A charming Neighbor

In the last two years our neighbourhood Moabit has been experiencing an interesting transformation with the arrival of artists and establishments dedicated to art. The ZK/U – center for art and urbanistics is certainly one of the most interesting ones.

ZKU

In an amazing space with an overall footprint of 2000sqm they are located in a former railway depot on the edges of Berlin‘s largest inland port. The outcome of a concept developed by the Berlin-based artists’ collective KUNSTrePUBLIK it is a lively hub for the transport of ideas and ideals in the post-industrial era.

zku

They offer 2-8 months of artistic residencies for art production at the interface of urban research and the development and work of these artists can be seen in public events in collective presentation.

Tamdem/Shami Final Event 2013 - Foto: Mitost

Tamdem/Shami Final Event 2013 – Foto: Mitost

Until October they feature every Friday the Speisekino Moabit, which shows movies for free and serves a menu for 5 € going along with it. Also in the programm is a jazz-jam seasons happening every second weekend.  

Moabit Speisekino

Moabit Speisekino

Only two metro stops from Amstel House Hostel it is an absolutely must go to our guests!

Siemensstrasse 27-49

http://www.zku-berlin.org/

 

 

 

Where does Berlin come from – Part I

“The greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine”, said David Bowie about Berlin in the 1970s. Although that city, heart of the Cold War, might not exist any more, its greatest and unimaginably cultural extravaganza is as alive now as then – and as it seems to have always been. During its seven centuries, the turbulent and multiple existence of Berlin went through drastic transformations, for the good and for the bad. There’s one aspect however that despite all changes remains through time along its fascinating history: a diverse cultural spirit of vanguard and love for bohemia and arts.

At the reign of Frederick II (1740-1772), an enthusiastic for music, arts and literature, Berlin became a center of the Age of Reason. Guided by Enlightenment ideas, it was a time of great cultural movements and sociopolitical reforms. Later, in the beginning of the 19th century and oddly during the stagnation after Napoleon’s invasion, an intellectual boom floured cafés and salons, attracting thinkers such as Hegel and Ranke. About the same time the already heading Industrial Revolution started showing sings of its astonishing transformation in the World and, in a special manner, in Berlin.

Berlin in 1846

Berlin in 1846

In the early new century, with the construction of more than 1000 factories, the then capital of Prussia became a center of technology, a symbol of modern metropolis and international city. The population expanded dramatically and outlying suburbs including Wedding and Moabit were incorporated. Popular culture evolved in parallel. In the music scene there has been a huge number of ballads about life in Berlin, like the famous “Das ist die Berliner Luft”(That’s the Berlin air”) from Paul Lincke.

To be continued…

Street Art in Berlin

Berlin is famous for its kilometres of an exuberant street art. The strong local scene attracts artists from all around, many of them worldwide known. Here some of the most famous pictures to be seen.

By Vrubel

The most-popular painting of the East Side Gallery The Kiss was first paint in 1990 right after the Wall Fall. Made by the Russian artists Dmitri Vladimirovich Vrubel it is a close-up of the two communists leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing, inspired by the real kiss they had in 1979 during the celebration of the 30 years of the DDR.

By Blu

By Blu

By Blu

Blu is an Italian artist with many famous and huge works around Berlin. On many occasions between 2006 and 2009 he worked in the city, mostly in the alternative neighbourhood Kreuzberg. The first one above was a co-working with the French photographer J-R.

By Os Gêmeos

By Os gemeos / the Twins

By Os gemeos / the Twins

Born in São Paulo Os Gêmeos (in Portuguese The Twins) are the best known graffiti artists in Brazil. The identical brothers consider Berlin their favorite city in Europe and left their mark on a big wall near the subway station Schlesischer Straße.

By Ash

The Astronaut by Ash

The Astronaut by Ash

The French Ash belongs to the first wave of street artists in Europe. He participated to the Backjumps exhibition in Berlin where he realized the work called astronaut / cosmonaut on a wall of a typical Kreuzberg building in the centre of Berlin.

Teufelsberg – the Devil’s Mountain

The Teufelsberg – in German Devil’s Mountain – is one of the highest hills in Berlin. More than a great view and intriguing scenery this place owns a very unique story. It all begins with the fact that all its 115 meters high are actually artificial – a heaped up of the World War II rubble. This war garbage hills are actually quite common in Germany, but Teufelsberg  buried a quite particularly bizarre leftover junk: the never completed Nazi military-technical college (Wehrtechnische Fakultät) designed by Albert Speer, the first architecture of the third Reich. After the war the Allies tried using explosives to demolish the school, but it was so sturdy that covering it with debris turned out to be easier. Plant with greenery the Teufelsberg has been since then the highest hill in West Berlin.

1939-ca.-Wehrtechnische-Fakultaet-klein

But that’s not it. Thereafter, during the cold war, the US National Security Agency (NSA) built one of its largest listening stations on top of the hill, which proved to be the best vantage point for listening to Soviet, East German, and other Warsaw Pact nation’s military traffic. The station operate until the fall of the Berlin Wall. The equipment was then removed, but its weird structured stayed.

During the crazy 90’s in Berlin the abandoned and eccentric construction inspired the youth, which transformed the place with street art and turned it into a point for clandestine parties. Nowadays, almost always guarded by security guards, the place is still worth visiting, both for the nature that surrounds it as for the its uncommon picture.

 

Photographer: Kay Wiegand - www.wie-gand.com

Photographer: Kay Wiegand – www.wie-gand.com

 

Amstel House is a cheap hostel and the perfect place to start this and other adventures in Berlin. Take a look in our website www.amstelhouse.de

Top 5 outdoor swimming in Berlin

1- Badeschiff

The Badeschiff is a popular swimming pool in Kreuzberg that floats over the river Spree. It was created as a city’s art project and has an incredible atmosphere. Besides the pool and the white sand beach, the provide a bar, sauna, hammock and sometimes even DJs.

2- Schlachtensee

Schlachtensee is a lake in the south west of Berlin on the edge of the Grunewald forest. The nature around, the transparent water and the long extension of this lake with several swimming areas makes anyone think they are really in holidays.

3- Plotzensee

The Plötzensee is beautiful swimming lake located in the heart of the city. The complex offers large sunbathing area, water slide, beach slide, restaurant, playground, nude area, table tennis, football field, rope wall 20m high, trampolines, and beach volleyball facility. Beach chairs, sun loungers, deck chairs and umbrellas can be rent.

4- Krumme Lanke

This isolated lake has two bathing spots, one of theme used for nudism. A path running along the edge of the lake is also popular with joggers and walkers.

5- Freibad Jungfernheide

Spend your holiday in Berlin! Only ten minutes from the Kurfürstendamm and right at the hard of west Berlin, this lake is a small paradise.

HANFPARADE BERLIN 2013

poster-hanfparade-2013-350

On Saturday, the 10th of August 2013 the Hanfparade Berlin 2013 will march for the 17th time to demonstrate for the change in the policy on Cannabis. The event starts at 13h at Bahnhof Zoo and will end at Brandenburg Tor with live music, Hanf market and talk.

If you are not from Berlin, are in the mood the join them and is looking for a place to stay, take a look in the Amstel House Hostel. We are only 5 minutes from the starting point Zoo and we offer great accommodation for the best price in town.

More information for the Hanfparade you an find here http://www.hanfparade.de/