Alexanderplatz in Berlin

Monday, 10 February 2020 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Berlin, General

World Clock © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0

World Clock © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0

Alexanderplatz is a large public square and transport hub in the central Mitte district of Berlin. The square is named after the Russian Tsar Alexander I and is often referred to simply as Alex, which also denotes the larger neighbourhood stretching from Mollstraße in the northeast to Spandauer Straße and the Rotes Rathaus in the southwest.

With more than 360,000 visitors daily, Alexanderplatz is, according to one study, the most visited area of Berlin, beating Friedrichstrasse and City West. It is a popular starting point for tourists, with many attractions including the Fernsehturm (TV tower), the Nikolai Quarter and the Rotes Rathaus (Red city hall) situated nearby. Alexanderplatz is still one of Berlin’s major commercial areas, housing various shopping malls, department stores and other large retail locations.

Ever since German reunification, Alexanderplatz has undergone a gradual process of change with many of the surrounding buildings being renovated. Despite the reconstruction of the tram line crossing, it has retained its socialist character, including the much-graffitied “Fountain of Friendship between Peoples” (Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft), a popular venue.

Breakdance © panoramio.com - fotogoocom/cc-by-3.0 World Clock © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0 World Clock © Berlinuno/cc-by-sa-4.0 © panoramio.com - Jorge Franganillo/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - Jorge Franganillo/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - Jorge Franganillo/cc-by-3.0 © Anagoria/cc-by-3.0
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Breakdance © panoramio.com - fotogoocom/cc-by-3.0
In 1993, architect Hans Kollhoff‘s master plan for a major redevelopment including the construction of several skyscrapers was published. Due to a lack of demand it is unlikely these will be constructed. However, beginning with the reconstruction of the Kaufhof department store in 2004, and the biggest underground railway station of Berlin, some buildings were redesigned and new structures built on the square’s south-eastern side. Sidewalks were expanded to shrink one of the avenues, a new underground garage was built, and commuter tunnels meant to keep pedestrians off the streets were removed. The surrounding buildings now house chain stores, fast-food restaurants, and fashion discounters. The Alexa shopping mall, with approximately 180 stores opened nearby in 2007, and a large Saturn electronic store was built and opened in 2008. The CUBIX multiplex cinema, which opened in November 2000, joined the team of Berlin International Film Festival cinemas in 2007, and the festival shows films on three of its screens. In January 2014, a 39-story residential tower designed by Frank Gehry was announced, but this project was put on hold in 2018.

Many historic buildings are located in the vicinity of Alexanderplatz. The traditional seat of city government, the Rotes Rathaus, or Red City Hall, is located nearby, as was the former East German parliament building, the Palace of the Republic. The Palast was demolished from 2006-2008 to make room for a full reconstruction of the Baroque Berlin Palace, or Stadtschloss, which is set to open in 2019.

Alexanderplatz is also the name of the S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations there. It is one of Berlin’s largest and most important transportation hubs, being a meetingplace of three subway (U-Bahn) lines, three S-Bahn lines, and many tram and bus lines, as well as regional trains.

It also accommodates the Park Inn Berlin and the World Time Clock, a continually rotating installation that shows the time throughout the globe, and Hermann Henselmann‘s Haus des Lehrers. During the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, the Alexanderplatz demonstration on 4 November was the largest demonstration in the history of East Germany.

Read more on VisitBerlin.de – Alexanderplatz, Berlin.de – Alexanderplatz and Wikipedia Alexanderplatz (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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