Monday, April 29, 2013

Radial System III (Kreuzberg)

Walking down Berlin it might happend to rise the eyes and have a look to these elegant long-limbed chimneys made by red bricks which try to stay still on top of this everyday changing city, like silent traces of a great industrial past of Berlin. These structures were part of the old Abwasserpumpwerk (Water Pumping Stations).

With the rapid growth of population and industrialization of the second part of the 19th century, the healthy and sanitary contitions where going bad, so it was important to build a new water and sanitary system. The city was divided into 12 sectors, creating a Radial System, with a station for each sector, with the purpose to drain the water from the industrial use together with the private houses and the rain one.

Most of the structures have been destroyed by the two world wars, the surviving ones have been reused for commercial and cultural use (the Friedrichshain Radialsystem XII is still in use from 1861).

The Radial System III has been no longer used by the 70's and then it became a “Lapidarium”, an exhibition of sculputes and commemorations plates which were taken from the strees and put inside here to preserve them. With the time passing, the plates and the statues are back to their original locations and the Lapidarium is not still visitable, sold to a private agency.

All images are under CC Creative Commons (Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works), please refer to " darioj laganà | "

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Itinerary #6 - Treptower Park

It's hard to describe it as a Treptower itinerary or a Friedrichshain one, anyway I guess that the best was of doing it is absolutely by bike or at least enjoying half a day around the area.

You can start from Rummelsburg of from Treptower Park, depending if you like to stay in the nature in the beginning or relaxing in the end. From the Treptower Park side you can enjoy the park and go visiting the Sowjetisches Ehrenmal - Soviet War Memorial (7), the soviet cemetery which will surround you in a static climate, like if the time was  never passed in the last 50 years. Then you can have a visit to the Insel der Jugend - Isle of Youth (8)with its typical bridge and a nice bar to have a coffee or something to eat or to rent a kayak in summer time.
Going back more on the Kreuzberg side on Sunday you can spend some time snooping around the Arena Indoor Market - Flohmarkt (6) where you can find some funny oddities and rare things. When you're ready to go and you're not too full of gifts, you can walk and on the Schlesische Straße there's a big "Urban Void" where you can watch a really big graffiti by Blu. At corner with the Oberbaumbrücke (4), the two towers famous orange bricks bridge, symbol of Friedrichshain, it you can have a look to the Bonjour Tristesse (5) building. The building itself, built by the architect Alvaro Siza,  is not very nice, made of raw gray concrete, but the writing on the top is what make this building special and it deals well with the general atmosphere of this area. Going as you want to cross the bridge, on your right on the last two buildings you'll find other two graffiti by Blu.
It's now time to cross the bridge, then the S-Bahn bridge and finally turn right. It's a quite long way, but the great RAW Tempel (3) area is waiting for you. The name derives from Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk, because it was an area belonging to the Railways. Now it's full of activities from a skateboard hall to a climbing school and a lot of places to go dancing or listening music by night and on sunday you'll find here a very interesting flea market (but just in spring/summer season).
You can walk into the friendly district of F'hain for a bit more, leading Ostkreuz where you'll find its typical Wasserturm (the Water tower). From here, crossing the station and going to Rummelsburg, you can have a look at this very quite area, almost renovated and to the Knabenhäuser - Boys' houses (1), an orphanage on the river Sprea.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tank Division Base (Brandenburg)

These structures, together with the Wehrmacht & DDR Uniform Factory ones, were a camp of the Army Clothing Office in Brandenburg, built in the years 1939-1942 and used in 1941-1945 by the German Army for the production and storage of Army uniforms and accessories.

In the Russian time the base served as base for a Tank Division as we've found a paint at the entrance of a barrack (a normal habit) with a soldier, the tank on the side and the CA on the shoulder (the abbreviation CA identifies the Soviet Army and was present on shoulders of most enlisted personnel).

This particular base is made by a very long and huge central building, interconnected with another smaller one by an elevated concrete tunnel (built after). In the attic of the buildings there ware gyms (another common habit of russian bases) with basketball camp, a boxe sack and a pair of gym shoes. On the wall the names of the painted names of military sport associations and mottos.

All images are under CC Creative Commons (Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works), please refer to " darioj laganà | "