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What a brilliant day for running on the streets of Berlin. Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto certainly thought so, as he became the first person to run under two hours and three minutes with a World Record time of 2:02:57. Behind him were tens of thousands of runners, making their way through the city on the 42 kilometre course. We had a good number of guests running the marathon, as well as an old friend. Rebecca first visited us at the Circus back over thirteen years ago, when the hostel was on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and the hotel and apartments had not even been imagined yet. So we had a great time racing across the city to cheer her, and her fellow runners, on…

Below you can see some more images from our own marathon journey through Berlin, but here are the results from our guests… and if you are not on here, and want to be, send paul an email at paul.scraton (at) circus-berlin.de and we’ll get your name and time added!

The Circus Berlin Marathon Roll of Honour

John Dowling (GB) 2:29:08
Jose Silva (Chile) 3:10:57
Carlton D’Souza (GB) 3:20:35
Corradino Corrado (Italy) 3:21:00
Bart Van Cant (Belgium) 3:27:20
Otis Shoebridge (GB) 3:58:13
Nick Dunn (GB) 3:28:09
Lorange Florian (France) 3:02:56
Duncan Macadie (Scotland) 3:11:20
Matthes Synofzk (Germany) 3:00:03
Dominic Muri (Switzerland) 2:51:41
Palle Biggaard (Denmark) 4:11:43
Carla De Almeida (Canada) 4:06:00
Laurel Holmquist (USA) 5:46:00
Marc Jeuland (USA) 2:30:53
Tom Emmerson (Scotland) 3:31:42
Michelle Rowley (Ireland) 4:15:21
Kristian Jewsen (Denmark) 3:38:50
Mike Locke (USA) 3:59:00
Mike Madison (USA) 3:59:00
Rory Doherty (Ireland) 3:32:00
Gerard Darragh “Barefoot” (Ireland) 3:55:00
Jim Smyth (Ireland) 4:57:00
Alan Warren (USA) 3:27:00
Michelle Warren (USA) 3:27:00
Chris Truman (USA) 3:48:00
Steve Henrie (USA) 3:58:00
Jim Pickard (USA) 5:03:00
Paul Doherty (Ireland) 3:07:00
Kevin Bannon (Ireland) 3:16:00
Rebecca Johnstone (GB) 3:47:32

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Erfurt

Next Tuesday we have a new free tour exclusive for Circus guests, to the exhibition ‘Everyday life in the GDR’ that can be found in the Kulturbrauerei, Prenzlauer Berg. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) existed from just after the Second World War until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. With the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall coming up, there is a lot of attention on the events of 1989 and the regime that built the Berlin Wall in the first place.

The GDR was one of central and eastern Europe’s ‘socialist’ republics, within the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union, and as such the political system had an impact on all aspects of life in East Germany, from school and health to university, the workplace, and leisure activities. The exhibition at the Kulturbrauerei shows the complex tension between the expectations of the political system and the real living conditions of the people in the GDR… and we will be guided through the exhibition by a representative of the foundation that curated and runs it.

The tour is – as with all our Tuesday History tours – free for Circus guests. Places are limited, however, and you will need to sign up for the tour at reception. We recommend that you also have a public transport ticket. The meeting time for the tour is at 9.30am.

(Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-P0219-0032 / CC-BY-SA)

First World War at the DHM

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A hundred years ago this year saw the outbreak of what has become known as the “First World War”, the first industrialized conflict in history that saw the death of nine million soldiers and almost six million civilians. It was not only four years of catastrophe, but it would continue to shape politics, culture and thought for a long time after. To mark the anniversary, the German History Museum’ special exhibition DER ERSTE WELTKRIEG attempts to explore the story of the war from a wide European, and indeed, global perspective:

“Taking 14 salient places as points of departure, the exhibition offers a survey of the events and their different contexts. These places represent specific battlefields – such as Verdun, Tannenberg or Gallipoli – but also political-cultural centres like Petrograd and Berlin as well as occupied cities and regions, including Brussels and Galicia. All of the places stand for important stations and situations in the war. They point to overriding developments: the modernisation of war technology with its disastrous consequences for the people, the worldwide wartime economy, the global escalation of the fighting as well as the totalisation of the war, which not only affected the soldiers on the fronts, but also mobilised the entire population.”

The exhibition is running until the 30 November, and you can find more information about the exhibition on the DHM website.

