Schöneberg: the populous district of Berlin
Schöneberg is a district of Berlin adjacent to the city centre. The middle class lives here. Formerly an independent city, Schöneberg became a district of Greater Berlin in 1920. The administrative reform carried out in 2001 merged the districts of Tempelhof and Schöneberg into a single district of Tempelhof-Schöneberg.
Completion in: 2024.III Total of 219 apartments
Total area 50 m² 1 bedroom
Total area 50 m² 1 bedroom
Total area 66 m² 1 bedroom
Total area 46 m² 1 bedroom
Total area 43 m² 1 bedroom
Total area 115 m² 3 bedrooms
Total area 85 m² 2 bedrooms
Monastic lands. The first mention of Schöneberg dates back to 1264, when Margrave Otto III donated land in the village of Schöneberg to the women's monastery in Spandau. The centre of the settlement was formed by today's Hauptstraße, Dominicusstraße and Akazienstraße.
Prussian-Bohemian village. In 1750, Frederick the Great allowed Bohemian weavers to establish the neighbouring village of New Schöneberg (Neu-Schöneberg) despite the dissatisfaction of the inhabitants of Old Schöneberg. The new village stretched from today's Hauptstraße to Grunewaldstraße. In 1760, during the Seven Years' War, Schöneberg was completely burned down during the capture of Berlin by Russian and Austrian troops. After the war, there was a rapprochement between the German and Bohemian inhabitants. However, Old and New Schöneberg merged into one community only in 1874.
In the middle of the 19th century, Schöneberg was already close to Berlin, as the German capital was growing rapidly. In 1861, King William I decided to annex the area from Potsdamer Straße to Berlin as the district of Schöneberg Vorstadt.
An independent city. After the German Empire’s formation in 1871, Schöneberg's population began to grow fast. There were less than 5,000 inhabitants in Schöneberg in 1871, almost 96,000 — in 1900, and over 175,000 — in 1919. For this reason, Schöneberg received city status in 1898.
Wilde's projects: the town hall, park and metro. At the beginning of the 20th century, under the leadership of Burgomaster Rudolph Wilde, preparatory work began for the town hall’s construction. Soil from the Schöneberg metro was used to drain the swamp near the construction site.
In 1910, Schöneberg became the second city in Germany (after Berlin) to have an underground metro. The Schöneberg metro consisted of five stations: Nollendorfplatz, Victoria-Louise-Platz, Bavarian Square, Schöneberg Town Hall and Innsbruck Square. Today, these stations are included in the U4 line of the Berlin metro.
In 1914, the construction of the town hall was completed; two years earlier, the city park was also opened. All these projects started under Rudolph Wilde and were completed after his death by his followers. The square in front of the town hall was named Rudolph-Wilde-Platz after the former burgomaster, who did so much for the city.
Berlin Administration and Radio America. During the Second World War, the northern and western parts of Schöneberg were damaged the most: a third of the houses were destroyed. After the war, Schöneberg became a part of the American zone of occupation. Schöneberg's town hall housed the Senate of Berlin and the Berlin Chamber of Deputies until 1991, when the united Berlin’s administration returned to the Red Town Hall (Rotes Rathaus) in Mitte. Starting from 1946, the Radio Station in the American Sector was broadcasting from Schöneberg, which had a serious influence on the mood in the GDR.
“I am a Berliner.” In 1963, American president John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin, and on 26 June, on the square in front of the town hall, he delivered his historic speech “I am a Berliner” (Ich bin ein Berliner). Kennedy expressed solidarity and support for West Berliners after the GDR built the Berlin Wall. In honour of this event, Rudolph-Wilde-Platz was renamed as John-F.-Kennedy-Platz. At the same time, the park in Schöneberg was named Rudolph Wilde Park.
- Bayerisches Viertel — an elite Bavarian quarter. The streets here are named after Bavarian cities.
- Rote Insel — the Red Island, the birthplace of Marlene Dietrich.
- Südgelände is famous for its extensive park.
- Lindenhof is located outside the ring road.
Schöneberg’s town hall (Rathaus Schöneberg)
The Rathaus was built in 1914. After the war, from 1948 until the reunification of Germany, the town hall was the seat of the burgomaster and the Senate of West Berlin. The Chamber of Deputies also met here. Before the city reform in 2001, the district administration of Schöneberg was located here.
The memorial plaque on the Rathaus reminds of John F. Kennedy’s speech on the square in front of the building, when he said his famous words: “I am a Berliner.”
Heinrich von Kleist Park (Kleistpark)
The history of the park begins in 1679 with the decree of Frederick William I of Brandenburg to lay out an orchard and a vegetable garden near the Schöneberg village. From here fruits and vegetables came to the court table. In 1801, a 7.5-hectare plot of land was converted into a botanical garden with an extensive tropical greenhouse.
