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Go to the TV tower
You get a really good view from up there. Go there when they open then there´s no line. If you are travelling in a group and somebody dosen´t want to go up, there´s a Starbuck on ground floor where they can have a coffee while waiting.
Alexanderplatz, or Alex, as it’s known to Berliners is a windswept pedestrianised plaza doubling up as a meeting point and transport hub in what used to be East Berlin.
It was the downtown centre for the locals when it was behind the Iron Curtain and it still is today and no visit to Berlin would be complete without visiting Alex.
It’s more than likely that you’ll arrive by one of the many modes of transport that converge here. If you arrive by S Bahn head north out of the station away from the monumental TV Tower, cross the road and walk through to the plaza where the Park Inn towers over the square below.
Named in honour of a visit to Berlin by the Russian Tsar Alexander I in 1805, it started life as a cattle and wool market in the Middle Ages and has been a focal point ever since.
The square has seen many ups and downs - being seedy one minute, and upmarket the next. The 1920s and early thirties were probably its apogee when re-development brought some modern architecture of the day into the arena. Two of the buildings - the Alexanderhaus and the Berolinahaus - survived the 2nd World War and are still standing today.
What we mainly see now though is largely a product of the GDR’s idea of a downtown centre for East Berlin that could rival anything that West Berlin could do, and the large department store known as Centrum (now Kaufhof) was one of the best stocked shops in Eastern Germany.
The Hotel Stadt Berlin (now the Park Inn) was built in the late 1960s, as was the World Clock and Friendship among Nations Fountain. The Fountain is near the Park Inn and the clock is in the eastern part (far side) of the plaza.
Being a focal point meant that it attracted a fair number of demonstrations over the years but none bigger than the anti-government rally just before the wall came down in Nov 1989. It’s been estimated that up to a million people joined the demonstration.
Now that the wall has come down it has become popular with Berliners and visitors alike. It also means that it hasn’t escaped the attention of developers either and several of the buildings around the square have had a makeover. So far no major development has taken place to alter the GDR concept of the square but on the other side of the railway station construction work has already started next to the TV Tower.
I’ve always regarded this area as an extension to Alexanderplatz and has its own appealing features and so I wouldn’t like to see it change too much either.
During the communist years it could well have seemed quite a soulless place at times but I don’t think it’s necessary to rush headlong into transforming it into just another commercial square like so many others - and I’d like to think that Berliners see it the same way and keep Alex as a special part of their extraordinary history.
Is a square and busy traffic junction in Berlin. It is named after Tsar Alexander I. The Fernsehturm in the square, the second largest building in Europe, you can see from far above everything stabbing. Until the fall of the wall the square was part of East Berlin. The square was completely renovated in the 90s. Recently, also built several modern department stores
Fernseturm (Tv Tower) at Alexanderplatz, with its height of 368 metres is among the tallest structures in Europe. It is part of WFGT, World Federation of Great Towers. The tower was constructed between 1965 to 1969, by the former GDR administration who intended it a asymbol of Berlin. Inside the shaft are two lifts that shuttle visitor up to the sphere within 40 seconds. The observation floor is at 204 height with the platform turning once per hour.
One of the main areas of Berlin, this is the place you can find the cash machine centre [ ATM s ]. The TV tower is at this square. In picture you can see the entrance to the U B ahn. Alexanderplatz is always busy there many shops in the high rise buildings.
I spent a lot of my time in Berlin at Alexanderplatz, a pedestrianised square that used to lie in the former East Berlin zone. I enjoyed the bustle of Alexanderplatz. During my visit, an Oktoberfest was in full flow in the square which created a great atmosphere and buzz.
The square is named after Tsar Alexander I who visited Berlin in 1805. The 'Alex' as it is known by locals is a great place to shop too. There is a large Galeria Kaufhof store as well as various other shops; including a huge Saturn electronic shop and one of my personal faves, a branch of the fashion chain, New Yorker.
Alexanderplatz lies in the shadow of the huge TV Tower and is also home to the rotating World Time Clock (Weltzeituhr) which shows the time at numerous cities around the globe.
Alexanderplatz is also a great starting point to get to other parts of the city and further afield. There are connections to and from the 'Alex' by S-Bahn, train and U-Bahn.
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I visited Alexanderplatz a number of times during my visit to Berlin. It is one of those areas that is always seems busy and it is an important hub in the transport system. The whole area was flattened during WW2 and was redeveloped in a typical socialist style during the 1960’s. Though there were plans to redevelope the area again after reunitification those plans have been put on hold at this time though there has been some tinkering around the edges with a new shopping centre. For those in a hurry there are numerous fast food outlets waiting to have their wares sampled. For those in need of retail therapy there is the upmarket Galeria Kaufhof. Two Tall structures dominate the area these are the Fernsehturm and the Park Inn Hotel, but closer to earth are the world clock and friendship fountain.
