The Friedrichstraße is a major culture and shopping street in central Berlin, forming the core of the Friedrichstadt neighborhood and giving the name to Berlin Friedrichstraße station. It runs from the northern part of the old Mitte district to the Hallesches Tor in the district of Kreuzberg; this downtown area is known for its posh real estate market and the campus of the Hertie School of Governance. Due to its north-southerly direction, it forms important junctions with the east-western axes, most notably with Leipziger Straße and Unter den Linden; the U6 U-Bahn line runs underneath. During the Cold War it was the location of Checkpoint Charlie; as central Berlin's traditional shopping street, Friedrichstraße is three blocks east of the parallel Wilhelmstraße, the historic heart of the old government quarter until 1945. The Friedrichstraße was badly damaged during World War II and only rebuilt during the division of Berlin; the section in West Berlin was rebuilt as a residential street. Despite its central location, this area remains poor.

In the East Berlin section, plans were put into place to widen the street to four lanes as was done to the Leipziger Straße. The Grand Hotel Berlin, East Germany's top 5-star hotel, was built across from the Hotel Unter den Linden in 1987. Further plans were drawn up for a rebuilding of the street, construction was well underway at the time of German reunification in 1990, when the East German Plattenbau-based construction was stopped and subsequently demolished; the completed Berlin Casino building located at the corner of Leipziger Straße was torn down in 1994. Friedrichstraße was rebuilt in the 1990s, at the time it was the city's largest construction project. A number of well-known architects contributed to the plans, including Jean Nouvel, who designed the Galeries Lafayette department store and Philip Johnson, who created the American Business Center at Checkpoint Charlie; the redevelopment received mixed reviews, Raimund Abraham who contributed design which helped make the street once again became a popular shopping destination.

During the Cold War and division of Berlin, the Friedrichstraße underground station, despite being located in East Berlin, was utilized by two intersecting West Berlin S-Bahn lines and the West Berlin subway line U6. The station served as a transfer point for these lines, trains stopped there, although all other stations on these lines in East Berlin were sealed-off ghost stations, where trains passed through under guard without stopping. At Friedrichstraße station, West Berlin passengers could transfer from one platform to another but could not leave the station without the appropriate papers; the section of the station open to West Berlin lines was guarded and was sealed off from the smaller part of it serving as a terminus of the East Berlin S-Bahn and as a station for long-distance trains. Friedrichstraße – Interactive 360° Panorama. Friedrichstraße Homepage

The Snow Maiden (play)

The Snow Maiden is a play by Alexander Ostrovsky written in 1873 and first published in the September 1873 issue of Vestnik Evropy. The idea of the play based on a fairytale about Snegurochka came to Ostrovsky in his Shchelykovo estate, the place he admired and worshipped, imagining it as a piece of wonderland here on Earth, saturated with the spirit of Old Rus with its heroic warriors and gentle, benevolent tsars; the play tells the story of an idyllic utopian kingdom ruled by the Berendei, a poet and an artist who believes in love and good will and promotes this belief of his. The play's plot was based on the Russian folk fairytale Ostrovsky read in the Vol. 2 of Alexander Afanasyev's book The Slavs' Views Upon Nature. In 1873, the Malyi Theatre was closed for renovations, its cast was performing at the Bolshoy Theatre location; the management decided to unite the actors of all Imperial theatres for one grand production, for which Ostrovsky was asked to write a play. His work premiered on May 1873 in Bolshoy Theatre as a benefit for the actor Vasily Zhivokini.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky has written music for the play's production. It was not successful despite Ostrovsky's involvement in preparing costumes and ingenious'magic' machinery. In 1900, three theatres produced the play: the Moscow Imperial troupe, the St. Petersburg Imperial troupe and the Moscow Art Theatre. In the Saint Petersburg's Alexandrinsky Theatre the play was first performed on December 27, 1900, as a benefit for the actor Konstantin Varlamov. In 1881 Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov wrote an opera based on Ostrovsky's play, it was premiered on January 1882, in Saint Petersburg. The play took everybody by surprise. One of Ostrovsky's old-time detractors, the novelist Grigory Danilevsky wrote to Alexey Suvorin: "If there is something that deserves scolding, it's Snegurka by Ostrovsky; each page just asks to be parodied, it is insufferably tedious. Raw heap of folk songs, bits of Slovo o Polku Igoreve and from A. Tolstoy and Mei... Nekrasov had sense enough: despite his friendship with Ostrovsky, he read half of the play and returned it, saying: Boring!"Even the sympathizers of Ostrovsky were taken aback, Leo Tolstoy among them.

