Unter-den-Linden is the main east-west thoroughfare through the city of Berlin. The name comes from the rows of trees which line the 1.5 kilometers long and sixty metres wide boulevard which is planted with four rows of Linden trees; about one thousand in total. In the mid 1600s The Prussian Duke Frederick William, ordered the planting of the trees so that he could enjoy both their beauty and shade as he rode in his carriage from his Castle to the Tiergarten hunting ground. This meant he was traveling “unter den linden”; literally, under the lindens.
By the end of the 19Th Century Unter-der-Linden was established as Berlin’s location of arts and culture and was a vibrant meeting place for the city’s hip residents. However, at the end of WW2, the boulevard was reduced to rubble, the magnificent trees gone and in the division of Berlin, Unter- den- Linden was under East German Government control. The final blow came when in 1961 with the erection of the Berlin Wall, Unter-den Llinden was closed off completely at the Brandenburg Gate and the street became deserted; a ghost of its former self.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the street quickly revitalized and one by one all buildings along the boulevard were either restored or rebuilt
We strolled the Unter-den -Linden taking in the history and the landmarks and even popped into the Hotel Adlon for a little refreshment. The Adlon is worth a Google to check out its history and its important and famous guests over the years.
The present day Lindens were planted in the 1950s but sadly these beautiful trees are under stress from the summer heat and freezing cold winters as well as pollution from cars and a build up of road salts which are used to prevent ice from building up on winter roads. German scientists are looking at species that are more robust and will better withstand the current climatic and pollution conditions. There is also a plan to make this area a car free zone in order to help protect the trees.
Very thankful we got to stroll the Unter-den -Linden and hope that appropriate changes can be made so future tourists to Berlin can do likewise.