KREUZBERGED: BERLIN COMPANION

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin

CAMERA OBSCURA: OLDEST PHOTOS OF BERLIN

    Those are two oldest existing photographs of Berlin: both made around 1840 (no exact dating is possible) by Wilhelm Helffter. Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither of the places captured by … Continue reading

January 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

BERLIN BRUSHES: GUSTAV WUNDERWALD

On this grey and gloomy day, a splash of colour straight from 1927: Gustav Wunderwald’s painting of the entrance to U-Bahnhof “Schönhauser Tor”. The station, part of the old Linie … Continue reading

January 12, 2018 · 1 Comment

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KURT TUCHOLSKY! or IGNAZ WROBEL HATH SPOKEN

  Happy birthday to Kurt Tucholsky, a brilliant writer, cabaret text author and critic! Born on January 9th 1890 in Lübecker Strasse 13 in Berlin-Moabit, he wrote under many interesting … Continue reading

January 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

OF THE RISE AND FALL OF “BERLINER ILLUSTRIRTE ZEITUNG”

On January 4, 1892 the first regular edition of the first mass-market newspaper in Germany, “Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung” hit the newsstands in Berlin. The weekly, created in 1891 by Otto … Continue reading

January 4, 2018 · 6 Comments

MEMORABLE THANKFULNESS – BERLIN’S DANKESKIRCHEN

  The image above presents the Dankeskirche (The Church of Thanks) designed by Berlin architect August Orth for Kaiser Wilhelm I and planned to be built on the border between … Continue reading

January 3, 2018 · 2 Comments

DID YOU KNOW THAT ABOUT BERLIN: HUT AB!

Did you know that Berlin used to have a rather peculiar New Year’s Eve tradition so outrageous that it even made news in foreign newspapers? The tradition is dead, not … Continue reading

December 31, 2017 · Leave a comment

CHRISTMAS EVE 2017 – TRIP TO BERLIN 1925

As the Kulturabteilung (Department of Culture) of UFA, legendary German film-production company celebrating its 100th birthday this year, released this film little did they know that it would become one … Continue reading

December 23, 2017 · 3 Comments

​CHRISTMAS IN BERLIN: DAY 3

This little boy carrying a Christmas tree was photographed by Willy Römer in December 1920. Perhaps even in Kreuzberg where the photographer lived at the time in a small flat … Continue reading

December 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

CHRISTMAS IN BERLIN: DAY 2 or BLOODY CHRISTMAS OF 1918

What should have been a truly Merry Christmas soon to be celebrated by the people gathered in front of Berlin’s Stadtschloß in 1918 became one of the bloodier chapters in … Continue reading

December 19, 2017 · 3 Comments

CHRISTMAS IN BERLIN: DAY 1

This week we will be presenting historical images of Berlin around and during Christmas time: how the city prepared for and celebrated the holiday, what traditions it followed and how … Continue reading

December 18, 2017 · 3 Comments

FROM PICCADILLY TO VATERLAND: THE STORY OF ONE HAUS AND ITS MANY NAMES

Did you know that the legendary Berlin entertainment venue, Haus Vaterland, which used to stand on the corner of Köthener Straße and Stresemannstraße in the old borough of Berlin-Kreuzberg, was … Continue reading

December 14, 2017 · 1 Comment

BERLIN BRUSHES: FRANZ SKARBINA’S CHRISTMAS MARKET

The painting we would like to introduce today is the 1892 “Berlin’s Christmas Market” by Franz Skarbina. The Christmas Market painted by the artist eight years before the end of … Continue reading

December 11, 2017 · 1 Comment

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: IMPRESSIONS FROM AN EXHIBITION AT BERLIN’S MUSEUM OF COMMUNICATION

 The latest results of research into our nightlife behaviour are merciless: around 40% of all Europeans, children included, suffer from some sort of sleep anomaly. Living in a world where … Continue reading

December 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

SPORT IM BILD

Although aimed primarily at the upper classes in Berlin and Vienna, German-Austrian magazine “Sport in Bild”, owned since 1909 by a Berlin press house August Scherl in what was known … Continue reading

December 5, 2017 · Leave a comment

TODAY IN BERLIN: THE THREE-WHEELED WONDER FROM SPANDAU

(The following story has been featured in our first book, “Notmsparker´s Berlin Companion”) Did you know that between 1925 and the end of 1927 Berlin had a fleet of 180 … Continue reading

November 29, 2017 · Leave a comment

AFTER TOTENSONNTAG: A CEMETARY WALK

Did you know that no fewer than 28 members of the Mendelssohn family are buried at one of the old cemeteries between Mehringdamm, Zossener Straße, Blücherstraße and Baruther Straße in … Continue reading

November 27, 2017 · 1 Comment

THE GHOST OF “BERLIN”: THE OLD AEROPLANE FROM THE TEGEL AIRPORT

On the night of November 22/23 1986 an American Boeing 707 took off from the West German airport in Frankfurt am Main and took a course east. Soon it entered … Continue reading

