Today I wanted to explore the neighbourhood, but following my nose I soon found myself much further away. I stumbled upon the Gleisdreieck Park - Railway junction park. Once it was a busy traffic junction, where goods trains were rolling of and on. It became a wasteland at the end of the Second World War, and nature took over, developing a rich diversity of vegetation. To preserve this unique wasteland a group of citizens formed a committee, which got what it wanted: a park where you can still find the remains of the railway activities, roads to walk and bike, and lots of grass for recreation.
Germany, Berlin, December 30, 2012
In 1958 the German architect Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, was commissioned to design a new quarter in the south-east of the West-Berlin. He planned manageable living spaces in building with a average of four and maximum of 17 floors, all of which would be intesected by a green corridor. In addition to good infrastructure, the complex contained shopping centers, cinemas, post offices and community centers ensuring the residents could still live an urban life.
Then the Berlin Wall was built in 1962, and the planned settlement ran near the Wall. The plans were adjusted accordingly: he area of space reduced in size, and the complex built higher. Some 14,500 apartments were planned, yet 19,000 were eventually built, with building reaching up to 30 storey-high housing more than 50,00 residents. By the time construction was completed in 1975, Gropiusstadt - or the Gropius City - as it came to be known, became a residential juggernaut. The place were Christiane F. grew up.
Today I visited but a small part of Gropiusstadt. Getting out of the tube, the first thing I saw was a huge wall of living spaces. Walking along this wall, I felt small and rather estranged.
A touching detail in the sea of buildings
Like any big city, Berlin has many aspects. I show some I saw during today's walk in the center .
Berlin, Holocaust monument
Berlin, Ebertstrasse near the Brandenburger Tor
Today I took the circle line of the S-bahn, hopping of at every station to look around, until I had enough when I was more than half way- the total circle is 37 km. All along one sees the beauty, the ugliness of Berlin.
The above photo is taken at the Frankfurter Allee station.
Gesundheidsbrunnen station - Health source station.
The skeleton of a former slaughterhouse.
The Berlin slaughterhouses and cattle markets, dating from 1881, occupy a vast terrain in the eastern part of the city. Here you can find the remainders of the buildings - some being reused, others falling apart - and new modern houses and apartment buildings.
The old and the new
Modern houses at the slaughterhouse terrain
Supermarket in one of the slaughterhouse buildings
Germany, Berlin, December 26, 2012
Germany, Berlin, December 25, 2012
I took the underground to go to the city center and visit some Xmas markets. There are many of those markets in Berlin. Some posh, some cozy, some boring. At one market members of the fire brigade band played nice Xmas like tunes.
At others there was also an ice rink. For instance at the Alexander Platz, where some Turkish girls tried their luck.
Germany, Berlin, December 24, 2012
Overnight almost all the snow was gone. No more frost, no more bitter cold wind, but mild temperatures. Even the sun tried to peep through the clouds from time to time. Went back to the Tempelhof airfield, did a lot of walking and photographing and when I had enough, I took the bus. Just to sit, rest and look for interesting spots. I got out at the Schöneberg cityhall, where president Kennedy siad the famous words:"Ich bin ein Berliner".
Germany, Berlin, December 23, 2012
I wonder how it will today, now that the snow is melting away because the rain and rising temperatures.
Germany, Berlin, December 23, 2012
Another visit to the former airport Berlin Tempelhof. The streets, the pavements, the landstrips were slippery. The sky was grey, the wind freezing cold and soon it started to snow, turning into rain in the early afternoon. Time to go home!
Germany, Berlin, December 22, 2012
Just at the end of the morning ir started to snow. So after lunch I went to the former Tempelhof airport, which is very near my apartment. Took a lot of pictures and choose this one as the picture of the day.
This lonely tree near a landing strip. I am sure it wasn't there when in he sixties, one plane after the other landed at Tempelhof to supply western Berlin with all it needed.