Kreuzberg’s Moritzplatz at the end of the famous Oranienstraße was once a popular spot for strolling along. Unfortunately, first the war and then Berlin’s redevelopment policy during the 70s resulted in this area not far from the Berlin Wall losing most of its attractiveness. In addition, the actual geographical centre of Berlin was unable to profit from the changes taking place in Kreuzberg. Now, however, a new centre of creativity is emerging here in the form of the Aufbau Haus (Development Centre), the Prinzessinnengärten (Princesses’ Gardens) and numerous clubs and bars.
Art and culture in the Aufbau Haus
In 2011, the Berlin Aufbau publishers moved into the top two floors of the Aufbau Haus at Moritzplatz. Formerly the premises of the C. Bechstein Piano Factory, it is a home to various artistic, cultural and social facilities. Up to 2,000 visitors are expected daily to the 17,000 m² (180,000 ft²) area. The Aufbau publisher’s parent group company also operates the Theater Aufbau Kreuzberg (Development Theatre Kreuzberg – TAK). The theatre is staging themes of social relevance in the form of performances, book presentations and music from all over the world – all this in close collaboration with the recently formed Kai Dikhas Gallery. Also, a new annual festival is envisaged under the auspices of the TAK and the gallery: the “Kreuzberg Gypsy Festival – Festival for International Contemporary Roma Gypsy Culture”. The gallery is the only one of its kind in Western Europe to devote itself entirely to the international contemporary Sinti and Roma culture. Constantly changing exhibitions will reveal the young artistic proponents of this culture who have established themselves over the whole world.
Urban gardening in the Prinzessinnengärten
The Prinzessinnengärten in Prinzessinnenstraße at Moritzplatz have given rise to a lot of media excitement since their opening thanks to good usage concepts and numerous art cooperations – as was the case with the Hebbel am Ufer recently. The urban gardeners have created a 6,000 m² (65,000 ft²) space in an outsized vegetable and herbal garden, and the revenue from it will benefit the community. In this manner, children and young people in the densely populated Kreuzberg district will be able to develop a feeling for ecological and social agriculture. The project is open to patch sponsorships.
A working space for creativity – the Betahaus
Right next to the Prinzessinnengärten is the Betahaus , a so-called ‘coworking space’, i.e. a working space for digital and communicative workers. Since 2009 the house has provided space for 120 workplaces from the creative industry, including translators, programmers, journalists, bloggers, architects and designers. A workplace may be rented for one day or for a full month.
The “in“ Berliners in Ritter Butzke
The Ritter Butzke club with its legendary reputation is located in Ritterstraße. The club is a real phenomenon, for it has established itself in the Berliner scene despite completely dispensing with advertising. Newcomers to the multi-floor club will especially be taken aback by the actual size of the building. Electro and house music dominates here. The lucky guest will have the benefit of catching presenter Markus Kavka on the turntables for the “’in’ Berliners” series of events. If this article has aroused your interest to discover more about the boroughs of Berlin in general, then there are plenty of local neighbourhood stories available for you to read in our travel guide Going local, which you can order online here.