Schöneweide is known as an unimpressive neighborhood in East-Berlin, but it hides something that even many locals don’t know and which I only discovered because I recently moved here: the biggest historic industrial ground in Europe.
It all started in 1895 when Emil Rathenau built factories here to produce cables and accumulators for his new electricity company AEG. The area grew and soon transformed Berlin into an “Elektropolis”. In GDR times still thousands of people had a job in one of the electric 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 by renowned architects like Peter Behrens. They are under preservation order and partly used by the university HTW, start-ups and artists. I recommend to start your promenade at the S-station Schöneweide and walk towards the Spree, where you have a great view over the site from the pedestrian bridge Kaisersteg.
If you want to know more about this area, visit the lovely exhibition in the Industriesalon, which collects machines and memories from the old days.
Afterwards you can have a coffee in the small, cosy Café Schoeneweile which is situated in a former gatehouse or discover the beautiful architecture of the Peter-Behrens-Haus whose tower houses a coffee shop (access via the HTW campus entry on Wilhelminenhofstraße).
Unfortunately there is not yet a continuous walking path on the riverside but locals are campaigning for it!