Dicke Hermann is one of the landmarks of Prenzlauer Berg. When you enter the Rykestrasse the tall, yellow brick tower is hard to miss. The tower is not only remarkable because of it’s size, but also because of it’s sinister history.
Torturing people at Dicke Hermann
Dicke Hermann was built in 1856 to provide the inhabitants with water. In 1933 it became a very sinister location. Local Nazi’s used the former engine room to torture people. 28 people died in the cellars of the building. It was during this time the water tower got it’s strange nickname. It was named after the fat Nazi Herman Goring, one of Hitlers hand men. After being a water tower and torture room, Dicke Hermann became something totally different.
Dicke Hermann became something totally different. Today, it is one of the most popular rental apartments in Berlin. The area that was used to torture people is now a kita, a children day care center.
The other part of the building the Nazi’s used, is an art gallery. Although all fascist elements are long gone, the name Dicke Hermann remained.
Berlin has many places to drink large wheat beers, but the best Berlin biergarten definitely is the Prater at the Kastanienallee. The beer garden is surrounded by chestnut trees and young people sit next to elderly people on wobbly benches to drink a beer and eat sausages, while toddlers run around. It is a small haven in the busy streets of Prenzelberg.
The Kulturbrauerei was a vibrant place, back in 1842. Rattling bottles were filled to the brim with beer and people ran to make sure all thirsty Berliners got a sip of their favorite brew. Today it is still easy to spot where the bottles were made and filled and the beer brewed. But nowadays they brew culture at the Kulturbrauerei.
Not surprisingly, in 1890 bread was baked in the Brotfabrik with its remarkable yellow bricks. But the new owner in 1952 was not that into communist bread and fled to West-Berlin, like many other East-Germans. After that no more sweet rolls or rye breads were baked here. After the Wende the Brotfabrik became a house of culture.
Every quarter had it’s own Stadtbad, like Wedding and Mitte. But one of the most beautiful ones is Stadtbad Prenzlauer Berg at the Oderbergerstrasse. Big bellied Neptune, the god of the seas, welcomes you at the entrance. Fish, tortoises, crabs and octopuses swim along the façade of Stadtbad Prenzlauer Berg. German sculptor Otto Lessing made the stunning sea creatures.
When the Berlin Wall was build, it ran right through the lives of Berliners in the area of Bernauer Strasse. The Bernauer Strasse was right in the middle of the border. When the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961, the entrance of a few buildings was in the East. But if the inhabitants looked out of their windows, they saw West Berlin right beneath them.
The Mauerpark was no man’s land near the Berlin Wall. It’s hard to imagine nobody being able to walk or stroll here if you know what it looks right today. Children sled down the hill and in the summertime they swing here. On Sundays there is a famous flee market with vintage clothes and granny furniture. Only the colorful remains of the Berlin Wall remind of the old days.