Boxhagener Platz

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Boxhagener Platz

Photographs of Berlin before the Berlin Wall fell, with Trabants, battered buildings and lots of kids. Posters of furry monsters licking ice cream. A baby t-shirt with Hello Kitty with a mustache. At Boxhagener Platz, or Boxi, as the Berliners like to say, you can find really nice stuff on the flea market.

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Flea market at Boxhagener Platz

Berlin is vintage heaven. The city has a lot of interesting vintage shops and a lot of good flea markets. Such as the one at Mauerpark, Arkonaplatz and R.A.W Gelande. But the best, in our opinion, is at Boxhagener Platz. Maybe it is because at Boxhagener Platz they have a lot of experience with markets. The first market at Boxhagener Platz took place at April 1, 1905. But at that time they didn’t sell posters, paintings or kiddies clothes, but fresh vegetables. If you tried to sell alcohol or brought your dog, you were in big trouble. People who did got a fine of 30 Marks or ended up in jail for eight days. It might sound harsh, but life around Boxhagener Platz was tough at the time. A lot of people lived here at the time. Three times as much as today. They lived in cramped apartments without any luxury. People often had to share a bed with a laborer if they were really poor. When dad went working, the laborer slept in his bed. It might be hard to imagine if you see people enjoying a beer at the outdoor seatings surrounding Boxhagener Platz. But the vibrant atmosphere is pretty recent. When the Berlin Wall still existed, there were not so many restaurants and bars as today.

Stories about Boxhagener Platz

But it was a place where stories were invented. Writer Torsten Schulz wrote a novel that takes place at the square. Boxhagener Platz, which is also a movie, is about a young boy growing up in 1968 at the square. His grandmother Otti has had five husbands and is in love again, with Karl. But another men fancies her as well. When he dies, her grandson plays he is the detective and he tries to find out what happened. But by doing so, he brings Karl in trouble. The book is inspired by Boxhagener Platz, but the movie was hardly filmed here because it has changed so much. The square hardly looks like 1968 anymore. The only cafe that is still like 1968 is Feuermelder, but at the time you could not spot plastic skulls in the bar.

If you fancy being inspired by Boxhagener Platz, there is a lot to see and be inspired by. In the summer time kids dangle their feet in the low swimming pool or play at the square of Boxhagener Platz. The square has a lot of nice restaurants and bars. This makes Boxhagener Platz and the nearby Simon Dach strasse a nice place to be in Friedrichshain.

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