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.
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.
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
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.
Only two metro stops from Amstel House Hostel it is an absolutely must go to our guests!
“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
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…
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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/
We all know that it was the video that killed the radio star. Vinyl, on the other hand, is made of harder stuff. At least in Moabit. Thanks to the small but neat shop in Oldenburgerstrasse, Vinyl in Tiergarten survives and we dare say flourishes.
Whether it’s the sentiment that brings you here or just sheer curiousity, both are going to be more than satisfied. The Vinyl selection is rich and rare but so is the CD one. Whether you come to sell or buy the enthusiastic staff is going to make you feel like this is where you belong.
The service ranges from simple sell and and purchase to fixing any problem you may come across with your favorite record. Meet VinylBerlin at Amstel House 100th anniversary event on the June 15th and stop by their market stand to see what the buzz is all about!
It’s definitely one of Berlin’s cultural highlights of the year. Celebrating its ethnic diversity since 1995, this event brings out into the streets people from all nations for a four day long playlist of live music, dance and great entertainment.
Berlin’s international population is booming. The estimated number of its citizens with a foreign passport is astounding 450.000 inhabitants. Out of the 3.5 millions, many have a mixed ethnical background.The political unification of the East and the West brought about changes. As a result of these mostly economical changes, social and cultural conflicts and differences started to become more and more apparent, creating tensions within Berlin’s blooming society. The biggest challenge of the newly formed communities was to merge but maintain – their cultural identity within the face of rising prejudices which became part of a public discussion at the time.Coincidentally, throughout this turbulent time period, Berlin found itself in the center of artistic attention – musicians streamed into the city contributing to its diverse flavor and richness and to its open-minded spirit.
The Carnival of Cultures has become an essential event to Berlin’s rich background variety and its growing communities. They see it as a challenge, as an open invitation to recognize the culture of their origin on an international platform while redefining their own views on their cultural identity. They must not be at odds as the Carnival attempts to prove every year. And we dare say succesfully.
It is quite a history. So we thought we would invite you for a little trip down the memory lane and let you check-in into Amstel some hundred years ago.
A city’s historical monument, constructed in 1913 to host young single men, the building became an important part of the growing Moabit neighborhood. Its original name was Haus Wichern, due the theologian and missionary Johann Hinrich Wichern, famous for his social commitment and work. The official opening, however, happened one year later in honor to the 25th anniversary of William II’s reign. The commemorative plate can still be seen in our backyard.
Designed by architect Otto Kohtz and coordinated by Emil Schütze, the project was considered really modern for its time. The benefits of light against the then common illnesses had just been discovered. Therefore the large windows of the lobby, which allow a wide input of light. Under the roof, at the last of five floors, there were baths, showers, a swimming pool and a roof garden, all quite unusual in the beginning of the last century.
The most impressive, however, was the facade, which remains exactly the same until the present days. Made by sculptor Georges Morin in Art Nouveau style, it recalls the Lüftlmalerei, an upper-Bavaria art form of mural paintings. The figures of the first floor represent the typical crafts of the Schlafgänger, a characteristic group of local workers of Bavaria that during the time of industrialization would pay a small fee to rent a bed for a few hours.
Hundred years have passed and although the history had completely changed the symbols in our bright yellow unique façade do not let us forget the origins. Since 2005 as Amstel House Hostel, backpackers and families from all around the world are daily hosted here for an affordable price. We particularly consider a luck having such a special building as our house and a great privilege to be able to offer such thing to our guests. We wish you a historical experience from the moment you wake up until you go back to bed.
To learn more on the history of the entire Moabit neighborhood and taste all its flavors, make sure to mark the 15the June 2013 in your travel itinerary!
Join Amstel House and be part of its 100th anniversary celebration event! Come along for the unforgettable trip down its history lane. A day filled with art and music perfomances, live entertainment and fun activities for kids and adults. Topped off with great food and drinks – June 15th 2013 is ours! Don’t miss it and book your bed now! We’ve heard the hundredths only happen once! Stay tuned!