The Story of Berlin’s Origin: Alt-Berlin & Cölln

Köllnischer Fischmarkt, 1886, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

At iHeartBerlin, we believe that living in your city makes much more fun once you get to know it a little. Why not go beyond mastering the most frequented routes leading to Mauerpark, Warschauer Strasse, or Berghain (well, at least to its gates), and find out something about Berlin’s origins? We’ve got quick facts you may impress your next Tinder date with. You never know.

The centre of today’s Berlin created by the connection of two separate cities, Alt-Berlin and Cölln. Their borders can still be roughly sketched in the heart of the map of Berlin. We dug out some pictures dating back to the turn of the 19th century that make the medieval subject much easier to grasp and at the same time, a lot more picturesque.

The Nikolaikirch alley, ca. 1885, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

View on River Spree between Cölln and Old Berlin. In the background lies Kurfürstenbrücke (“electors bridge”, now Rathausbrücke), ca 1883, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

Although the similarity of the name Cölln to today’s Neukölln is indeed quite striking, I need to set the matters straight for you. Turns out, Neukölln started out as a village called Rixdorf. The name was only changed to Neukölln in 1912.

That’s all the urban trivia for today – enjoy the pictures!

Petristraße looking south, in Berlin’s Cölln district. The area belongs to Fisher Island, ca 1880, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

The Spreekanal on the western side of Spree Island in Berlin. The bridge is the Gertraudenbrücke that connects Friedrichswerder and Cölln, ca 1880, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

View over River Spree on the backside of (southern) buildings in Poststraße, Old Berlin. On the right are the mills of Mühlendamm, in the background are the towers of St. Nicholas Church, ca 1880, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

Sechserbrücke (“sixpence bridge”) between Spree Island and Old Berlin, ca 1875, photo: F. Albert Schwartz


Buildings in Cantianstraße, on the north-east of Museum Island, Berlin (today in Mitte district), before 1903, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

The square Köllnischer Fischmarkt (“Cölln fish market”) in Berlin. The place is now on the crossing Breite Straße and Gertraudenstraße, 1886, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

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<a href="" target="_self">Michalina</a>