'Festival of Lights' begins in Berlin
More than 60 of Berlin’s landmarks will be lit up on Wednesday night to kick off Berlin’s sixth annual “Festival of Lights.” The colourful event electrifies the city from October 13-24 and features one-off events alongside the illuminations.
Berlin plans to welcome over one million tourists during the festival, which has become one of the city’s most popular annual events. Visitors can tour the sights using the specially created “LightSeeing” routes, either on foot or via the LightLiner bus, LightVelo taxis or a cruise down the Spree River on an illuminated LightShip.
Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit will officially open the festival on Wednesday night in the commercial centre of Postdamer Platz, the focal point of the festival for the first time. There visitors can take the world’s fastest elevator to the top of the Kolhoff Tower and enjoy views of the illuminated city at 150 metres.
This year the festival is cooperating with Augen-Licht, a charity dedicated to helping the blind or visually impaired. To commemorate the partnership, champion cyclist Emanuel “Emu” Raasch will take a blindfolded tandem ride through the illuminated city (although his ‘pilot’ will be able to see).
The festival will also feature its annual ‘Night of Open Doors’ on October 16, when many prominent attractions, such as the Berlin Zoo, allow visitors a behind-the-scenes, late-night tour.
Festival-goers can also upload their best photos of the light show at photo-sharing site CEWE for a chance at winning prizes.
The festival, which lasts until October 24, will close with the 7.5-kilometre City LightRun.