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Alexanderplatz

History – myth and presence


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Collage zum Film Berlin-Symphonie einer Großstadt
Cut-out of a collage to the movie "Berlin – Symphonie einer Großstadt"

Alexanderplatz was one of the most famous metropolitan places of the "Golden Twenties" as described by Alfred Döblin in his novel "Berlin Alexanderplatz", by Walter Ruttmann´s the film "Berlin, Symphonie einer Großstadt" or displayed in the modern urban planning by Martin Wagner in the 1920s.

Over the years many changes have taken place at Alexanderplatz. Yet it remains an essential part of Berlin´s cultural history and holds its place on the "mental map" of the Berliners and their visitors alike.

Verkehrsknoten Alex in den 1930er Jahren
Transport hub in the 1930s

It is not only the myth of Alexanderplatz, so called since 1805, that made the square so famous. In fact, the zeitgeist of each time has left its traces on it in very tangible ways and turned the square into a place of bustling economic life, upturn and change par excellence.

Already when the city was founded in the 13th century an old trading route ended here, which linked the former hanseatic town of Berlin to the Baltic region. In the centuries after the city´s foundation the site of the later square emerged as an important marketplace that changed its names and goods alike. Most popular were the "Ochsenmarkt" (oxenmarket) – later called "Viehmarkt am Stelzenkrug" – the "Wollmarkt" (woolmarket) and the "Wochenmarkt" (weekly market).

In the 19th and early 20th century, with its modern public transport system and trainstation, hotels, department stores and office blocks – Alexanderplatz became one of the vibrant centres of the rapidly growing metropolis of Berlin


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Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment
Württembergische Straße 6, 10707 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 90139-3000

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