Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


Speeding things up a bit, however, not without a reason: many of the days that passed between October 1st and November 2th were already covered in this blog last year. For those interested, simply scroll back. A lot.


On June 13th, 1866 the very first (military) train left the not yet entirely complete Görlitzer Bahnhof, heading south for another Austro-Prussian war. With the new station  residing over the neighbourhood, it is time to re-organise its surroundings.

On November 12th the eastern part of Cottbusser Ufer (with an alternative spelling of “Kottbusser Ufer”), the section between Schlesische Strasse and what today is the crossing between Reichenberger- and Ratiborstrasse, gets the name of GÖRLITZER UFER.

In this section of Berlin plan from April 1862 you can see that Cottbusser Ufer was indeed one of the longest streets in this part of the city:

Oppermann´s Berlin Plan of April 25th, 1862

What you can also see is that hardly any other street has been given a name yet – at this stage they were still known as Strasse Nr. 52 Abt. I Bebauungsplanes (the future Reichenberger Strasse), Strasse Nr. 53, Abt. I Bebauungsplanes (the future Wiener Strasse) or Strasse Nr. 3, Abt. I which on October 10th, 1866 became Lausitzer Strasse.

At that time Görlitzer Ufer would still reach Schlesiche Strasse and it would keep reaching it until 1912. On the 19th of December that year the section behind the crossing with Heckmannufer would be given yet another name: Taborstrasse.

Another look on the map above will also explain why Cottbusser Ufer a.k.a. Görlitzer Ufer a.k.a. Taborstrasse could not run along the water up to the bridge. Almost the entire length of what we know today as Heckmannufer was a factory belonging to one Carl Justus Heckmann. His copper and brass rollmill produced excellent quality equipment for sugar and spirits production while his copper instruments for beer brewing were almost legendary. With the alcohol consumption levels of the day, no wonder his business was blooming.

To give you a better picture of what Wrangelkiez and Görlitzer Ufer vicinity looked like in the mid-19th century here is a photo by a famous 19th-century Berlin photographer F.A. Schwartz, taken from the roof of Görlitzer Bahnhof (under construction) in the summer of 1865. The arrow is pointing at Heckmann´sche Fabrik, the houses on the left belong to what already is Cuvrystrasse (for some inexplicable reason the map shows it still as Strasse Nr. 3) while the windmill ahead is standing on Lohmüleninsel and was grinding tanbark used in tanneries along the river Spree.

Direction Görlitzer Ufer/Heckmannufer seen from the roof of Görlitzer Bahnhof summer 1865 (photo: F.A. Schwartz)

Since then plenty has changed in this part of Kreuzberg: soon a sea of tenement houses will spring up from the ground and the workers from Silesia will be arriving in throngs to find better life for themselves and their families. Only few of them will.


  1. Pingback: TODAY IN KREUZBERG: DECEMBER 19th and 20th « KREUZBERG´D


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