November 22, 2017 · 4 Comments

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF STROUSBERG

The 1868 Villa Strousberg in Wilhelmstraße 70, also known as Palais Strousberg, was designed by August Orth for the then most successful Berlin entrepreneur and one of the most powerful … Continue reading

November 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

RINGBAHN: 140 AND STILL GOING STRONG

#OTD 1877, exactly 140 years ago today, the circular railway line, Berlin´s “Ringbahn“, was completed by closing the circle. The first leg of the project, its eastern section from Moabit … Continue reading

November 15, 2017 · 3 Comments

THE KLINGELBRÜCKE OR WHY IT PAYS TO READ FONTANE

In November 1872 Theodor Fontane – journalist, author, glorious hypochondriac and Berlin´s most famous ex-apothecary (he worked, among others, in the hospital pharmacy at the Bethanien Hospital in Kreuzberg) – … Continue reading

November 14, 2017 · 4 Comments

BERLIN´S LA-LA-LAND or THE CITY´S OTHER OPERA HOUSES

Famously, Berlin has three renowned opera houses: the newly re-opened Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper and the Komische Oper (there is also a wonderful vagabond phenomenon known of as the Kiez … Continue reading

November 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

HERR MENDELSSOHN IN LONDON OR SPRING IN CAMBERWELL GREEN

Did you know that an exquisite piece of music by one of Berlin´s most famous artists, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – a grandson of the heavyweight of German history, philosopher Moses … Continue reading

November 4, 2017 · 1 Comment

BACK TO FRONT AT THE SCHLOßPLATZ: THE NEPTUNBRUNNEN

Created by Reinhold Begas for the Berlin City Council (Magistrat), the magnificent Italian-style fountain known as Neptunbrunnen was unveiled on November 1, 1891 at Berlin´s Schloßplatz south of the Royal … Continue reading

October 27, 2017 · 9 Comments

BERLIN BRUSHES: PENNELL´S LEIPZIGER PLATZ

Behold Warenhaus Wertheim in Leipziger Platz – famous Berlin department store whose remains were removed after WWII – here on Joseph Pennell´s 1921 lithography. An interesting fact: the section of … Continue reading

October 24, 2017 · Leave a comment

WHICH WAY TO SPITTELMARKT?

Welcome to Spittelmarkt, a central Berlin plaza in today´s Mitte, here seen from Leipziger Straße in 1904. #OTD 1900 traffic census carried out there rendered following results: between 6 AM … Continue reading

October 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

TODAY IN BERLIN: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BETHANIENHAUS AT MARIANNENPLATZ!

On October 10, 1847 – exactly 170 years ago today – one of Berlin´s oldest hospitals and Kreuzberg´s most famous squatter site (now an art and culture centre), Bethanien Krankenhaus, … Continue reading

October 10, 2017 · 3 Comments

LAST TRAM TO HAKENFELDE: THE END OF WEST BERLIN´S NETWORK

Depending on the criteria and personal preferences, the history of the electric street-tram began either in Russia in a small seaside town of Sestroretsk near Sankt Petersburg in 1880 or in … Continue reading

October 2, 2017 · 5 Comments

BERLIN´S MÜHLENDAMM – OF MILLS, LOCKS AND BRIDGES

On September 25, 1894 Berlin celebrated the opening of the new Mühlendamm, a bridge and a weir spanning the River Spree, designed by Hermann Blankenstein under the supervision of James … Continue reading

September 25, 2017 · 3 Comments

TODAY IN BERLIN: SEPTEMBER 19, 1826 – ENGLISCHE GASANSTALT IN GITSCHINER STRAßE

What would we be without electric power and regular gas supplies? Permanently freezing, underfed, helpless babes in Nature´s woods with very limited access to internet social networks. It is indeed … Continue reading

September 19, 2017 · 2 Comments

NO TRAINS GO BUT YOU DO – A WALKING MAP OF BERLIN PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORK

Everybody knows and dreads the moment: the loudspeaker voice on your U-Bahn or S-Bahn platform makes the announcement, “Due to technical problems/medical intervention/wild ponies rambling freely on the tracks, train … Continue reading

September 19, 2017 · 3 Comments

NIGHTS AT THE “CAFE NATIONAL”

“Cafe National” on the corner of Friedrichstraße No. 76 and Jägerstraße in Berlin-Mitte (quite obviously a collage, which explains an amusing proportion-ratio between various objects). The place was once famous … Continue reading

September 16, 2017 · 1 Comment

ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE KADEWE

Last night #RBB (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg) – for obvious reasons our favourite German TV station – treated its viewers to another episode of its highly appreciated documentary series Geheimnisvolle Orte (Secret, or … Continue reading

