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    Prenzlauer Berg: The symbolic district of Berlin's metamorphosis

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    Kerry Christiani
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    • Berlin neighborhoods
    • Prenzlauer Berg

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    Elegant neighborhood and gracious home to young professionals and budding families, Prenzlauer Berg it is the district of Berlin that more than any other represents the metamorphosis that the city has undergone in recent years.



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      From a poor and overcrowded neighborhood to an emblem of gentrification, today it is one of the trendiest and most sought-after areas for those who live in the capital. Center for night entertainment and artistic ferment. A home for yuppies, in an alternative chic style.

      From agricultural area to neighborhood symbol of gentrification

      There were no houses in Prenzlauer Berg but all agricultural land and large roads crossroads for local workers, until small industrial complexes and windmills began to populate the landscape. The building development was that of the Mietskaserne ("rental barracks"), buildings dense with houses and with total lack of greenery. Only after the First World War did they pass to less condensed solutions, nor is the well-known complex an example Carl Legien's residential town ("Carl Legien residential city", dedicated to the German trade unionist and politician), now a World Heritage Site according to UNESCO.




      Incredibly, the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood escaped the destruction of World War II and the GDR and its housing policy preferred neoclassical socialist construction rather than a rehabilitation of dilapidated areas. Over time a part of the neighborhood emptied, families moved to the Plattenbau (the prefabricated) and the abandoned houses became hotbed of the punk movement and groups of opposition to the socialist government. Illegal occupations with residential and social purposes, and squats that were filled with creative activities and political initiatives.

      Il Wall he locked the neighborhood in East Berlin. Nicer, more green-oriented residential neighborhoods were built, with gardens and public buildings. Today, Prenzlauer Berg is the district symbol of gentrifizierung (gentrification), a term which gives its name to the phenomenon of gentrification in the most popular areas. This has favored the opening of numerous bars, restaurants and cultural centers. The inhabitants, mostly young professionals with dependent families, have made Prenzlauer Berg one of the most vital neighborhoods in the city, also thanks to an enormous number of children.


      Strolling in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg

      The urban landscape of Prenzlauer Berg is delightful, there are many renovated old buildings, testimonies and old-style houses, which is why there are more than 300 listed historic buildings.

      Eberwalder Strasse it is a good starting point for a visit: the name of a station on the U2 metro line and a nerve center where some of the main streets of the district intersect. A few steps from the station, on the Already all, you meet the Kulturbrauerei, a large cultural center housed in the former Schultheiss brewery. Inside there is a jazz bar, a multiplex dedicated to alternative cinema, the boiler room which is now dedicated to concerts, plus various clubs.




      On the Kastanienallee, there is a memorable place for the inhabitants of Berlin, the Prater, the oldest Biergarten in the city where you can enjoy a beer outdoors (or eat something) in the large space equipped in pure Berlin style. And if you want to taste one of the typical dishes of the city, order a Curry Wrust  al Konnopkes snack, also one of the oldest kiosks, they say is the best in town, is located right under the Eberswalder StraĂźe metro bridge.

      For those with a different culinary style, the areas around are crowded with snack bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs but also shops and trendy boutiques, to move on to the shopping phase. The Kastanienallee, Pappelallee, Oderberger Strasse, Schönhauser Allee, Danziger Strasse and all the small secondary streets that intersect between them are part of the network.


      The pretty Kollwitz Kiez, a neighborhood within the neighborhood

      Included in the neighborhood is the ward Kollwitz neighborhood, transformed in the last 20 years from semi-dilapidated to a refined residential area, where more foreigners and tourists live in the city than Berliners. To see in the area the water tower, the old water tower of Berlin; the Pepper hawk, a former brewery, today an industrial monument and home to cultural, educational and service activities. Kollwitzplatz it is the most famous square in the kiez, here there are countless clubs, cafes and restaurants where you can also entertain outdoors. Adjacent to the piazza la Rykestrasse Synagogue, one of the oldest synagogues in Berlin and the largest in Germany.


      The complex is certainly worth a visit Ernst Thalmann Park, a place dedicated to the politician, worker and activist Ernst Thälmann. An area of ​​25 hectares where, in addition to the park, there are cultural centers and residential buildings: the Zeiss planetarium, Theater under the roof (dedicated to independent theater) and the Monument to Ernst Thalmann, a bronze of 200 tons, 14 m high and 15 m wide.



      “Flohmarkt im Mauerpark” Berlin's best-known flea market

      You shouldn't miss a ride to Mauerpark, built on what was once called the "death strip", is a large green space where every Sunday the most famous flomarkt of the city is located, a flea market full of antiques and handicrafts. Behind the Mauerpark you will see the large stadium of the sports complex Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sports Park, built in place of the former parade ground.

      Not far from here, moreover, you will find the Gethsemanekirche, a Protestant church that became famous in 1989, when the conductor of the State Orchestra, Rolf Reuter, during the performance of Beethoven's third symphony, shouted loudly "the Wall must go" in the tumultuous applause of the audience, which then brought to a large spontaneous demonstration along the Schönhauser Allee. But they were other times.

    • Where it is

      How to reach us

      Principali stazioni: Eberswalder Straße, Senefelderplatz, Schönhauser Allee, Prenzlauer Allee, Greifswalder Straße

      Metropolitana: S-Bahn (Ring) - U-Bahn (U2, U8)

      Tram: M1, M2, M4, M10, M12, M13



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