Archive for the ‘East Berlin’ Category

‘Friendship of the People’ fountain, Alexanderplatz

On my last afternoon I went on a walking tour of East Berlin – or at least, around some remnants thereof. I organised this through AirBnB – it was one of their ‘experiences’ for Berlin and was advertised as “East Berlin with a travel book writer”. The walk lasted for just over three hours and to be honest was quite tough going – I was pretty tired by the end, as we were on our feet through most of what was a hot afternoon. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It gave a fascinating glimpse into some aspects – probably some of the better aspects, to be honest – of a vanished state.

The first half of the tour was a walk along Karl-Marx-Allee. This runs eastwards from the Alexanderplatz area in what was East Berlin. In fact we began with a quick look around Alexanderplatz itself and had the various buildings explained to us. Some were definitely GDR (German Democratic Republic, i.e. East Germany) era, and some, to our surprise, dated from earlier, the 20s and 30s. That said, most of what was there before WWII was barely there by the end – I read that in 1945 the Red Army fought it way through Berlin via Alexanderplatz and I gather that as a result pretty much everything there was destroyed. After the war the station was repaired and brought back into use, some of the existing buildings were restored and the rubble of other buildings was removed, thus leaving space for GDR-era new buildings.


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