Germany
Prenzlauer Berg

Here you’ll find travel reports about Prenzlauer Berg. Discover travel destinations in Germany of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

29 travelers at this place:

  • Day2

    Stadt erobern

    June 17, 2017 in Germany

    Nachdem wir uns kurz ausgeruht haben, wollten wir Richtung Brandenburger Tor laufen.

    Vom Hotel aus ging es los, über den Potsdamer Platz, Judengedenkstätte (Holocaustdenkmal) zum Brandenburger Tor. Nachdem es am Morgen noch recht frisch war, wurde es zunehmend wärmer. Jedoch windig war es.

  • Day16

    The Wall - the story begins

    July 10 in Germany

    Today we are meeting up with Folke Bulda - my Dad’s cousins son, so my 3rd cousin. We have been in contact with Folke spasmodically since we last saw him face to face at our wedding in Melbourne in 1998. He has kindly offered to be our guide in Berlin for the next few days which is very generous of him.

    We met at our apartment this morning at 8am, and went out for a light breakfast before starting our day of exploring. Berlin has an excellent public transport system, which we fully utilised over the day. We caught the tram, the bus, the U-Bahn (underground railway) and the S-Bahn (above ground railway). All works very well, and there is always another tram or train coming if you miss one.

    Folke started our walking tour in a very non-touristy area to show us examples of East and West Berlin housing, and we were able to see the remnants of where the wall was. He took us to a ‘people’s park’ that had been built following the wall coming down, that had been a beautiful ‘green’ space, but now is an overgrown and uncared for park where the grass is brown or non existent, and there is rubbish all over the place. Folke was a bit shocked about how rundown the area was, and explained that money, or lack of it, was the cause. There is also a disused stadium here that is covered in graffiti and street art, again, very sad to see.

    We followed the path of the wall along Bernadette Straße until we reached the Gedenkstätte Berliner Maher (Berlin Wall Memorial). As we walked along you could see large photos depicting the building of the wall and some very dramatic attempts to cross the wall. We read some heart breaking stories of families separated by the wall, and there were a number of memorials to people who had lost their lives attempting to escape to the West.

    When the Wall was built on August 13, 1961, Bernauer Strasse became a symbol of Berlin’s division. The effects of the sealed border were dramatically vivid here because the facades of the apartment buildings on the East Berlin side of the street formed the boundary between East and West. When the border was closed, families, friends and neighbours were cut-off from one another. Entire families risked their safety by leaping from windows to freedom until the authorities bricked up all the windows in these residential blocks. About 2,000 residents were forced to leave their homes and resettle elsewhere.

    At the Berlin War Memorial you can climb up about eight flights of stairs to look at the wall(s). There were guard towers, and at least 2 or 3 actual walls dividing East from West Berlin, as well as a range of obstacles designed to stop people and cars. This is the only section of the wall where you can truly appreciate the many-layered system of border fortifications as they actually were. The memorial runs for about 1.4kms along Bernauer Strasse, but only 220 metres of the original border wall which once encircled Berlin along 155kms has been preserved, as people had very strong opinions and felt “the wall MUST come down”.

    There is a “Window of Remembrance” where the victims of the Wall are remembered individually, and there is a Chapel of Reconciliation that is located on the site where the Church of Reconciliation stood before it was torn down in 1985. There were so many stories of heartache, tragedy and hope that made this a very emotionally draining place to visit, but also very important to acknowledge and remember. When we went down to use the subway, Folke told us about how all the stations in the East were bricked up and became “ghost stations”. The trains still travelled through the stations of the East from the West and out to the West but the train didn’t stop, and as you travelled through you could see guards at each of the stations and that was all.

    We then took a U-Bahn to central Berlin and went to see Brandenburger Tor and Pariser Platz. The Brandenburg Gate stands in the middle of Pariser Platz, and is now surrounded by modern buildings, such as the US and French embassy buildings. The Hotel Adelong Berlin is also located here, but this is a reconstruction of the original, which was destroyed in WWII. We then walked to the Reichstag, which is the German Parliament. It has been destroyed by fire, bombed in WWII, it has been wrapped up by the artist Christo and in 1999. The British architect Lord Norman Foster transformed it into one of the most modern parliamentary buildings in the world, whilst maintaining the facade (there are still small bullet holes from WWII visible) as it would have looked when built by Paul Wallot in 1884-94. The Dome was part of Foster’s transformation, and allows 360 degree views of the area. Unfortunately, we have been unable to secure tickets to up to the Dome because there is a Security Conference there until Thursday, and no-one is allowed access until it is finished.

    We then caught a bus to the centre of West Berlin, Kurfürstendamm, passing by Tiergarten, the Presidential residence, canals, and crossed the River Spree. Berlin is a beautiful city that is well laid out. In the centre of the West Berlin we visited the Kaiser-Wilhelm- Gedächtnis-Kirche. All that remains of the Church is the Church Tower as the Church was destroyed in WWII, and it serves as both a Memorial and stark reminder of the impact of war. We then stopped for lunch and a chance to rest, as we had been on the go for over 5 hours. This turns out to be the day we walked in excess of 20kms!

