If you’ve attentively followed our Instagram account @findingberlin, you will most likely have noticed the abundance of Festival of Lights pictures in the last week. From the 9th to the 19th October, we were touring all around Berlin to take pictures and fill up the Heatmap. It was like catching Pokémon. But it was also quite confusing, as two different festivals were taking place at the same time: The Festival of Light, which we documented partly for #lightsbyeon, and the so called Berlin Leuchtet Festival, which included buildings such as the Fernsehturm, Siegessäule and the Gendarmenmarkt.
The Berlin Festival is now marking it’s 11th year, while “Berlin Leuchtet” is a little spin-off that aims to be less commercial. Effectively, I don’t think it matters to the spectators – and there were many of them in front of the Berliner Dom and Brandenburger Tor especially. All in all, 30 plus 80 different buildings and landmarks of Berlin were illuminated during the period of the light shows. The festival seems to draw a lot of attention: last year, the hotel industry recorded an additional 500.000 bookings during the Festival of Lights! More than 2 million people saw the installations and visual artworks (source).
I’m saying this because before this year, I never even stepped closer than a cab-ride away to the landmarks. The Berlin in Mitte between Alexanderplatz and Unter den Linden is so different than the Berlin that we know. I can’t believe how many tourists were actually excited to visit every illuminated spot and watch the visuals. Not because it wasn’t worth it, just because you tend to forget that there’s an entirely different dimension of being in a city, especially when you’re visiting.
Since I’d gone around for my Instagram account anyway, I decided to post some of the pictures that I took on the blog as well.
If you ask for my personal opinion, I was a little shocked at most of the visuals. Some of them were innovative and pretty impressive, for sure. But others were so tacky that I could hardly even focus my camera on them. Especially those on Brandenburger Tor that drew the most attention and were even part of a competition had me cringing. But see for yourself in the round-up.