When the two met, Ostrovsky tried to justify himself, arguing that "even Shakespeare had fairytales alongside serious plays," citing A Midsummer Night's Dream to prove his point. Nikolay Nekrasov the editor of Otechestvennye Zapiski, has been perplexed by the play; as Ostrovsky submitted the play to him for the first time, he responded with a letter implying that only a modest fee for it could be offered. "I am your regular contributor, I enter the new direction with this work, expecting from you either advice or encouragement, what do I get? A rather dry letter in which you evaluate my new work, so dear to me, as cheap as none of my plays had never been assessed," Ostrovsky replied. Vexed, Ostrovsky gave The Snow Maiden to Vestnik Evropy, still assuring Nekrasov that he was not meaning to sever ties with him. "I find no reason to depart from the magazine which I sympathize a lot," he added. Unlike most of the literary men, the Russian musical community loved the play, it took Tchaikovsky just three weeks to write the music for the play's production.

Several years Rimsky-Korsakov wrote an operatic version, using the author's text as a libretto. Decades Marina Tsvetayeva praised the play's language, calling it "exemplary"

Glengyle distillery

Glengyle distillery is a distillery, founded in 1872 by William Mitchell and completed in 1873. Mitchell had been involved with Springbank Distillery but following a quarrel with his brother John, with whom he owned Springbank, he first joined his other brothers at Reichlachan distillery before venturing out on his own. In 1919 the distillery was sold as a result of the post-war economic downturn, badly affecting all the distilleries in the Campbeltown Region. In 1924 the distillery changed hands again and by 1925 had ceased production with all remaining stock being sold off. After being used as a rifle range, an attempt to reopen the distillery by Maurice Bloch, with his brother owned the Glen Scotia distillery, failed due to Second World War as did a second attempt by Campbell Henderson Ltd. in the 1950s. In late 2000 the company of Mitchell's Glengyle Ltd. was formed with the express purpose of renovating and rebuilding the Glengyle distillery. Mitchell's Glengyle is associated with the Springbank Distillery, both operations come under the guidance of Mr. Hedley Wright, a descendant of the Mitchell Family, the original owners of both businesses.

Over the next four years the buildings were repaired to an adequate standard, being restored in line with the local area and the buildings' listed status. Since the original distillery equipment had been disposed of in the 1920s, new stills, malt mills, a mash tun and washbacks were installed along with all the related equipment. In reality much of this was not new, coming instead from other distilleries which had either ceased production or had surplus equipment. Production at the new Glengyle distillery began in 2004 with the first spirit expected to be ready by 2014. Glengyle is the first new distillery of the millennium and is part of a trend in new distilleries which include Arran and Islay's newest distillery, Kilchoman; the whisky from the new Glengyle distillery will not be called Glengyle, rather it will be bottled under the name Kilkerran. This is because the name is owned by Loch Lomond Distillers, used for their vatted malt; the name Kilkerran comes from the Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain, the name of a settlement where Saint Kieran is believed to have had a religious cell and where modern Campbeltown stands today.

Stirk, David. The Distilleries of Campbeltown: The Rise and Fall of the Whisky Capital of the World. Glasgow: Neil Wilson Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1903238844. Kilkerran Distillery Official Website