From the bridle path to the boulevard
"Kudamm" is the most popular place for going on a stroll in Berlin.
The 3,5 km long boulevard goes all the way from Breitscheidplatz in Charlottenburg, where the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is located, to the Rathenauplatz in Grunewald, where the villa district of the western part of Berlin begins.
Round Breitscheidplatz, on the other hand, there are numerous boutiques, shops and businesses. In quiet side streets such as Fasanenstraße, which is the most prestigious shopping area in Berlin, many fine boutiques and cafes are located in magnificent buildings dating all the way back to the end of the nineteenth century.
Kurfürstendamm was built round 1542, serving at first as a causeway going from the city palace to the Grunewald hunting lodge and later on it served as a bridle path for the Elector Joachim II. The oldest evidence for the existence of the unnamed riding path is the “Plan géométral de Berlin et des environs” drawn up in 1685 by the engineer La Vigne.
In 1886, however, this road was completely removed and thus it was possible to begin developing a boulevard. In the twenties, “Kudamm” became a meeting place for intellectuals. A lot of theatres, cafes and nightclubs opened up here, including the "marble house" of the Berlin Film Palace, which was created in 1913.
Kurfürstendamm still remains today the boulevard par excellence in Berlin. During the past several years, numerous new buildings have emerged. In 2001, for instance, the new Kranzlereck opened. The Kudamm Corner at the Joachimsthaler Straße juncture, an eyesore from the 1960`s, was demolished and redeveloped.
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