Hill Of Change
With historic buildings and popular parks, Prenzlauer Berg provides a stunning backdrop to a round of shopping. Annabelle Mallia set out with comfy shoes on and credit card in hand.
Historical Prenzlauer Berg: a stunning backdrop to a round of shopping.
W hen the Wall came down, the world discovered Prenzlauer Berg. Located on the border with former West Berlin, this neighborhood is fairly central, decently green, and, surprise surprise, most of it had been spared from WWII air raids – and what hadn’t went to create the 90-m-high hill that is now the Volkspark. Sure, the building facades looked abandoned and run-down at best, but the cost of living was so low and the old buildings so charming that artists, students, and squatters started moving there. Legend has it that on any night you could knock on the door of a stranger who was having a party and join in.
Twenty-five years have passed, and these students, artists, and squatters are now fully grown adults with office jobs or art galleries. A few years ago, when they all started having kids, some journalists began referring to Prenzlauer Berg as “pregnant hill.” Now those babies are schoolchildren, 99% of the facades have been renovated, and Prenzlauer Berg has become a mixture of hip, trendy stores, pleasant cafés, and a Tower of Babel of international languages.