Prenzlauer Berg


Prenzlauer Berg

Prenzlauer Berg is a former borough of Berlin situated in the eastern part of the city. In 2001 Prenzlauer Berg was combined with the former boroughs Pankow and Weißensee under the name of Pankow.

After German reunification in 1990 Prenzlauer Berg soon attracted young people, often referred to as hipsters, with its alternative lifestyle.

History

Prenzlauer Berg was developed during the second half of the 19th century based on an urban planning design from 1862 by James Hobrecht, the so-called "Hobrecht Plan" for Berlin. Envisioned as a working-class district, its tenement houses "(in German: Mietskasernen)" were mainly inhabited by intellectuals, artists, and students in the former German Democratic Republic. Since German reunification, Prenzlauer Berg's urban apartment block structures have, for the most part, been renovated. This and rising property values have led to more affluent residents moving into some areas of the borough. Older buildings like the water tower, near Kollwitzplatz, or the "Prater Beer Garden" in Kastanienallee, as well as the old breweries still give an impression of the days when Prenzlauer Berg was part of so-called "Steinernes Berlin (Rocky Berlin)" as described by author Werner Hegemann in 1930.

Prenzlauer Berg today

Countless pubs, restaurants, cafés, galleries and little shops create a day and nightlife atmosphere unrivalled in the rest of Berlin. Along with Schöneberg and Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg is a focal point of Berlin art scene. Along with Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg it is also a popular neighbourhood with the student population.

Prenzlauer Berg is one of the most popular districts in Berlin, is one of Berlin's prettiest neighbourhoods, still central, yet quieter than Berlin Mitte. Much of Prenzlauer Berg escaped damage in the second world war and post war redevelopment. Nowadays Prenzlauer Berg offers trendy shopping with many streetstyle fashion designers selling their wares in trendy boutiques.

Prenzlauer Berg has become famous for being one of the few places in Germany where there has actually been a baby boom in recent years. There is an abundance of playgrounds Helmholtzplatz, Kollwitzplatz, kitas (child daycare centers) and shops selling toys and second hand children's clothing. However, the birthrate is not higher than elsewhere in Germany. Instead, the impression of a large amount of children is based on the large percentage of people between 20 and 40 years, this is potentially parents of young children.

Prenzlauer Berg has recently become a popular area for the current wave of American and European immigrants into Berlin, many of whom are artists who have moved to Berlin in search of the cheap downtown apartments and studio space which are very hard to find in other capital cities and 'centres for the arts' like New York, London and Paris but which are abundant in Berlin. English conversations can often be heard in the street cafes along the Kastanienallee.

Kollwitzplatz and Helmholtzplatz have weekly street markets, and the former breweries "Kulturbrauerei" and "Pfefferberg" and "Kastanienallee" are the hot spots of interest.

Places of interest

*Kollwitzplatz and Helmholtzplatz on market days
*Rykestrasse Synagogue
*Jewish graveyard on Schönhauser Allee where painter Max Liebermann and composer Giacomo Meyerbeer are buried
*Gethsemane church, former meeting place of the resistance in the GDR
*Mauerpark (former location of the Berlin wall)
*Wasserturm (water tower), designed by Henry Gill, constructed by the English Waterworks Company and finished in 1875.

External links

*Map of Prenzlauer Berg in 1836 [http://www.alt-berlin.info/cgi/stp/lana.pl?nr=18&gr=7&nord=52.533588&ost=13.439250]
*Map of Prenzlauer Berg in 1893 [http://www.alt-berlin.info/cgi/stp/lana.pl?nr=15&gr=7&nord=52.538397&ost=13.416076]
*Map of Prenzlauer Berg in 1961 [http://www.alt-berlin.info/cgi/stp/lana.pl?nr=22&gr=7&nord=52.533455&ost=13.421655]
*Map of Prenzlauer Berg in 1989 [http://www.alt-berlin.info/cgi/stp/lana.pl?nr=7&gr=7&nord=52.532961&ost=13.419507]
* [http://www.e-cityvisit.com/berlin/mauerpark/index.html Virtual e-Tour Mauerpark]
* [http://www.e-cityvisit.com/berlin/helmholtzplatz/index.html Virtual e-Tour Helmholtzplatz]
* [http://www.prenzlauerberg-kiez.de/en_index.htm Private website about life in the "kiez", history and landmarks (including maps and satellite view)]
* [http://www.hagalil.com/deutschland/berlin/gemeinde/synagoge4.htm#RYKE Synagogue in Rykestrasse prior to its present restauration]
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/53262871@N00/33309674 Photograph of the water tower – Detail 1] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/53262871@N00/33309673 Detail 2]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3037942.stm BBC article about the baby boom in Prenzlauer berg]
* [http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/24/athome/aberlin.php Herald Tribune Article about Berlin and Prenzlauer Berg]


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