Berlin’s history left a lot of marks on the city and most of this marks can be seen in the city architecture. From the Kingdom of Prussia to the Soviets, a lot of people had ambitious projects in the german capital and they left this city with a pretty unique visual.
For us at Fotostrasse, one of the most interesting sides of Berlin is the old East German architecture that you find in areas like Friedrichshain, Mitte and Treptow. Because of that, we decided to write about some of these amazing and unique places that you can only find where East Berlin used to be.
Take your bike or walk from one place to another and you will see a Berlin that most visitors don’t even know about.
Karl Marx Allee – Europe’s last great street
Karl-Marx-Allee is a beautiful and monumental boulevard that crosses Friedrichshain and Mitte. It was built between 1952 and 1960 as a socialist boulevard in GDR times and it was first named Stalinallee. But today the boulevard is named after Karl Marx.
Start your short tour of East Berlin here. Walking or cycling through this boulevard is like a time travel experience that brings us pictures of what the Soviet Union looked like. Some of the beautiful eight-storey buildings designed in the wedding-cake style still have the old GDR signs on top!
A great time to visit this street is during the end of the day. On one direction, you can see the Fernsehturm and, on the other, you can see two towers over the crossing between Karl Marx Allee and Warschauer Strasse.
Elsenbrücke and the old Osthafen from East Berlin
Before you cross from Friedrichshain to Treptow, you need to cross the Elsenbrücke. Close to it, you will find the old Osthafen, the former industrial harbor on the Spree. Built in 1913, this old harbor is not used anymore and here is where you are going to go to walk and see Berlin from an unexpected place.
After walking around the old harbor, cross the Elsenbrücke looking into the right side. This is where you are going to see one of the best panoramic views of this city. From the bridge you can see the Molecule Man, the Oberbaumbrücke, most of the old harbor and, far away in the distance, the Fernsehturm is spying on you.
The Soviet War Memorial on Treptower Park
Crossing the Spree, you have to follow the road into the big Treptower Park. This is where you are going to see the biggest soviet war memorial outside of the former Soviet Union. It is hard to talk about Berlin without mentioning its dark past but we can show you the beauty that developed from this history.
And this is one of the many reasons why you need to visit the Soviet Memorial on Treptower Park. The monument is one of the three Soviet memorials built in Berlin after the end of the Second World War. But, from all those three, this is the most beautiful one and, normally, it is left out of most tourist maps.