    After lunch we strolled around the inner city suburb of Charlottenburg, which has lovely tree-lined streets, less hustle and bustle, and a beautiful mix mix of old and new which blends in very well. Apparently , many wealthy Russians live here (some even without bodyguards)! We then caught a bus to have afternoon tea with Folke’s in-laws, Dieter and Sylvelin, and his daughter Mailin, who was very pleased with the gifts we brought her from Melbourne. Dieter and Sylvelin were very kind to open their home to us, and over a cup of tea we heard stories from them about the impact the wall had on them and their families. It was very moving to hear directly from someone about the fear they lived with for years, not knowing if the Stasi (secret police) would knock on their door. After tea and cake we walked to the Olympic Stadium that was built for the 1936 Games - it is an imposing place with a large bell tower, and built in the Fascist-style architecture favoured by the Nazis. It was built to show strength and domination, and it definitely gave that vibe. We were able to go to the top of the bell tower (215 metres), where we got amazing views of the city and surrounding suburbs.

    The stadium is used for football matches, and is the venue for Ed Sheeran’s concert on Thursday, and the World Athletics Championships in August. There was also an area cordoned off, and it turns out a Netflix series was filming there, but the security guard wouldn’t give us any details - although he did let us sneak a peek as a small scene was being filmed. We then caught the train back to the centre of town and went to Museumsinsel (museum island), a diverse museum complex built on a small island in the river Spree - we will return on Thursday to visit some of the museums. We had dinner at a typical German restaurant where we had some delicious German fare. After dinner Folke showed us another lovely little spot called Hackescher Markt that had lovely buildings, stores, cafes and apartments. We then found our way home and fell into bed.
    Read more

  • Day16

    Before heading off to the Olympic Stadium, Folke took us to meet his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Sylvelin and Dieter Schumann. Dieter and Sylvelin were very welcoming, and prepared a delicious afternoon tea for us. We also met Folke’s daughter Mailin, who is nearly nine years old and a delightful young lady. Mailin is spending a couple of weeks with her grandparents during the school holidays, and is also preparing to go for her silver swimming medallion. We had a lovely time with the Schumann’s learning about their lives and experiences.Read more

  • Day16

    Berlin Wall Memorial

    July 10 in Germany

    We visited the Berlin War Memorial, which extends 1.4kms along Bernauer Strasse on the former border strip between East and West Berlin. Two hundred and twenty metres of the of the original border wall that once encircled Berlin along 155 kilometres has been preserved as part of the memorial. The Berlin Wall Memorial tells the history of division for Berlin, Germany and Europe. There are stories of families being torn apart, there is the Window of Remembrance that individually remembers victims of the Wall, and there is the Chapel of Reconciliation which is located on the site where the Church of Reconciliation stood before it was torn down in 1985. There is also a viewing platform about 8 flights of stairs up that looks down on the original border wall. It was both interesting and sad to learn more about the people, the suffering and sacrifices made.Read more

  • Day16

    Major Highlights of Berlin

    July 10 in Germany

    After finishing at the Wall Memorial, we made our way to see some of the major monuments of Berlin. Our first stop was the Brandenburg Gate. The gate was built by Carl G. Langhans in 1789 - 91, and it was modelled on the temple porticoes of Ancient Athens. It is considered the undisputed symbol of Berlin. We then made our way past the embassies to the Reichstag, which is where parliament sits. The original structure has suffered through fire and bombings, and in 1999 was rebuilt and transformed into the most modern parliamentary building in the world. We then passed by the Tiergarten and the President’s residence, and finally the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche, which was badly damaged in WWII. We then wandered through Charlottenburg.Read more

  • Day16

    Olympic Stadium

    July 10 in Germany

    After visiting the Schumann’s, we headed off to the Olympic Stadium, which was constructed for the 1936 summer games. The complex is very impressive and the scale of it is quite overwhelming. As you approach you feel like you are shrinking as this large building looms over you. The intention with this facility was to intimidate the opposition, and also make a statement about the power and the might of the Third Reich.

    The stadium is used for a variety of purposes - Football, the International Athletics Meeting 1-12 August (this year), and for concerts such as Ed Sheeran later this week.

    After seeing a video on it’s construction, we had to catch a lift up to the first viewing platform of the bell tower and then a further 4 flights of stairs to the very top of the tower. We were afforded some great views across the city.
    Read more

  • Day17

    Potsdam - Glienicke Palace

    July 11 in Germany

    Today we had an early start as Folke was taking us to Potsdam, which is the capital of the federal province of Brandenburg. It is about 24 kilometres from Berlin with a population of about 300,000 people. The former garrison town has many small palaces, churches and other historic buildings. It’s planning embodied the ideas of the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ through a careful balance of architecture and landscape. Our first stop was to be the House of the Wannsee Conference, which is on the way, but we were too early and so we decided to continue to Potsdam and stop on our way home.

