Alexanderplatz, Berlin

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Alexanderplatz, Berlin-Mitte

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  • Alexanderplatz
    by JuliaMac
  • Alexanderplatz
    by JuliaMac
  • Alexanderplatz
    by JuliaMac
  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    The heart of East Berlin

    by toonsarah Written Jun 17, 2011

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    Weltzeituhr and Fernsehturm, Alexanderplatz
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    Like Potsdamer Platz, Alexanderplatz was a hub of the city’s nightlife when Berlin was in its heyday in the 1920s, and like it was badly damaged by Allied bombing raids during the Second World War. But unlike its counterpart to the west, Alexanderplatz lay entirely in one sector, the East, so was rebuilt and redeveloped after the war by the German Democratic Republic government. It became something of a showcase of Soviet-style city planning and was consequently one of the places we made sure to visit on our one day in East Berlin back in 1985.

    The centre of the square seems little changed today, although since reunification many of buildings around it have been modernised and new ones have been built, notably a large shopping mall, Alexa. We didn’t check that out, but did have a short stroll around the square itself to relive memories of that earlier visit.

    On both occasions it was a pretty lively place. Last time we were here that was mainly due to the large number of people passing through, and many others lingering here to meet friends by the Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft ("Fountain of Friendship between Peoples"). This is the rather ugly but much loved centre-piece of the square; it is a protected monument and was renovated in 2002.

    This time round it was a Saturday morning, and we found the square preparing for some sort of fair/exhibition, apparently promoting holidays in the countryside. There were animal pens created with bales of hay, displays of tents and other camping equipment, lots of “fresh from the farm” food stalls ... all a little incongruous in such an urban setting. We left the locals to enjoy all of this and instead headed over to the other iconic monument, the Weltzeituhr (World Time Clock). This shows the names of a number of foreign cities in different time zones. It too has been restored since our last visit (in 1997) and now includes a number of cities that were originally left out for political reasons were added, namely Jerusalem, St. Petersburg and Cape Town. On top of the clock is a model of the solar system.

    Right next to Alexanderplatz, and indelibly associated with it, is the Fernsehturm or TV Tower. This is the second tallest structure in Europe and can be seen from all over the city. When the sun shines it is reflected from the windows near the top in the shape of a cross (see photo 4). In the days of the Cold War and East/West division this effect was nicknamed “the Pope’s revenge” – the Soviet regime might have done its best to stamp out Christianity (and all religions), but the Pope had a way of making sure the Christian symbol could still be seen everywhere in East Berlin.

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    Wandering The City #17 - The City Centre?

    by johngayton Updated Apr 7, 2011

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    Alex S-Bahn Station

    Even though Alexanderplatz (known locally simply as Alex) isn't in the physical centre of the city it feels as though it should be the de facto City Centre. This is where tourist Berlin and the day-to-day Berliner's Berlin inhabit the same space. The shoppers shop, the commuters commute, the drunks drink, the punks pose and intermingled with it all are us tourists taking our pics.

    The TV Tower and the Park Inn Hotel are landmarks visible from miles away and several of the other buildings have distinctive presences but to my mind it is the hulking pragmatic S-bahn station which defines the square and its surrounding area. This, along with its less visible U-bahn station, is the hub of the city's public transport system through which much of the city's urban rapid transit passes heading to and from all quarters.

    As well as the S and U-bahn lines the station also serves several regional train services and immediately adjacent are the interchange stops for city-wide tram lines and buses.

    Thus over the course of time everybody and their dog eventually passes through here, some merely in transit, others to hang awhile on the square itself or in the shops, bars and restaurants.

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    Alexanderplatz

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Alexanderplatz
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    Alexanderplatz is a vast square and was the former East Berlin's main commercial hub. It is called 'Alex' by the locals and was one of the most vibrant parts of Berlin prior to the second World War.

    At the centre of Alexanderplatz stands the Weltzeituhr (world time clock) and the - impossible to miss - TV Tower.

    You can also see the Marienkirche, Berlins second oldest church, built in 1270 though extensively remodelled in the 15th century. The small steel cross on the churches spire can sometimes be seen reflected in the TV Tower, which used to cause upset for the East German government.

    Nearby is the Neptunbrunnen - Neptune Fountain - built in 1891-95. The fountain depicts the sea god Neptune, surrounded by four female figures which symbolise 4 German rivers.

    By now you will have noticed the Rotes Rathaus, Berlins town hall, which was built between 1861-69. It is home to the Governing Mayor and Senate. It is nicknamed 'Red Town Hall' due to the colour of the bricks used in its construction, nothing to do with its socialist past.

    If the weather is fine, why not perch on the edge of the fountain and watch the world go by for a while.

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    Alexanderplatz

    by mindcrime Written Aug 16, 2010

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    walkin around Alexanderplatz
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    Alexander I was the tsar of Russia, so when he visited Berlin in 1805 they gave his name to the square to honor him.

    Alexanderplatz is dominated by the station with the same name and the Fernsehturm, the high TV tower. It used to be the main hub at former East Berlin and still is one of the main square of the city.

    Every Sunday there is a flee market while you can always see street artists, musicians etc

    We spend some time while waiting for some friends near the World Clock (pic 2) where you see the current time in all the time zones of the earth. It was built in 1969 and its big enough (10m high and 16 tons weight!). Check for your hometown. On top you can see a simple model of the solar system!

    The clock was always a popular meeting point.

    The surrounded area is full of shops, trams, buses and traffic, a lot of traffic….

