Page 1

Your Itinerary for Northern Friedrichshain

T6 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6

A History in Bricks

Life and Work in Kreuzberg Cult Tour 61 The historic media district River Spree Tour Life and Work in Friedrichshain A History in Bricks

The translation of the touristic guide into English has been created in the context of the project „Inside Out - Looking at my home from outside“. (EU / Lifelong learning programme / Comenius)

Begin your tour at 1 FRANKFURTER TOR, which you may reach quite comfortably either by subway (Line 5) or by tram (Line M10). Walk down KarlMarx-Allee in the direction of Stadtmitte until you see the light-red façade of 2 LAUBENGANGHAUS. Now walk long Jadamowitzstraße (which runs parallel to Karl-Marx-Straße) until you reach 3 ALTE FEUERWACHE at the corner of Straße der Pariser Kommune. From here it is but a short hop from 4 HOCHHAUS WEBERWIESE: simply walk down Marchlewskistraße. Walk back in the reverse direction, turn left onto Karl-Marx-Alleeand walk another two blocks. From afar you will see the yellow neon art-deco characters of 5 CAFÉ SYBILLE. Continue along Karl-Marx-Allee in the direction of the television tower until you reach 6 STRAUSBERGER PLATZ with the fountain “Schwebender Ring” in its center and surrounded by a number of impressive buildings. Have a look at the two “highrises”, called “Haus Berlin” and “Haus des Kindes” respectively, at the termination of Karl-Marx-Allee. Now turn right (north) onto Lichtenberger Straße and continue until you reach 7 PLATZ DER VEREINTEN NATIONEN. Have a look at the “snake” building complex and at the granite fountain. Then continue walking straight ahead until you enter 8 VOLKSPARK FRIEDRICHSHAIN. You will find yourself a the foot of 9 GROSSER BUNKERBERG (nicknamed “Mont Klamott” by the Berliners). Behind it you will come to the 10 MÄRCHENBRUNNEN. From here you can take a stroll in the park and finish off the tour relaxing in Café Schönbrunn or in the beer garden at the Freiluftkino Friedrichshain (open-air cinema). More information concerning each sight can be found on the reverse side. Have lots of fun discovering FriedrichshainKreuzberg!


A History in Bricks

scanty repairs it was reactivated in 1956. In 1997 the historic building had a revival as it was reconstructed as a cultural center according to a design of the architects Wörthe & Partner. Since then the Feuerwache houses the Culture Department of the municipal administration of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, several rooms for cultural projects, a small theater as well as a youth facility. 4 The “highrise” at Weberwiese