In the 20th century, the plant collection was moved to the Dahlem region, and the area itself began to be built up. In 1909, a cycle track was opened here and motorcycle races were held. The endeavour was short-lived: there was an accident, which claimed the lives of several people. As a result, the track was demolished and a city park was opened in its place.
The royal colonnade, previously installed on Alexanderplatz, was moved to the park. It was designed by the architect Carl von Gontard back in 1777 to decorate the bridge connecting the royal palace with the rest of Berlin.
By 1911, the shaping of the park’s landscape had been completed. The park was named Kleistpark in honour of the centenary of the death of Heinrich von Kleist, a famous poet and playwright.
Berlin’s Judicial Chamber (Kammergericht)
The Judicial Chamber (or Kammergericht in German) is a historic name. Basically, it is the Supreme Court of Berlin. The monumental Neo-Baroque court building was built in 1913 with six floors and 540 rooms. The court library alone occupied four floors and the bookshelves were 7 kilometres long.
It was here that in 1944 the participants of the 20 July Plot, who planned the assassination attempt on Hitler, were tried. The building survived during the war and was not seriously damaged. After the war, the Supreme Court building in Kleistpark housed the Allied Control Council. From 8 May 1945 until the formation of the FRG and the GDR in 1949, the Control Council was the supreme authority over all of Germany.
After the reunification of Germany, the Supreme Court of Berlin was again relocated here. In 1993, the court building was recognized as an architectural monument and carefully restored.
Interesting fact: there are two bronze sculptures in front of the Chamber’s main entrance. These are the Horse Tamers, designed by the Russian sculptor Peter Klodt, presented by Nicholas I to his brother-in-law Frederick William IV on the occasion of the anniversary of his accession to the Prussian throne in 1840. These are the exact copies of the sculptures that adorn the Anichkov Bridge in St. Petersburg. Not only the sculptures themselves have been preserved, but also the original bronze plaques with dedicatory inscriptions.
The Cecilien Gardens (Ceciliengärten)
Established in the 1920s, the Ceciliengärten quarter to this day fascinates people with its gardens and fountains. Cherry blossoms in April and May give an area a romantic feel. The quarter is named after the charming Princess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the wife of the Prussian Crown Prince William and the great-granddaughter of the Russian Emperor Nicholas I.
Ceciliengärten is a prestigious quarter where government officials and employees live. This is a garden city, where life is calm and cosy, tucked away from the noise and stress of the big city. An idyllic place filled with lilacs and rosebushes.
The KaDeWe department store (Kaufhaus des Westens)
Kaufhaus des Westens (the Trade House of the West) or simply KaDeWe is the most prestigious shopping centre in Berlin, which is on a par with Harrods in London and Galeries Lafayette in Paris. It is perhaps the most famous department store in Germany with a hundred years of history and first-class service.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a Berlin businessman Adolf Jandor, whose company A. Jandorf & Co already owned seven trading houses, opened a new store on Wittenbergplatz. The department store catered to the needs of the elite and offered luxury goods.
In 1943, an American plane crashed into KaDeWe; subsequently, the roof and upper part of the building were destroyed. The restoration work began in 1950 under the guidance of the architect Hans Soll. In the summer of 1950, the first floor of the building was restored and opened to the public. On that day, about 180,000 people came to visit the legendary KaDeWe. In 1956, all seven floors of the department store were completely restored. Around that time, the famous deli department of KaDeWe was opened.
The department store originally had an area of 24,000 square metres, but after the expansion and modernization it now reaches 60,000 square metres. About 2,000 employees work here. Shop assistants undergo additional training in rhetoric, business basics and product presentation.
KaDeWe offers the finest luxury goods: noble fabrics, stylish home accessories, selective perfumes, luxury watches, famous fashion houses’ clothing, designer handbags and shoes. In short, this is a place of haute couture.
The department store is famous for its grandiose deli section on the sixth floor. The richest assortment includes 35,000 types of products from all over the world. For this reason, the deli even got into the Guinness Book of Records.
The Nollendorf Square (Nollendorfplatz)
The Nollendorf square was founded in 1862. It was named in honour of the battle near Kulm and Nollendorf in Bohemia in 1813, when Russian-Prussian-Austrian troops defeated an army of one of Napoleon's generals.
Nollendorfplatz, or Nolli as Berliners call it, is known as the main gay quarter of the city. The area received this fame back in the “golden twenties”. Many bars, clubs, cafes and shops here are focused on the homosexual public. Since 1993, the annual Motzstraßenfest gay pride parade has been held in Nollendorf in June.