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    Alex

    by lina112 Written Apr 16, 2010

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    Alexanderplatz is the square named to honour Alexander I, Tsar of Russia, on his visit to Berlin in 1805. It gained a prominent role in the late 19th century with the construction of the station of the same name and a nearby public market, becoming a major commercial center. It is surrounded by several notable structures including the Fernsehturm (TV Tower), the second tallest structure in Europe.

    Originalmente un mercado de venta de ganado, recibió su nombre en honor de una visita a Berlín del zar Alejandro I de Rusia, el 25 de octubre de 1805. A fines del siglo XIX la plaza cobró importancia como centro comercial con la construcción de una estación de metro del mismo nombre y un mercado. La plaza, llamada simplemente Alex por los berlineses, oficia también de centro de trasbordo de pasajeros. Está rodeada por varios edificios y estructuras de envergadura, como el Fernsehturm, la torre de televisión más alta de la Unión Europea.

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  • Indoor Flohmarkt in Alexanderplatz

    by sundayextraordinaire Written Dec 27, 2009

    Hello!

    In Alexanderplatz, basically on the foot of the TV Tower, you can find the .HBC, former Hungarian cultural center, now arty space.
    Every sunday, there's a very special fleamarket with designers, second hand items, gracious food and famous glühwein.
    There's a selection of DJs and live shows. It's inside and the place is lovely.

    It's a little hidden, so you have to find the stairs on the Karl-Liebknecht str. 9 and follow them to the first floor.
    See you there!

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    Alexander platz

    by mvtouring Written Nov 1, 2008

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    Alexanderplatz is a vast square and was the former East Berlin's main commercial hub. It is called 'Alex' by the locals and was one of the most vibrant parts of Berlin prior to the second World War.

    At the centre of Alexanderplatz stands the Weltzeituhr (world time clock) and the - impossible to miss - TV Tower.

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    A bit of tourist trap... but still good to check o

    by Bela_LUng Written Jul 13, 2008

    Alexanderplatz is a large area surrounded by shops and stores. But as you make your way towards the Reichstag and Brandenburg gate area, you will encounter some giant museums, church's, as well as more shops. I chose this as
    my start point for a walk I took to wards the Reichstag, and then into the Tiergarden.

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    Alexanderplatz

    by deeper_blue Written Jul 7, 2008

    This is the main square in East Berlin, most of the buildings were destroyed in the war, and many of the buildings were rebuilt in Soviet style. You won't have a problem finding the square, just look for the imposing television tower.

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    World Time Clock

    by darkjedi Updated Jun 4, 2008

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    A Broken World Time Clock

    The World Time Clock is one of the Alexanderplatz's most well-known features. It was constructed in 1969 as part of the square's redevelopment and has become a popular meeting point.

    Weighing 16 tonnes and 10 metres tall, it features a revolving cylinder with the world's 24 time zones bearing the names of major cities in each zone. The mechanism constructed in a way which enables the current time in each zone to be read.

    The clock is topped by a simplified model of the solar system, which revolves once a minute. Unfortunately the day I visited Alexanderplatz the clock was broken, showing the wrong time and not moving . Sigh!!

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    Beer festival

    by wavyhorses Written May 5, 2008

    The first weekend in August there is a beer festival. 2km long with hundreds of bars selling beers you have never heard of. Also there are many live music stages and fun to be had the whole day. It is on Karl-Marks Allee so the location is worth a look in its own right.

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    ALEXANDERPLATZ- THE CENTRE POINT OF BERLIN

    by kmohandas Updated May 3, 2008

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    ALEXANDERPLATZ
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    Alexanderplatz is the centre point of Berlin city. Many of the famous attractions of Berlin can be covered by foot from here. The original name of this place was Oxen Market. This was named as Alexanderplatz in 1805 after visit of the then Russian Tsar Alexander to this city. The main attractions as you come out of the metrostation at Alexanderplatz are tthe tall TV Tower, Red Town Hall building, Neptune fountain, statue of Marx & Engel etc. There are lot of eating joints just outside the metro station. The Hop On Hop Off buses can be boarded from here.

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    Der Alex.....ist nichts ausser ein Platz :(

    by seasonedveteran Updated Apr 12, 2008

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    Berliner Dom!
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    It was cold, daylight had run out, it was even snowing... and i dragged my friends to Alexander Platz on our first night in germany, and we were very disappointed. We saw the base of the tower, bought a hotdog from a poor guy withstanding the heat of the grill on his very own portable BBQ attached to his belly. lol! There is a very nice cafe and complex at the metro stop, but Alexander platz right now anyway, is largely an empty square with little to show.

    Of course, you must go to the top of the TV Tower and get your moneyshots of the great city

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    The former Architecture of Alexanderplatz

    by Kakapo2 Updated Oct 2, 2007

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    Colourful propaganda facade of the East.

    A lot of buildings have been demolished around Alex after the reunification but you can still see the character of the 1960s architecture. Ugly concrete skyscrapers adorned by even interesting facades with colourful painted scenes of socialist life. A very propaganda-like look.

    But I must admit, I liked it on my revisit, as it reminded me of the time long gone by, and the days when we succeeded to smuggle pocket calculators and Led Zeppelin LP’s into the East, and queued in front of the bookshops on Alex to spend our East-Marks we were forced to exchange on entering GDR, and everything was so cheap that spending the money was really a problem if you did not want to have lunch three times within an hour ;-)

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    A big Building Site for quite a While

    by Kakapo2 Updated Oct 2, 2007

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    There is still a lot to do at Alexanderplatz.
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    When we visited in August 2007 the square was a huge building site, with fences, cranes, diggers and ditches everywhere. You could already imagine that some day also this monumental square will get new life.

    Quite good examples of reviving Alexanderplatz are the huge renovated department stores Kaufhof and C&A, the latter now being in the former Berolinahaus.

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