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It is that time of year again… as regular readers of the Circus blog will know, we love running and we love the Berlin Marathon. It is always an amazing weekend, whether at the hostel, hotel or apartments, as we welcome so many runners and their friends and families to the city. As the runners amongst you will know, Berlin is one of the fastest of the big city marathons, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that everyone achieves the time that they are aiming for…

On the map above you can see the route, and Rosenthaler Platz is just after kilometre 9 … so you don’t have to go very far to cheer the runners on in the early stages of the race. There is loads of information on the Berlin Marathon website, but here are some important things for you to know…

Marathon Expo at Tempelhof

The former airport at Tempelhof is the venue for the Marathon Expo, where runners go to collect their start numbers and there are all manner of exhibitors there as well as a programme of entertainment. The atmosphere is always fantastic, and you don’t have to be taking part in the marathon to check it out (although there is a small entry fee).

The opening times for the Expo are Thursday 25th September 2pm-8pm, Friday 26th September 11am-8pm, and Saturday 27th September 9am-7pm. The Expo website is here.

Breakfast Run

If you have stiff legs from your journey to Berlin, the marathon organizers have a special Breakfast Run for all participants on the morning of Saturday 27th September. The run starts at Schloss Charlottenburg, finishes at the Olympic Stadium, and is about six kilometres in length.

Marathon Specials at The Circus

On Saturday evening at Fabisch we have a very special all-you-can-eat pasta buffet for €15 per person. This has been very popular in previous years, so make sure you book your table at reception. The buffet is available from 5pm.

The next morning we have two options for early breakfast, and members of our team will be opening up Katz & Maus and Fabisch for all you runners early to get the fuel you need. Katz & Maus at the Circus Hostel will be open from 6am, and Fabisch at the Circus Hotel from 6.30am.

Once again, we wish our runners all the best for the big day, and keep an eye out at reception when you come back after the race… we will be collecting the times of everyone staying with us so we can publish a very special Circus Roll of Honour here on the blog.

Keep on running!

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Oh yeah! We might be convinced that Berlin is the world’s greatest city, but our mates down in Munich certainly do a couple of things right… namely beer and sausages. Which is why – in the spirit of imitation being a form of flattery – we present to you our annual Mocktoberfest.

Yep, that’s right. We’ve got some Oktoberfest beer heading north to Katz & Maus as you read this, and starting tomorrow evening we will have beer and sausages on special for the next two weeks. Keep an eye out for some of our bartenders… they have been known to enjoy a little dressing up and a thigh-slapping dance or two…

Prost!

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Over the past three years we have welcomed many fascinating speakers to The Circus as part of our series of monthly eyewitness history talks in cooperation with the ZZB (Centre for Witness to Contemporary History). It has been wonderful to hear of the personal experiences of people who have lived in our city, and the tales they have to tell, and we are always extremely happy when they want to come back to speak to us again. Salomea Genin spoke with us in March, and it was an absolutely fascinating evening…

Salomea Genin was born in Berlin in 1932 to Polish-Jewish parents, and the family fled the Nazis to Australia in 1939. By the early 1950s Salomea was a committed member of the Australian Communist Party, and visited the German Democratic Republic as a delegate of the World Youth Festival. Out of this visit was born a desire to help build an anti-fascist state in East Germany, and in 1963 she moved there. Twenty years later she came to the realisation that she had willingly participated in what was a police state, and in turn this led her to join the political opposition and build a new life, even before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of East Germany.

We are really excited to be welcoming Salomea to The Circus on Tuesday 25th March to hear her story of exile and the joy and anguish of her multi-faceted homecoming. As always, the talk will be in English, open to all and free of charge, although we will be collecting donations for the ZZB to help them fund their important work.

Eyewitness History Talk: Homecoming – A Jewish Australian in the GDR
Speaker: Salomea Genin
Date: Wednesday 24th September
Time: 6pm
Venue: Fabisch at the Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Platz 1, Berlin-Mitte

Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-M0804-754 / CC-BY-SA

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Browsing our favourite neighbourhood book store this week and we spied a familiar face on the front cover of the new book The Craft and the Makers: Tradition with Attitude, published by the good folks at Gestalten. Our head designer Sandra Ernst had discovered Daniel Heer’s workshop on Rosa Luxemburg Straße and had really admired his stools and daybeds, built out of wooden with leather straps.

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As is made clear in the book, Daniel Heer is following a family tradition in craft – his family have been making horsehair mattresses in Switzerland since 1907 – and since his move to Berlin he has forged his own path whilst at the same time keeping a link to the past. Sandra approached Daniel to work together as part of the renovations at The Circus Hotel, and he is creating a new room divider for between the reception area and the Fabisch Restaurant:

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Using natural materials, we are really excited to see the finished article installed in the Hotel, and if you are interested in the book, check out the library at Fabisch… a great read and inspiring to discover all those craftsmen and women dedicated to their work.

Daniel Heer’s website

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