Alexanderplatz is a central Berlin square based in the district of Mitte, boxed in by department stores, the new Alexa shopping complex, high-rise hotels and buses, trams and trains running all over the city. Formerly seen as the centre of East Berlin, the soviets built their famous TV tower in Alexanderplatz in 1965-69, which stands a lofty 368m above the streets below. A popular destination for tourists who want to shop, eat Bratwurst and get a feel for inner city Berlin. Alexanderplatz also offers a great orientation point from which to explore the city.
- Historical Travel
Alexanderplatz - Worth Visiting
A large square in the former East Berlin surrounded by high rise buildings. The morning we visited we caught the metro from Stadtmitte underground station for a quick ride to Alexanderplatz. The train arrived at the square and as we emerged from the underground we were greeted by a fairground atmosphere.
A very busy platz, colourful activities that would please both adults and children. Market stalls, food vendors plus the cheap German sausage in a bun.
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The Alexanderplatz, popularly known as Alex, is a square and traffic intersection in the eastern part of Berlin. Each day more than 300,000 people. The square is located in the Mitte district and named after Czar Alexander I. The fountain in the square is locally known meeting. Near the square is a major tourist attraction, namely the Fernsehturm (television tower).
In the GDR era, the square was artificially created center of East Berlin, with the square key government buildings and prestigious projects, including the Inter Hotel Stadt Berlin.
After the Wende, plans were developed for a complete renovation of the square, with most existing buildings would be demolished and replaced by new buildings. Disappointing economic growth did, however, that the plans were not carried out. Only the Kaufhof department store was drastically renovated but the facade to be pushed forward towards square was moved and southeast of the square rose the new shopping center Alexa. In the northeastern corner of the square was started in 2007 with the construction of a new kantoor-/winkelpand that the square should start giving more closed appearance.
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Worldtime Clock displays the time for various cities around the world. The clock face can incorporate multiple round analogue clocks with moving hands or multiple digital clocks with numeric readouts. The each clock is labelled with the name of a major city or time zone in the world. A moving circular map of the world rotating inside a stationary 24 hour dial ring.
Worldtime Clock was constructed in 1969.
House of Teachers
The House of Teachers (Haus des Lehrers) was once a feature of Alexanderplatz, but now sits behind a large new shopping centre built in front of it. The building is a classic example of Socialist Realism, and the work of master architect, Hermann Henselmann, who is also responsible for the grand gates of Frankfurter Tor, the City Hochhaus in Leipzig, and the Jen-Tower in Jena. Henselmann was a legend of East German architecture, and for me the Haus des Lehrers is one of his best (although he disowned Socialist Realism later in life as a childish fad).
Like many buildings of Socialist Realism, it is functional, efficient, angled and almost completely lacking in decoration, save the frieze that celebrates the work of teachers in the GDR. Behind the frieze is one of the largest libraries in Europe with over 650,000 books.
World Time Clock
The Weltzeituhr (World Time Clock) is one of my favourite, and most memorable sights in Berlin. It's very iconic of the eastern part of the city. Built in 1969 as part of the GDR's refurbishment of Alexanderplatz, it allows the time in any part of the world to be read. It rotates constantly, along with the solar system model above it. The whole clock weighs about 16 tonnes, and is about 10 meters high. It's a very popular meeting point, offering both a clear symbol to gather near, and a perfect shelter from rainy skies.
"The wide-open and empty space of Alexanderplatz is the focal point of East Berlin, and the subject of major remodeling by this part of the city's former Socialist masters. Der Alex was intended to be the showpiece of a utopian socialist republic, but in retrospect looks a little sorry for itself, and barely merits a mention in my 1100 page guide book to Germany. It was also the scene of the million strong demonstration that led to the tearing down of the wall in 1989, hence its iconic use in the opening titles of the wonderful film, "Goodbye, Lenin!" Personally I loved it, and found its sad reminders of former Stalinist glories quite endearing, but then again I'm a sucker for hard luck stories, and der Alex seemed like exactly that." - from my travelogue
Der Alex is all hustle and bustle, and has plenty of great places to eat, drink and shop. If you are on the east side, then you'll want to stop off here at some point, or you'll be missing out on a good part of what Berlin is, and was, all about. It also serves as a great starting point for a walk to the Brandenburg gate, taking you along the wide Under den Linden boulevard, across the elegant river Spree, past the nasty old Palast der Republik, and into Pariser Platz. Personally this was one of my favourite parts of Berlin, although it only gets a passing mention of a couple of sentences in my 1100 page Rough Guide to Germany. Der Alex also includes an impressive sight of its own, the unmissable, in many senses of the word, Fernsehturm.
Since I first visited in 2004 a brand new shopping centre has been added, blocking views from Alexanderplatz to the marvelously socialist House of Teachers.
Visiting Berlin do not miss Alexanderplatz - Alexander Square.
They say it was named in honor of the Russian czar Alexander I at the beginning of the 19th century.
I was very impressed by the modern buildings, "Weltzeituhr" - "World Clock" and stores, cafes and restaurants.
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