    We arrived at Potsdam and stopped at the bridge to get our bearings. Right next to the bridge is Glienicke Palace, which was absolutely beautiful due to the skills of Peter Joseph Lenné who designed the “pleasure ground” at Glienicke Palace for Prince Hardenberg, the Prussian Chancellor of State in 1816. Prince Carl of Prussia acquired the estate in 1824 and employed Lenné to redesign and landscape the entire estate. He worked collaboratively with the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who converted some existing buildings and designed some others. The result is a beautiful estate with amazing buildings and gardens. We were fortunate that when we arrived and wandered through the estate we had the place to ourselves, which made it a much more enjoyable experience as we did not have to battle the hordes or tour buses!
    Read more

  • Day266

    Day 267: Travelling to Berlin

    November 8, 2017 in Germany

    Time to leave Slovakia, and central Europe! But first it's a long day of travel to get through. After our fairly average experience with the buses in Bratislava, we decided not to leave things to chance this time, so we packed up and caught an Uber from our apartment to the station. We really should have done more of that - the 20 minute ride cost 3 euros and the young guy driving spoke great English and was interesting to chat to with. He was very interested in our dog travels!

    Arrived at the station at about 9:30, with around 30 minutes before the train was due (it was coming from Budapest). But when we looked at the sign boards, the train was running 20 minutes late! Yikes. Oh well. Over the next 30 minutes that gradually got extended until it was eventually 30 minutes late - but at least it finally showed up!

    Managed to snag ourselves a compartment - one of those classic European train things where the corridor is on one side of the carriage and the seats are on the other, in compartments of six seats facing inwards. Since we basically had six seats to ourselves, we settled in and spread out, since it was going to be a long day on the train! We were travelling from Bratislava via Brno, Prague, Dresden and eventually Berlin around 7pm.

    Unfortunately we didn't have any power points available in the compartment since it was an older Hungarian carriage, so it was basically just podcasts the whole way. Not a huge amount of scenery to look at, some plains, some hills, some fields, some farmlands. No mountains though.

    Listened to a bunch of football podcasts, a Simpsons podcast, caught up on my main history podcast (Austrian foreign minister Metternich finally got his comeuppance!), and listened to several more episodes of the History of Rome.

    An older Czech couple joined us in the compartment at Brno and stayed until Prague, where the train halted for around 20 minutes as they changed the locomotive. Shandos took the opportunity to hop off with Schnitzel and let him pee, but since we were worried they'd try and cut the stop short to make up for lost time, she wasn't gone for long and he didn't end up peeing. Oh well.

    A German lady replaced the Czech couple in Prague and she stayed with us until Dresden, when a fussy German businessman took her seat. He spent 20 minutes deciding that a seat without power was a seat not worth living in, so moved pretty soon afterwards. On the last leg between Dresden and Berlin we took turns to visit the dining car, rather than leaving our bags and dog unattended (and I'm fairly sure he wouldn't be allowed in). Was an interesting experience sitting on the rolling restaurant! I had a beef stew which was OK and expensive for what it was.

    Finally at 7:20pm we rolled into Berlin, about 15 minutes behind schedule. Almost literally jumped off the train since it was continuing on to Hamburg! Found a peeing tree outside the station for Schnitzel, then rode a couple of trams up north to Prenzlauer Berg and our apartment for the next few days. It's a ground floor place, quite large, though surprisingly empty of furniture. The bedroom is huge, but only has a small bed and a dresser - no couch or anything. But it'll be fine for the next few days.
    Read more

  • Day270

    Day 271: Day Off

    November 12, 2017 in Germany

    Day off today. I had a nice sleep in, while Shandos headed out to a couple of art galleries she was interested in. So I stayed home and minded Schnitzel. Did some social media work, caught up on the YouTube videos I needed to watch, edited a couple of videos and played some computer games. Had a kebab for lunch since that was basically all that was open nearby (it was a Sunday).

    Shandos got home not long before dark (around 3:30pm), and we just sort of bummed around for the rest of the day. For dinner we went to an Asian takeaway in the same store as the kebab place - again they were about our only options on a Sunday evening! Germans don't seem particularly religious, so I don't know why everything is closed on Sundays. I think it's just The Way Things Are, and everyone just goes with it. Someone was saying that one city ran an experiment where the shops were open on Sundays, but you weren't allowed to buy anything. It went about as well as you'd expect!

    I also find it startling how few places accept credit cards here! Most Germans don't have credit cards, so you're just expected to pay cash. Sucks for us, means we have to keep going to ATMs and burning through cash quicker! Alas. Off to Hamburg tomorrow!
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Prenzlauer Berg, Prenzlauer Berg Bezirk, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg, פרנצלאואר ברג, プレンツラウアー・ベルク, Пренцлауэр-Берг, Пренцлауер-Берґ, 普伦茨劳贝格

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now