The Berlin square over in Alexanderplatz was hugely popular with visiting tourists during the nineteenth century. The square was named after Emperor Alexander the First, a Russian emperor who visited Berlin in 1805. In its peak, The Berlin Square was one of the biggest squares in the world. And as such, it would regularly pull in vast numbers of visitors, who were all keen to soak up that traditional Berlin atmosphere. Nowadays however, it has been slowly out shone by bigger and bigger city squares.
Alexanderplatz Square, in East Berlin, is still one of the largest social squares in the city, and is considered by many locals to be the jewel of the crown for the district of Mitte.
Known by the locals simply as ‘Alex’, the square first started off as a simple cattle market, where cows roamed the square and were bought and sold. Today however, you can expect to see hundreds and hundreds of people traveling through Alexanderplatz. The square itself has now been transformed in to one of Berlin's main transport hubs. The hustle and bustle of the thousands of commuters and travelers, who pass through the square each day, makes for an exciting glimpse towards a new side of Berlin. This is a side which many tourists simply will not get to see.
The square was made into the busy transport hub that it is today, predominately through the arrival of the tram in the 1960’s, which can just about get you from one side of Berlin to the other.
Alexanderplatz became even more famous and celebrated through the construction of the Stadtbahn train station, which, like the trams, helped get Alexanderplatz square on the map in Berlin, as it was one of only 20 stations way back then in the 19th Century.
However Alexanderplatz wasn’t just a transport hub. In the 1920s it was the nightlife capital of Berlin! And this busy and vibrant drinking hotspot, right in the heart of the trendy Mitte district, actually inspired the book, turned film “Berlin Alexanderplatz”.
During the 1960’s it underwent one of its many redevelopment schemes, which bought about the arrival of the world clock, renowned for keeping the world times to the exact second. These redevelopments also saw the introduction of the second tallest structure in Europe “the Fernsehturn”, and the turning of the square into a pedestrian zone – a controversial move at the time, but one that has had a hugely positive impact on the level of tourist interest in the square.
Alexanderplatz’s constant regeneration plans soon meant that it became more and more important to the city of Berlin. The renovated tramline, the construction of the Kaufhof shopping mall and most noticeably the construction of the biggest underground train station in Berlin, means that more and more people, both tourists and locals alike, are now beginning to utilize the square to its full potential.
The square however is not the only thing to be seen in that area. The ‘fountain of friendship between peoples’ is situated just next door and has got to be worth a visit while you are in the Mitte area. The fountain is a truly magnificent feature to behold. So too, is the ex-government building Rotes Rathaus, otherwise known as the Red City, which is situated just a couple of minutes’ walk from the square. Alexanderplatz square is a definite place to visit if you go to Berlin, with 200 plus stores surrounding it and a transport system to die for.