dancing_moon: Text: Resistance is ohm (resistance is ohm)
[personal profile] dancing_moon
So I'm a geek. Nobody is surprised about that, right? Thus, now that professor Nosferatu has returned to America (this is not a joke, but it is a bit of a long story) my Tuesdays are free from twelve o'clock. Since I know myself and know that I'll just bum around if I go home that early, I have decided to dedicate the day to Culturally Improve Myself. Or, in other words, geek out at some of Berlin's many museums.

Berlin Charité University Hospital
Charité


Because I was extremely exhausted today, I thought I'd visit one of the smaller ones, and thus headed for the - as it turned out - very well-hidden Medizinhistorisches Museum. The reason the museum is so well-hidden is that it's located on the Charité grounds; the old university hospital of Berlin. That Google maps tells you to go to an entrance to the Charité area itself, which has less than no signs about a museum, doesn't exactly ease the navigation.
Since I'd already tried to find it once before (and then ended up at the museum for Natural History, so no big loss), I looked very carefully at the map this time. And still got lost once, but I could round back with no huge loss of time...

Anyway! I did find it, finally, and also got to look at the quite nice old buildings that form the old Charité (where they ttly have the best-looking university eatery, it could almost belong to a hotel from the outside. And we have a tent, bah).
These aren't the first buildings, but they've still got a good two hundred years on them. As I learned today, the entire thing was built in preparation for a non-occuring plague epidemic right at the beginning of the eighteenth century, after which it became an army hospital and a place where the army surgeons could hone their skills on poor people - who, in turn, got the dubious honor of receiving the best free healthcare of the time. Which, as anyone who knows anything about medical history knows, was a mixed blessing at best... At least the surgeons were truly among the very best when it came to operating, setting bones to right and other such more concretely "try and repair the broken bit" medicin.

There are so many lovely old buildings in Berlin. Cool new ones too, one of the things I truly love about the architecture here is how mixed it is!

The exhibition contained some quite creepy samples, as expected, but I have to say I was surprised just how creepy it was to look at a dried foot with red-marked veins inserted. The organs in glass jars were less scary, although of course it's never exactly pleasant to look at wrongly-developed fetuses. But I think it's because the conservation liquid leeches all color from them, that it doesn't squick me out?

And gall/kidney stones looked scary as hell because some of those things were massive! Ouch.

Also - holy crap, never evah gonna smoke. Not that I was going to do that before either, but once you've seen a tar-coated lung inna jar, you really don't feel like it...

The syphilis damaged skulls were interesting, as I had no idea that there were such heavy bone-structure changes by this disease. I also found it both sympathetic and educational how they had a room with eight "patient stories" - because, as the sign said, it's often easier to remember the doctors than the patients. The information about an early twentieth century surgeon who developed a bunch of plastic surgery techniques to help soldiers after the first mechanical wars was also quite interesting.

The history of this, one of the oldest hospital schools in the world, also made a great fun to read, although it was of course quite depressing to come to the WWII era after a relatively forward-looking and liberal medical history.

Only worth a visit for those with an interest in the theme and not too easily squicked by human remains, but I'd recommend a walk through the hospital area to anyone. It's not that big (unless you're trying to find the museum without a map), there are lots of nice brick buildings and once you've passed through it and reach the river, you get a very nice view of the main station. Following the river, I also got a good view of the parliament buildings, among those the Kansleramt. It was great weather for a walk, cool but sunny, with ~dramatic~ cloud formations and a fresh wind.

Hauptbahnhof, Berlin
Berlin Hauptbahnhof


This was a field of gravel, some half-finished tracks and a lot of cranes the first time I visited Berlin. Now it's a quite fancy central station, though they're still building all around it. One of the things I love about the city is how it changes every time I return.

After a spot of lunch in the train station, I decided to walk along the river. This walk turned out sliiighlty longer than planned; the first bridge I passed was right next to the station and I continued on, but the second bridge turned out not to be open to the public and the third one was all the way down by the Victory Column. Still, it was nice and I saw a lady playing with her dog, which was full of that special doggy enthusiasm that they get when you throw fake-bones (hot pink fake bones, even =) for them to fetch and it ran until the feet almost blurred. Aww

Walked back through a very gray Tiergarten and then pretty much stumbled home and into bed. Dinner was oranges, a yoghurt and a donut today.

Maybe next week I'll finally go to the Technical Museum, sooner or later I'll make it!

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May 2012

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