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Wörther Straße

Streets of Berlin: Wörther Straße

Located in the middle of Prenzlauerberg – one of Berlin’s hippest neighbourhoods – the Wörther Straße is easy to find, and offers a variety of diversions, yet does not usually get overly crowded. The street’s name harks back to the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71), during which the French town of Wörth briefly belonged to the Germans. It is squeezed in between Prenzlauerberg’s two main traffic arteries Schonhauserallee and Prenlauzerallee. On one end it borders on a Jewish cemetery. A bit further down, there is the triangular Kollwitzplatz, named in commemoration of Käthe Kollwitz, the printmaker and sculptor. Her main subject was depictions of the anguish of loss resulting from the horrors of war. Some of her most well-known prints are those of parents mourning children, a theme that came from the personal experience of having lost her son in the course of the First World War.

A statue of her in the Kollwitzplatz is made in a style similar to her own work, with sharp lines that simultaneously exude a perennial human suffering.

On Thursday and Saturday there is an ecological market in and around the little park where the environmentally-conscious, money-laden Prenz’lbergers go to buy their bio-vegetables and homemade lollies. At the weekend, the Kollwitzplatz is overrun by a congregation of young parents with their babies and toddlers.

Worther Strasse’s next highlight is at the Prenzlaurallee end; St. George’s English bookstore. As they advertise on their website it is a cozy place to peruse books in comfortable leather Chesterfield sofas. As might be expected, they carry a large selection of books about Berlin, both fiction and non-fiction (e.g. Doblin’s Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Peter Gay’s The Weimar Republic). Particularly in their new-books shelves one finds a noticeably large selection of leftist theory and philosophy, with the Frankfurt school being well-represented by Adorno and Benjamin. One of the biggest plusses of St. George’s is that it is Berlin’s only bookstore that also shows movies; or vice versa, the only cinema where one can buy books during the break. There are over one-hundred movie theatres in Berlin, but few have a program as well put together as St. George’s. Two thematically linked films are featured every Tuesday. The films are usually European, or non-Hollywood American (and they are subtitled, not, as is standard in Germany, dubbed). Many movie nights focus on Berlin, or otherwise around some obscure or noteworthy moment in film history. If you visit Berlin be sure to stop by St. George’s on film night. It’s free (after paying three Euro for the first drink), and a great way – through the special selection of books, movies and conversation – to spark further interest in Berlin.

St. George’s bookshop
0049 (0)30 81 798 333

Market at Kollwitzplatz
Open on Thursday from 12-20
Saturday from 9-16
0049(0)30 44 33 91 37
U-bahn (train): Senefelderplatz