What you need to know about Marzahn-Hellersdorf
Marzahn-Hellersdorf’s Kienberg hill has a stunning view of the generous landscaped park with the Gardens of the World, across the green Wuhletal valley to the urban housing estates, and on to the Brandenburg countryside in the distance. If you prefer a bird’s-eye perspective, the new cable car ride over one and half kilometres from Kienberg hill to the Gardens of the World offers spectacular views of the borough’s many green spaces.
Marzahn-Hellersdorf has changed considerably over the last few years – with the International Garden Show (IGA) Berlin 2017 as a major highlight. For the IGA, the Gardens of the World park has been enlarged to 100 hectares, twice its normal size, to create an impressive panorama of garden design and green spaces nearly ten times the size of Berlin’s Museum Island!
High-rises and romantic windmills
The Marzahn district has an unmistakable skyline, characterised by uniform high-rise residential blocks. These prefabricated concrete-slab tower blocks date from the years of East Germany. For the GDR, at times of housing shortages, this development was an exemplary large-scale residential estate – providing around 100,000 new apartments by the late 1970s. Now, in many places, Marzahn’s rather dreary grey tower blocks have been given a makeover with bright splashes of colour – as you can see most famously down on the Allee der Kosmonauten boulevard. The 18-floor Flower Tower façade with its colourful landscape motifs by a group of French artists is now ranked as Europe’s highest art work of this type. Not far away, there’s another surprise in store – the old village of Alt-Marzahn, solidly unimpressed by the surrounding high-rises. The village, which dates back to the Middle Ages, comprises cobbled streets, a charming church, a working windmill and animal farm – and, of course, a central village green under tall, ancient trees.
Berlin's neighbourhoods at a glance
Unusual cultural locations
In Marzahn-Hellersdorf, the arts are often at home in venues at historic sites – as in the case of Biesdorf Palace. Constructed in 1868, this country house in its beautiful park grounds has been recently renovated and its rooms now showcase exciting, international art exhibitions. To explore impressive nineteenth-century furniture and complete interiors, the fascinating Gründerzeit Museum in the 200-year-old Mahlsdorf Manor House is an absolute must. The charming brick-built buildings of the Alte Börse – Marzahn’s old cattle exchange – have now been converted into an arts centre. This is not just a location for cultural events, readings and concerts, with workshops for artists and artisans, but also houses the Braustube Marzahn with its hearty food, craft beer, and live music.