Things to see and do - Berlin
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Berlin, Kreuzberg east and west :
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Berlin, Kreuzberg east and west
Berlin, Kreuzberg east and westPedestrian, Other, 15 km, 2 days
Kreuzberg isn’t just defined by its alternative district, the famous SO36, or by Oranienstraβe. This popular old upper-class suburb offers some wonderful green areas that are ideal for a stroll.Customise this route and add it to My travel book
Crumbling façades with walls riddles with bullet holes, covered with graffiti, ancient, deserted streets, Jewish cultural institutions above which the golden dome of the new synagogue appears, cafés, many restaurants, restored courtyards and inner courtyards: here the visitor is assailed by the memories in this district. In the second half of the 17th C, Berlin re-established itself slowly after the ruin caused by the 30 Years War. An edict of 1679 provided lighting for the streets by torches then by lanterns. To reduce the fire risk, the order forbade thatched roofs and relegated barns to areas outside the ramparts. They gave their name to a disreputable district, the «Scheunenviertel» or «Barn District», which became one of the most central districts of the capital due to urban expansion, a stone's throw from the Museum Island. During the First World War, there was an influx of the Jewish population here. They were often wretched, an immigrant workforce, sometimes fleeing the pogroms of the East. They made up a quarter of all the Jews in Berlin and kept their lifestyle, customs and languages. After the arrival of the Nazis, the vice tightened very quickly. To facilitate the task, the Gestapo demanded that the Jewish population organise themselves and supply papers. From 1942, the people were assembled in a hospice before being deported. 55,000 Berlin Jews were exterminated in the camps at Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.
This unconventional district used to be hemmed in on three sides by the Berlin Wall. It has now a fashionable, amusing, almost anti-establishment neighbourhood, packed with snack shops, tiny Turkish boutiques, bazaars, an enormous market, bars, restaurants, cafés, squares and buildings whose rear courtyards formerly teemed with busy family enterprises. Head for Görlitz Park if in need of a little peace and quiet.
The headquarters for the 80's alternative movement, before the «turnaround,» Kreuzberg was the place for all marginalized sectors of society: a large Turkish community, squatters, punks, the anti-establishment «Greens,», gays, all contribute to its unique character. With unification the quarter has become one of Berlin's most vital areas. Two Kreuzbergs now oppose each other: the more «yuppie» part, with its restored Mietskasernen (West) façades, and the part inhabited by numerous Turks (East).
Former «Luisenstadt» district
Kottbusser Tor (Kreuzberg)
Görlitzer Park (Kreuzberg)
Two towers loom over this ruddy-coloured neo-Gothic bridge. At the time of the fall of the Wall, it marked the border between East and West. It is now part of the Berlin inner-city railway network.