It was right here that Karl-Marx-Allee began: even before the In 1950 – following a enactment of the “Aufbaugesetz” (law blueprints of the avenue – then its name was Stalinallee – were regulatin post-war recontruction) and furthermore wishing to completed, the nine-storey “highrise” was built. At that time it create a flagship example of urban planning – it was decided to was Berlin’s highest appartment building, designed by Herrmann construct a splendid boulevard. More than 3,000 appartments Hensel who was later to become the leading architect in the equipped with state-of-the-art convenience of that time were to planning of Karl-Marx-Allee. The massiveness of the building be made available to the working population. From 1952 to constructed in the style of the New Tradition anticipates the 1960 a team of architects, of whom Peter Henselmann is architecture of Karl-Marx-Allee. An inscription at the building’s probably the most renowned, constructed Berlin’s longest main entrance cites the “Friedenslied” of Berthold Brecht and Hanns Eisler. Parquet flooring, electric stoves and other boulevard (1,7 km). amenities made these appartments (and later on all appartments 1 Frankfurter Tor on Karl-Marx-Allee) some of the most coveted in Berlin. The Frankfurter Tor consists of an impressive pair of towers situated expression Weberwiese (lit.: weavers’ meadow) dates from at the intersection of Frankfurter Allee and Warschauer Straße. earlier times, when artisan weavers living in this area used to spread their fabrics on the grass to bleach and dry. If you walk down Frankfurter Allee eastwards you will find yourself on the grounds of former “Reichsstraße 1” which 5 Café Sybille during the Third Reich extended 1,392 km from Aachen to As early as 1953 – when parts of Karl-Marx-Allee were still Königsberg/Eydtkuhnen, at Germany’s border with the USSR under construction – the socalled “Milchtrinkhalle” opened on at that time. Nowadays Frankfurter Tor is situated at the these premises. It was renamed “Milchbar” a year later. In 1960 intersection of two main arteries and a connecting station for it was transformed into “Café Sybille” which figured among commuters using public transportation. The Northern Tower of East-Berlin’s most well-known cafés alongside “Café Moskau” Frankfurter Tor houses the municipally run “Galerie im and “Café Warschau”. Even today it is possible to enjoy potTurm” (exhibition hall). The premises were used for exhibitions sized servings of coffee, wedges of cake or sundaes here thanks to “Förderverein Karl-Marx-Allee” which was responsible for its since the completion of the “Allee” in 1960, thus making the reopening in 2001, following intricate gutting and refurbishing. gallery the oldest of its kind in Friedrichshain. The Southern The original stucco as well as the mural paintings from Tower permits a breathtaking view from a height 30 meters – “Milchbar” times, which resurfaced during the works, are provided it is open to the public. preserved. An exhibition displaying a large number of material rtifacts (among them the famous ear of the bronze sculpture of 2 Laubenganghaus Stalin) and documents illustrate the toils of the refurbishing Several appartment buildings stand out conspicuously among works and give an impression of the “myth that is Karl-Marxthe prevalent gingerbread style: the “Laubenganghäuser”. The Allee”. five-story buildings, each of which contains 130 one-bedroom 6 Strausberger Platz appartments, were constructed in 1949 by the architects This square was constructed around 1863, 50 m west of today’s Hermann Klatt, Ludmilla Herzenstein, Karl Brockschmidt and location. In the course of construction works undertaken in the Helmut Riedel. The foundation stone ceremony took place in 1950s and 60s in which Karl-Marx-Allee had to be straightened, 1 9 4 9 o n t h e d a y o f S t a l i n ’s 7 0 t h b i r t h d a y. T h e Strausberger Platz was relocated in consequence. Originally, in Laubenganghäuser were designed to provide high-convenience the 17th century, it served as a place of execution where convicts housing, with kitchens and bathrooms near the entrance, all were hanged or broken on the wheel. The large square which is other rooms facing southward and some of the flats with entirely surrounded by buildings gives an impression of lofty recessed balconies. A glimpse at the backside of the compounds solidity, its fountain in the center and surrounded by tall on Karl-Marx-Allee 102-104 and 126-128 reveals the unique sycamores providing calm and a peculiar silence which pervades charm of the houses and of the adjoining park. These sober even during the evening rush hour. The two highrises on the constructions reminischent of the Bauhaus style are listed square, “Haus Berlin” and “Haus des Kindes” (House of the buildings. Child) were both designed by Hermann Henselmann. “Haus des 3 Alte Feuerwache

Kindes” was inaugurated in 1954 by Wilhelm Pieck. Up until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 it contained a large Somewhat off Karl-Marx-Allee, at Marchlewskistraße 6, stands depart-mentstore specialized on children’s articles. The fountain a building whose history began long before that of Karl-Marx- in the center of the square is quite interesting. The “Floating Allee itself. The Feuerwache (firehouse) was established in Ring” was constructed in 1954 by Reinhold Lingner and Helmut 1884 for the protection of the “Kiez” (neighbourhood). As Kruse. As its name suggests, the small ring in the middle appears such, it complemented the other five firehouses operative in to be floating on the crests of the water surging upwards. Berlin at that time. The Feuerwache suffered considerable Especially in summer the lawn surrounding the fountain is used damage from World War II bombings – a fate common to the for sunbathing by local residents. A word of caution should you greater part of Berlin’s contructions. After A History in Bricks

