GERMANY – The wall used to stand just a few hundred meters from my first address in Berlin, on the other side of the tracks at Schönholz S-Bahn station. The people whose apartment I lived in told me that the whole neighbourhood (including a good friend of mine, who was too young to remember it) went to hack pieces off the wall when it fell in 1989. So the railway tracks now separate two boroughs (Reinickendorf in the west and Pankow in the east) instead of two countries and political blocks. But Pankow remains very different from Reinickendorf, as you will see on these photos, which I took during my first explorations of the area.

Sunday in Suburban Pankow, 2018-01-14

I had already cycled through Pankow at night, but these pictures are of my first daytime venture into its suburban areas (in this case parts of the neighbourhoods of Niederschönhausen and Rosenthal), which in winter feel fascinatingly desolate.

This is not actually a cemetery, but a stonemason’s yard. You probably got the meaning of the gravestone on the left. The one on the right reads ‘here rest my debts’, with the logo of Berliner Sparkasse bank above:

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The car is actually a Trabant (the famous fiberglass car produced in
East-Germany) carved out of a block of stone:

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A lost currywurst stand:

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This area is mostly quite upmarket, but some streets are still in bad repair:

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There are also abandoned buildings here and there (there must have been a lot more 25 years ago):

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But, as you will also see later, there are also a lot of nice pre-war buildings in Pankow:

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A typical street:

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I think the combination of the trees, tramlines with the broken patchwork road have a certain charm:

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The former Zambian embassy to the G.D.R. near Schönholz station, one of many embassies in Pankow:

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Saturday in Suburban Pankow, 2018-01-27

Still in Niederschönhausen:

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The church of Mary Magdalene, which was completed in 1930:

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One of the few houses that still has the typical peeling G.D.R. look:

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Continuing my bike ride through an industrial area between Niederschönhausen and Französisch Buchholz:

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The sun went in specially to make this building look even more grey:

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I’ll end this tour with a few pictures of Berliner Strasse, the main road through Französisch Buchholz, which is lined with quite a lot of nice houses:

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Wilhemsruh on Ice, 2018-03-02

A few pictures the neighbourhood of Wilhelmsruh with sub-zero temperatures (I’ll show you more of this area in another post):

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Wilhemsruher See:

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Central Pankow

Now I will give you a quick impression of the part of Pankow that gave the borough its name, which is about one and a half kilometers east of
Schönholz. You can walk there through Schönholzer Heide, one of the many parks in the area:

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Rathaus Pankow, which was completed in 1903 (and enlarged in 1929-30):

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Pankow, which has one of the highest concentrations of pre-war buildings, has to be one of the nicest looking parts of Berlin. I’m not even showing you the highlights here (as I would in Reinickendorf), but rather the average streetscape:

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Mälzerei Pankow, a former malt house, which was completed in 1878, closed in 1945, and renovated between 2008 and 2011:

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That’s all for central Pankow for now (I’ll show you much more of it in a summer post), and I’ll finish this post with a few twilight shots.

In the Twilight Zone

This picture was actually made just over the border in Reinickendorf, in the industrial estate between Wilhelmsruh S-Bahn station and Alt-Reinickendorf:

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On the other side of Wilhelmsruh station (in Pankow):

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Schönholzer Heide Soviet War memorial, which looks like a smaller version of the one at Treptower Park:

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This entry was posted in Berlin, Germany, Pankow

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