orient yourself in this unique city. Begin with a walk through Peter Eisenman's soul-searching Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Board a coach to continue the tour of the city beginning with the Potsdamer Platz where your guide will discuss the area's transformation from the Cold War's "no-man's land" to an architectural showpiece and site for many of the greatest contemporary architects.

See other highlights, including the Nikolai Quarter, Berlin's oldest district; the endarmenmarkt, Berlin's most elegant French-inspired square; Unter den Linden; Kurfürstendamm; Check Point Charlie, and the East Side Gallery, a section of the Berlin Wall where provocative graffiti from before the Wall's collapse is preserved. Finish the morning with a special architectural tour of the Jewish Museum designed by Daniel Libeskind where architecture is used as a means of narrative and formal design as a conceptually expressive tool to represent the Jewish lifestyle before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Following lunch in one of Berlin's most beautiful settings, return to East Berlin by coach. Spend the afternoon at the German History Museum and see I. M. Pei's stunning addition to the original Baroque palace. Those interested can stay on at the museum to enjoy the collection.

This evening enjoy an optional Dutch-treat dinner at a popular local restaurant. Hotel Melia (B, L)

Day 4: Museum Island – Masterpieces of Classical Antiquity

Berlin's Museum Island is a repository of ancient art and architectural treasures from Babylon to Egypt to Rome. Walk down Unter den Linden and begin the morning at the spectacular Pergamon Museum where architectural treasures of ancient Babylon, Greece, and Rome have been transported and rebuilt. Following lunch in a local restaurant, visit the Neues Museum, renovated by renowned architect David Chipperfield, which reopened in October 2009 to rave reviews. See highlights from the Egyptian Collection, including the remarkable bust of Nefertiti.

The balance of the afternoon is at leisure to see one of the other museums on Museum Island, such as the Altes Nationalgalerie, which houses French Impressionist masterpieces, the Nazerene Brotherhood, Caspar David Friedrich, and the German Romantics, or the Bodes Museum, a spectacular building that houses an outstanding sculpture and decorative arts collection. The evening is free to enjoy one of the city's many cultural offerings such as a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Hotel Melia (B, L)

Day 5: Kulturforum and Environs

Drive to the Kulturforum, a Berlin quarter with many cultural institutions located within walking distance of the Potsdamer Platz. Visit the Gemäldegalerie, housing a remarkable collection of the Old Masters, including Dürer, Holbein, Giotto, Titian, Botticelli, Lippi, Bruegel, and one of the world's largest collections of Rembrandt works. Continue to the Neue Nationalgalerie, Mies Van der Rohe's modern glass-and-steel creation containing a continually growing collection of modern European and American art. Continue to the historic 7 level department store, KaDeWe, the largest and oldest department store on the continent for an independent lunch at their expansive food and café level where small stands serve everything from sushi to traditional German fare. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Hotel Melia (B)

Day 6: Potsdam and Sanssouci Palace

Drive to Potsdam, and before arriving, walk across Glienicke Bridge, the famous Bridge of Spys. The bridge lies at an isolated joint where US-occupied West-Berlin met Sovietoccupied Potsdam, which was in East Germany. During the Cold War, this bridge was one of the few places in the world where the Soviet Union and the United States stood directly opposite each other and brokered deals with one another. The United States and the Soviet Union used it four times to exchange captured spies during the Cold War.

Spend the morning exploring Sanssouci Palace, the exquisite summer palace of Frederick the Great who was one of the most liberal and farsighted of the Prussian monarchs as well as an enlightened patron of the arts. Enjoy the palace interior, which is one of the most flamboyant in Germany. After strolling through the magnificent palace gardens, enjoy a lunch at Schloss Cecilienhof, the location of the historic Potsdam Conference following WWII. Return to Berlin for an evening at leisure. HOTEL MELIA (B, L)

Day 7: Independent Exploration

Today is at leisure. Take time to explore the sights, museums, and architecture of Berlin at your own pace. Return to Museum Island to or perhaps take a tour of the Berlin Philharmonie concert hall, renowned for its innovative architecture and acoustics. Spend the evening at one of Berlin's many concert halls or opera houses appreciating a performance by world class musicians, dancers, and actors. HOTEL MELIA (B)

Day 8: Contemporary Art and Farewell Dinner

This morning, we will walk to the Boros Bunker, for a curator-led tour of "one of the world's leading contemporary art collections" as described in Arts News. The collection is housed in a World War II bunker. Contineue to one of Berlin's most outstanding, private contemporary art collections, listed on ARTnews' top 200 private collections. The afternoon is at leisure, followed by a gourmet farewell dinner near the hotel. HOTEL MELIA (B, D)

Day 9: Depart Berlin for US

Independent departures for the US. (B)

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Price and Program Inclusions:

Cost and Program Inclusions

Cost . . . . $3,795
Single Supplement . . . . $695

  • Land Only Price is per-person, double occupancy.
  • Seven (7) nights' accommodations, based on double occupancy, in the four-star Hotel Melia
  • Meals in carefully selected restaurants which offer excellent cuisine and settings:
    Breakfast daily
    Three (3) lunches
    Two (2) dinners
    Coffee and tea are included with each lunch and dinner
  • Entrance fees to all sites listed as included in the itinerary
  • All land transportation by deluxe private motor coach as outlined in the itinerary
  • Expert local English speaking guides to accompany the tour throughout planned sightseeing tours
  • Services of an ISDI Tour Manager throughout the program
  • Handling of two pieces of luggage per person at the hotel
  • Gratuities for guides and motor coach drivers
  • Gratuities for chambermaids
  • Passport fees
  • Domestic U.S. and international airline tickets and airport and airline taxes
  • Airport porterage
  • Airport transfers
  • Any personal items not listed as included such as telephone calls, personal services and travel extensions, room service and valet service; items such as wines, liquors, mineral water, à la carte orders and laundry charges. Other items not specifically mentioned as included
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance not included, but strongly encouraged. Forms for this insurance will be provided by Bryn Mawr to the travelers after registration.
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Faculty Study Leader

Lisa Saltzman
Lisa Saltzman

Lisa Saltzman is Professor of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. She received her BA from Princeton in 1988 and her PhD from Harvard in 1994. She has received fellowships from the DAAD, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, the Clark Art Institute, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

At Bryn Mawr, she teaches courses in modern and contemporary art and, from 2003-2009, served as the Director of the Center for Visual Culture. Saltzman is the author of Anselm Kiefer and Art after Auschwitz (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Making Memory Matter: Strategies of Remembrance in Contemporary Art (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and is the co-editor, with Eric Rosenberg, of Trauma and Visuality in Modernity (University Press of New England, 2006). She is currently at work on a new book about the "afterlife" of photography in contemporary culture, Daguerreotypes: Fugitive Subjects, Contemporary Objects, forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press.

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