These days Prenzlauer Berg is synonymous with yuppies and yummy mummies. This district though was once home to the working class, then punks in the GDR; later becoming a haven for artists and “urban pioneers” when the wall finally fell. A generation later and those punks and artists today have become the establishment. Rock clubs have given way to organic supermarkets, squats replaced with luxury living and raucous gay clubs replaced with third-wave coffee shops.
But for many the iconic water tower near Kollwitzplatz stands as the de facto symbol of the district – signifying how the neighborhood’s historic industrial character has been repurposed for modern use. The lovely brick tower is actually part of a larger, mostly underground complex. The largest brick tower, which originally contained both flats for the workers and an elevated water tank, was constructed in 1875. Today the water tower’s pie-shaped flats are still occupied. Adjacent to the water tower is a small hill concealing the empty reservoir which in summer hosts art installations and cultural events. On either side of the hill, staircases and a ramp offer access to one of Berlin’s loveliest parks which offers great views of the surrounding neighborhood and the city’s other iconic tower – the Fernsehturm.
The park is a great spot for a picnic, pick up supplies at any of the nearby cafes. The kids will love the playground at street level – I especially recommend the trampolines. Or bring ping-pong paddles for an impromptu outdoor game.