Prenzlauer Berg is a locality of Berlin, in the borough of Pankow.
Until 2001, Prenzlauer Berg was a borough of Berlin; in that year it was included (together with the former borough Weißensee) in the borough of Pankow. After German reunification in 1990 Prenzlauer Berg became a centre for more bohemian Berlin youth, while more recently it has experienced gentrification.
Prenzlauer Berg is a portion of the Pankow district in northeast Berlin. On the west and southwest it borders Mitte, on the south Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, on the east Lichtenberg, and on the north Weißensee and Pankow. Geologically, the district lays entirely on the Barnim glacial deposit and borders from the southwest (to Mitte) on the Berlin glacier valley, which was formed in the Ice Age. The highest point of the district is 91 meters above sea level in the northwest of Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg. This mountain came into being after World War II as one of the debris piles after the gathering of rubble from the city center and the following rebuilding.
Countless pubs, restaurants, cafés, galleries and little shops create a day and nightlife atmosphere unrivalled in the rest of Berlin. Along with Schöneberg and Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg is a focal point of the Berlin art scene. Along with Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg it is also a popular neighbourhood with the student population.
Prenzlauer Berg is one of the most popular districts in Berlin, is one of Berlin’s prettiest neighbourhoods, still central, yet quieter than Berlin Mitte. Much of Prenzlauer Berg escaped damage in the second world war and post war redevelopment. Nowadays Prenzlauer Berg offers trendy shopping with many streetstyle fashion designers selling their wares in trendy boutiques.
Prenzlauer Berg has become famous for being one of the few places in Germany where there has actually been a baby boom in recent years. There is an abundance of playgrounds Helmholtzplatz, Kollwitzplatz, kitas (child daycare centers) and shops selling toys and second hand children’s clothing. However, the birthrate is not higher than elsewhere in Germany. Instead, the impression of a high number of children is based on the large percentage of people between 20 and 40 years who are potential parents of young children.
Prenzlauer Berg has recently become a popular area for the current wave of American and European immigrants into Berlin, many of whom are artists who have moved to Berlin in search of the cheap downtown apartments and studio space which are very hard to find in other capital cities and ‘centres for the arts’ like New York, London and Paris but which are abundant in Berlin. Conversations in English can often be heard in the street cafes along the Kastanienallee.
Kollwitzplatz and Helmholtzplatz have weekly street markets, and the former breweries Kulturbrauerei, Pfefferberg and Kastanienallee are the hot spots of interest.
Prenzlauer Berg was developed during the second half of the 19th century based on an urban planning design from 1862 by James Hobrecht, the so-called Hobrecht-Plan for Berlin. Envisioned as a working-class district, its tenement houses (in German: Mietskasernen) were mainly inhabited by intellectuals, artists, and students in the former German Democratic Republic. Since German reunification, Prenzlauer Berg’s urban apartment block structures have, for the most part, been renovated. This and rising property values have led to more affluent residents moving into some areas of the borough.