decide to take a close-up view of the fountain: there are no traffic lights or pedestrian crossings that would ensure a safe 10 Märchenbrunnen (Fairytale Fountain) It took 26 years to complete the „Märchenbrunnen“ (Fairytale crossing of the roadway. Fountain) which was constructed following a decision of the 7 Platz der Vereinten Nationen (United Nations Square) municipal council and was finally inaugurated in 1983. It took so The square’s history – marked by wars, reconstruction, long because the project was unrealistic from the beginning: in renaming and redesign – is typical of Berlin: It begins with the demolishion of former Landsberger Tor in 1863, thus the end total costs amounted to an outrageous 700.000 creating space for a large square. In 1950 – before the Reichsmark, although a mere 100.000 Reichsmark had been construction of Karl-Marx-Allee – the square, that had been allocated originally – this being the entire annual budget for severely damaged during World War II, was renamed cultural activities of the city of Berlin. Since 1913, however, “Leninplatz”. Between 1968 – 1970 it was once again children as well as adults could enjoy the wonderful animal redesigned by the well-known architect Herrmann Henselmann. The design includes a statue of Lenin. sculptures and the ten characters taken from the fairytales Towering 14m of red Russian granite, the sculpture was one collected by the Grimm brothers. The the complex, a 54 x 34 m, of Berlin’s most massive monuments. In 1991, following a four-level terraced design by Ludwig Hoffmann is considered decision of the Berlin Senate, it was dismantled within no one of the most beautiful Classicistic fountains in Berlin. Like more than a few days – in spite of its being a listed most other of Berlin’s monuments, the Märchenbrunnen was not monument and of a number of demonstrations that accompanied the demolition. Today the square hosts a spared severe damage during World War II and could be rebuilt fountain that consists of five slabs of granite, each only in the 1970s. In the 1990s its water system was renewed originating from and symbolizing one of the five continents. and four sculptures that had fallen prey to vandalism were The curved “snake” buildings represent an enhancement of replaced by replicas. the typical GDR “Plattenbau” construction which, taking Bilder: © KOMBI Consult GmbH / Hrsg. KOMBI Consult into consideration the inertia of the GDR’s planned GmbH © 2005 Doku-Medienproduktion, aktualisiert 2011 economy, appears somewhat iconoclastic. In order to Wirtschaftsförderung FK achieve the round curved form of the houses – which were meant to emphasize the dynamics of the Lenin monument a trapezoid construction device was custom designed, by means of which conventionally perpendicular angled buildings could be constructed in sweeping curves. The houses were to become a model for “snake” buildings constructed throughout the GDR. Today the appartments have been renovated and turned into lofts and duplex appartments and are much sought-after. 8 Volkspark Friedrichshain In 1840, a few days before the intronation of Frederic II of Prussia, the Berlin Municipal Council decided the construction of a recreational park. In allusion to the popular Prussian monarch the park was to be named Friedrichshain. Berlin’s first communal park with an area of 37,5 ha was designed by Gustav Meyer, a student of Lenné, who took care to incorporate the natural features of the landscape: the two hills, Lindenberg and Finkenberg, as well as two ponds were harmoniously integrated into the landscape design. Its nearly centennial tree population was completely destroyed by bombs in World War II. With its Fairytale Fountain, numerous playgrounds, sunbathing areas, sports facilities, an outdoor cinema and several cafés the Volkspark Friedrichshain is nowadays a popular venue for urban recreation. 9 Bunker Hill As it proved impossible to dismantle the two anti-aircraft bunkers which the Wehrmacht had constructed within the parc, after 1945 they were almost completely filled up with demolition rubble from neighbouring streets. This is the origin of the “small bunker hill” and the “big bunker hill”. The latter was nicknamed “Mont Klamott” by the Berlin population. It is now a favourite place for jogging, walking one’s dog and for sunbathing in summer.

Tour 6 english version