THE NAME WITHOUT A STREET
Petristrasse, 1880 (image from the archives of the Prussian Heritage Foundation)
Petristrasse (older spelling: Petri Strasse) in the medieval heart of the city of Cölln – today´s Berlin is an amalgam of two historic sister-towns of Berlin and Cölln – photographed in 1880.
Most of this kind of architecture disappeared after WWII, however, Petristrasse and the surrounding streets fell prey to the post-war city regeneration plans. They were demolished in the late 1960s to make space for the high-rise neighbourhood of Fischerinsel.
Petri Strasse on Fischerinsel in 1889 (Sineck Situations-Plan von Berlin)
However big the loss from the sentimental and aesthetic point of view – quaint little houses always trump multi-storey concrete monoliths – one should not forget that this was also one of the poorest and most disease-ridden areas in pre-war Berlin. Infant and child mortality in around the neighbourhood was higher than in most of other Berlin communities. Here the words attributed to Heinrich Zille, “You can kill people with houses like you would with an axe,” sounded more true than elsewhere.
Fischerinsel today – no trace of Petristrasse remians. (image: Google Maps)