Schöneweide is unfairly known as an unimpressive neighborhood in East Berlin, but it hides something that even many Berliners don’t know and which I only discovered because I recently moved here: one of the biggest historic industrial grounds in Europe.
It all started in 1897 when Emil Rathenau built factories here to produce power, cables and cars for his new electricity company AEG. The area grew extremely fast and soon transformed into an “Elektropolis”. In GDR times 25,000 people had a job in one of the plants here, but soon after 1990 the sales decreased and the production stopped.
Today you can enjoy a stroll between the yellow brick buildings built in Wilhelminian and Modern style. They are under preservation order and partly used by the university HTW, startups and artists. I recommend you start your promenade at the S-Bahn station Schöneweide and walk over the pedestrian bridge Kaisersteg, where you have a great view.
If you want to know more about this area, visit the lovely exhibition in the Industriesalon, a museum which collects machines and memories from the old days. They also offer walking tours through the area with a climb to the highest tower.
Afterwards you can have a coffee in Café Schöneweile or in the stylish Kranhaus Café (check my Kranhaus Café article here). You can also visit the co-working space KAOS or discover the beautiful architecture of the Peter-Behrens-Bau.
Unfortunately there is not yet a continuous walking path on the riverside but locals are campaigning for it!