PrenzlauerBerg 01
Urbanization of the Prenzlauer Berg

Wwhen pedaling up Prenzlauer Alle by bike, you can feel that things are going up – only ten to 15 meters from the Berlin Urstromtal up to the edge of the Barnim Platte- but that is enough for that little bit more of wind.

This was the reason why in the 18th century the largest concentration of windmills in the Berlin area was built on this elevation. The elevation itself is a product of glacial melting at the end of the most recent ice age about 10,000 years ago.

At the time of the painting’s creation around 1800, there was still no talk of industrialization, but power machines such as mills were becoming more and more necessary. In Berlin, several of them had even been placed on the former ramparts of the old fortress, which had become militarily worthless.

King Frederick -the Great- had also pushed ahead with modernisation in this respect. In his time the largest concentration of Berlin windmills was built on the hill in front of the Prenzlauer Tor.

Berlin map 1863

Around 1850, brew Master Wagner acquires the property at Windmühlenberg. The pub of the brewery is oriented towards Schönhauser Allee, which at that time offered an unspoilt view of Berlin.

1872 the “Brauerei Königstadt AG” and the “Aktienbauverein Königstadt” are founded. Streets around the site are terraced and plots of land are sold in small lots. Two years later the area has become urbanized.

The Berlin Social Democrats celebrate their victory in 1880 in constituency V at the Königsstadt brewery.

In 1921 the brewery of Königstadt AG is sold to the Kind’l Brewery and already in 1925 the bar hall is converted into the premiere cinema of Ufa. The area is used in small parts by different trades.

koenignigstadt marken2

During the Second World War, part of the cellar complex is converted into an air-raid shelter. In other parts electrical components for the V-weapons and wood carburetor systems for cars are produced. The display side facing Schönhauser Alle is largely destroyed.

During the times of the GDR, the site was used between 1949 and 1990 by the motor pool of the State Security Service and the VEB Möbelproduktion.

In 2012 the Platoon Kunsthalle opens in a container building in the gap between the remaining buildings and contributes to the cultural revival of the neighbourhood until 2017.