Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
It is a relatively long distance from Kotti to Prinzenstrasse – 896 metres to be exact.
Originally the overground train line used to run over a water road intersecting it almost right in the middle. Here the no longer exisiting Luisenstädtischer Kanal widened into Wassertor Becken – a canal basin built next to the old customs house of Wassertor (Watergate – rings a bell all right).
The Prinzenstrasse Station, named after Prinzenstrasse crossing Gitschiner Strasse at this point, was built as one of the plain yet functional Siemens & Halske stations along the U1 line. Opened on February 18th, 1902 it was very badly damaged during the WW2 air raids on Berlin on January 28/29, 1944 and on February 3, 1945.
The curious thing about the station used to be its northern access. Since Gitschiner Strasse proved to be too narrow to build a nice separate entrance (like the one on its southern side, next to English Gasworks), the planners used London as as example and let the stairs towards the platform run through the staircase of the house at No. 71.
Today neither the entrance nor the house exist any more. The northern entrance to the station is an excellent example of what you can describe as “you-ain´t-relaxing architecture”: very cold, functional, and making you look over your shoulder so often that no wonder you get hit on the head from the front.
Anyway, it looks better from the outside.