KREUZBERGED BERLIN

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin

FROM GAS TO WATER

englisches-gasanstalt-in-1928-luftbild-u-bhf-prinzenstrase

A small section of a 1928 aerial map of Berlin, with UBhf “Prinzenbad” marked with a yellow dot.

Englisches Gasanstalt, the first gasworks built and opened in Berlin in 1826 by Imperial-Continental-Gas-Association, captured in 1928 on a bird´s-view photo of Kreuzberg.

After WWII the site became home to one of Berlin´s most popular outdoor baths known as Prinzenbad – the name refers to the name of the nearby U-Bahnhof “Prinzenstraße” (marked with a yellow dot).

Prinzenbad or rather Sommerbad Kreuzberg opened twice: in May 1956 – as the first public baths in the post-war Berlin in an attempt to alleviate the problem of lack of sanitary facilities in most of the surviving residential buildings – and then again in mid-1980s, after tests carried out in 1978 indicated widespread presence of highly dangerous pollutants in the soil under the former gasworks. Further use of the grounds as a leisure facility required thorough cleansing and even removal of a thick layer of the said soil.

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