Waterfront living on the banks of the River Spree
A pint of beer and a simple meal – that was what the fishermen were given in return for their catch which, according to tradition, they handed over to the priest. It was 24 August, St. Bartholomew's Day, the day on which the closed season for fishing ended every year. This is how the tradition of the Stralau Fish Parade began back in the 16th century, developing 300 years later into a public festival attracting 70,000 visitors. That's until it was banned in 1873 – because of fighting, drinking and orgiastic behaviour.
Since then, things have quietened down a bit on Stralau peninsula, also known as the 'appendix' of Berlin. At the end of the 19th century, a number of industrial sites sprang up here, including carpet, bottle and palm kernel oil factories, breweries and boatyards. But these all closed down a long time ago and most of them have been demolished.
Since the start of the new millennium, Stralau has been converted into a waterfront development with offices and attractive residential blocks. A riverside path, sections of which already exist, will run around the entire peninsula and the Rummelsburger See lake. On this path lies the oldest building on the island: Stralau village church, which was dedicated in 1464 and houses the remains of some Gothic stained glass. The church steeple was damaged several times by storms and lightning and leans about five degrees to the side. The church opens its doors to visitors between May and August on Sundays from 11a.m. until 3p.m. Extended opening hours as well as guided tours upon request.
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