The Kulturbrauerei was a vibrant place, back in 1842. Rattling bottles that were filled to the brim with beer and people running to make sure all thirsty Berliners got a sip of their favorite brew of Schultheiss. Today it is still easy to spot where the bottles were made and filled and the beer brewed. ‘Flaschenabteilung’ and ‘Kesselhaus’ is written with big letters on the walls. But the rattling sound of the ‘bottle department’ is long gone.
Brewing culture at Kulturbrauerei
Beers are no longer brewed here, but drank. If you walk along the 25.000 meters of the Kulturbrauerei you will see lots of different shops, bars and theaters, clustered in the former beer brewery. People shops for beers and other grocery’s at the supermarket or get lost at the huge music shop at the perimeters. Others visit the beer garden, see movies, visit a theatre play, do a bike tour or dance at the disco of Franzz Club
At Christmas the square in the middle of the former brewery is filled with the smell of Gluhwein, sauerkraut and sausages from the special Christmas market. Kids have fun in the temporary attractions. At New Years Eve (Silverster) the very same square is filled with all different kinds of music. It perfectly shows how versatile the Kulturbrauerei is. No one has to get bored here. Even if you are not in to shopping, music, dancing, art, biking, boozing or film. The Kulturbrauerei is a fascinating piece of architecture too. Although it still looks like a factory, with large chimneys and huge doors, it is a very frivolous former factory. The bricks are yellow, the roofs red and the windows are round and huge. The Kulturbrauerei has lots of towers. The largest one, that belongs to Franzz Club, has a fairy tale feel to it. You could almost see Rapunzel with her long hair hanging out of one the romantic windows in the top of the tower. It makes the Kulturbrauerei a vibrant, urban castle full of culture. www.kulturbrauerei.de
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.
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.
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.
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 remarkable for it’s size, but also for it’s history. Dicke Hermann was built in 1856 to provide the inhabitants with water. In 1933 it became a sinister location. Local Nazi’s used the engine room to torture people.
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.