September 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

A BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

The 138-metre long and 27-metre wide Hindenburgbrücke – first steel-arch bridge in Berlin, designed by Friedrich Krause and his colleagues Behner, Wolffenstein and Kalb, opened on 11 September 1916, exactly … Continue reading

September 11, 2017 · 3 Comments

YOU ARE HERE: BERLINER DOM

On September 6, 1750 – exactly 267 years ago – the second Berliner Dom building was consecrated in Berlin´s Lustgarten: the building – ordered by King Friedrich II (Friedrich the … Continue reading

September 6, 2017 · 2 Comments

BERLIN QUOTE: ADOLF HEILBORN

“And I am thinking about how each return to Berlin made my heart beat faster. How blessed I felt as a child when after four weeks of holidays I finally … Continue reading

August 30, 2017 · 3 Comments

DO YOU SPEAK BERLINERISCH or SAY IT LIKE A LOCAL

Berliners are known for several things: their alleged surliness, talent for speaking in an almost incomprehensible metrolect and shooting cheeky ripostes as fast as Oscar Wild on his best nights. Pity those … Continue reading

August 27, 2017 · 8 Comments

NOTMSPARKER & BERLIN COMPANION RETURN

One of the best things about leaving Berlin and going on holidays is knowing that when those end, it is to Berlin that you will come back again – a … Continue reading

August 25, 2017 · 4 Comments

TIME TO TAKE A BOW: KREUZBERGED´S OUT FOR SUMMER

Right in time for my birthday – your truly has just reached a respectable age of 250% eighteen – the Facebook edition of this blog has officially broken the 5,000-followers … Continue reading

July 18, 2017 · Leave a comment

BERLIN´S VERBINDUNGSBAHN: LAST TRAIN TO THE PAST

Verbindungsbahn, a junction line connecting the main terminus railway stations of the Prussian capital, opened on September 15, 1851 as a product of desperate necessity. Berlin´s five main railway stations … Continue reading

July 17, 2017 · 2 Comments

BLITZ OVER KREUZBERG: ELECTOR JOACHIM AND THE FLOOD

Did you know that on July 15, 1525 – exactly 492 years ago – Brandenburg´s Elector Joachim I Nestor managed to make a complete fool of himself as well as … Continue reading

July 15, 2017 · 1 Comment

A STROLL THROUGH THE PARK WITH ERWIN BARTH

What makes a park a park? Is it the nature: the right sort of trees, bushes and lush green meadows? Is it the skilfully planned landscape with a clever arrangement … Continue reading

July 10, 2017 · 8 Comments

HERE COMES DICKE ICKE

Behold the new #BVG U-Bahn train which will join the city´s rolling stock in October 2017. And, as always with Berlin trains – whether #UBahn or #SBahn – you can … Continue reading

July 5, 2017 · 2 Comments

REQUIEM FOR GUSTAV WUNDERWALD

June 24 marks the day when Berlin lost one of its best painters of the pre-WWII era: in 1945 63-year-old Gustav Wunderwald died in the Hedwig-Krankenhaus in Charlottenburg as a … Continue reading

June 24, 2017 · Leave a comment

HITLER´S VOLKSHALLE AND THE AIR THAT WE BREATHE

79 years ago, on June 14 1938, Albert Speer, the court architect of the Nazi Führer, reported to his supervisor that the construction works on the site of Hitler´s future … Continue reading

June 14, 2017 · 2 Comments

DID YOU KNOW THAT ABOUT BERLIN: THE POPE´S REVENGE

On this day, June 12, in 1987 the US President Ronald Reagan visited West Berlin and made his eponymous Berlin speech – one usually put on a par with JFK´s … Continue reading

June 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

BOATING ON THE SPREE IN AUGUST 1918

​The photo above is a 1918 view of the Spree and of the Treptower Park from the Abteilbrücke (Abbey Bridge), known today as the Bridge of Hearts (in the DDR … Continue reading

May 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

Protected: THE LAST MEETING OF THE TSAR, THE KING AND THE KAISER

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May 21, 2017 · Enter your password to view comments.

IS IT ART? NO, IT´S A POP-UP CHURCH! German Protestant Days 2017

Something is up right behind the remains of Berlin´s Anhalter Bahnhof in Kreuzberg. But what many people have been eyeing up suspiciously, half-expecting “something wicked this way to come” (and, honestly, can … Continue reading

May 19, 2017 · Leave a comment

Protected: ​BALLAST OF A DIFFERENT SORT or WHAT ELSE LANDED NEAR OLD FLUGHAFEN TEMPELHOF 

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May 16, 2017 · Enter your password to view comments.

BLACK FRIDAY IN BERLIN: BERLIN STOCK EXCHANGE 

​The building of Berlin Stock Exchange designed by Friedrich Hitzig and built 1857-1863 at Bruderstraße 25-26, at the Friedrichsbrücke, was the scene of two serious market crashes: the 1873 property … Continue reading

May 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

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