Friedrichshain is a part of Berlin's borough of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. From its creation in 1920 until Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it was a freestanding city borough. Formerly part of East Berlin, it is an inner city locality, adjacent to Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg and Lichtenberg.Friedrichshain is named after the "Volkspark Friedrichshain", a vast green park located at the north border to Prenzlauer Berg. During the Nazi era, it bore the name "Horst-Wessel-Stadt".


The largely working-class district was created in 1920 when Greater Berlin was created in a referendum, incorporating several surrounding cities. Friedrichshain united the Frankfurter Vorstadt, already part of Berlin, and the villages of Boxhagen and Stralau. It took its name (meaning "Frederick's Grove") from the Volkspark (People's Park), which was planned in 1840 to commemorate the centenary of Frederick the Great’s coronation. Much of the district was settled in the rapid industrialization of the 19th and early 20th centuries, led by growth in manufacturing and crafts. It owed much to the opening of the railway line between Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder) in 1846 (which terminated near the site of today's Berlin Ostbahnhof), and the opening of the first waterworks in 1865 at Stralauer Tor. In the early 1900s, the district's largest employer was the Knorr-Bremse brake factory; the Knorrpromenade, one of Friedrichshain's most attractive streets, was built to house the management.

When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the district was renamed Horst-Wessel-Stadt after the street fighter and writer of the Nazi hymn whose slow death, after being shot by communists, in Friedrichshain hospital in 1930 was turned into a propaganda event by Josef Goebbels.

During World War II Friedrichshain was one of the most badly damaged parts of Berlin, as the allies specifically targeted its industries. After the war ended, the boundary between the American and Soviet occupation sectors ran between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. This turned into a sealed border between East and West Berlin when the Berlin Wall was built in 1961.

The Stalinallee (now Karl-Marx-Allee and Frankfurter Allee) was built in Friedrichshain in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a prestige project; its architecture is strongly reminiscent of that of Soviet-era Moscow boulevards. It was also the scene of the 1953 uprising, when a raised work quota led to protests throughout East Germany that were only put down with Soviet intervention.


After the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and German reunification the following October, Friedrichshain began to develop a reputation as a young, dynamic district, thanks in part to low rents and the many empty apartments that also attracted the attention of West Berlin squatters.

Alongside the neighboring districts of Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, and Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain is now considered one of Berlin's most fashionable areas, and is home to numerous design and media companies including MTV Central Europe. It is known for its many bars, clubs, pubs, and cafes, concentrated in the vicinity of Simon-Dach-Straße and Boxhagener Platz. There are numerous squats in Friedrichshain, particularly in Rigaer Straße. In contrast to the more gentrified and expensive districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte, Friedrichshain has a slightly run-down atmosphere, and its lower rents following German reunification attracted students and artists. Nowadays numerous restoration works are under way and Friedrichshain is developing on a fast pace becoming more and more gentrified itself.

Points of interest

* East Side Gallery, a part of the Berlin Wall that was turned into an international outdoor gallery;
* Karl-Marx-Allee, a boulevard lined with buildings in the Stalinistic style, originally called "Stalinallee";
* Frankfurter Tor, two landmark towers on Karl-Marx-Allee, which resemble to the church domes on Gendarmenmarkt;
* Oberbaumbrücke, a road and rail bridge connecting Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain built in North German brick;
* Fairytale Fountain in Volkspark Friedrichshain;
* Simon-Dach-Straße, street with numerous pubs;
* Boxhagener Platz, heart of the Friedrichshain "Kiez" or neighborhood;
* Samariterviertel with the Samariterkirche (Church of the Good Samaritan)
* Berlin Ostbahnhof
* Volkspark Friedrichshain, with its Memorial to Polish Soldiers and German Anti-Fascists
* Skatehall Berlin, Revaler Strasse 99


ee also

* Flakturm II - Friedrichshain

External links

* [ Die Friedrichshainer - unofficial city portal]
* [ siebenschoen - a true toy story]
* [ Amitola - The Children Shop]
* [ Private apartments at Boxhagener Platz]
* [ Photos of Friedrichshain]

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