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BUCHER FORST: NATURE-FILLED HAVEN FOR PEACEFUL WALKS THROUGH MEADOWS, WOODS AND MARSHES

BUCHER FORST: NATURE-FILLED HAVEN FOR PEACEFUL WALKS THROUGH MEADOWS, WOODS AND MARSHES

A lush oasis offering 1000 hectares of greenery to explore, Bucher Forst is home to woodlands, meadows, lakes and marshes all accessible via well-maintained, dog-friendly footpaths. The starting point for your countryside stroll is the town of Buch, 14km from Berlin’s center. This part of northern Pankow is known not for its nature, but its historic sanitoriums. Built between 1900 and 1920, the hospitals once made up one of the biggest medical sites in Europe and feature architecture from famed municipal planner Ludwig Hoffmann that survives to this day. A 20 minute walk from Berlin Buch station brings you to the forest’s main entrance – from there you can take any path you like for a short stroll or even an all-day hike through woodland that extends well into Brandenburg.

Part of Naturpark Barnim conservation area, Buch is home to 360 species of ferns and 66 species of breeding birds, and if you are lucky you might even spot highland cattle and Konik horses grazing the fields. For an alternative starting point, head straight from the village to the Bogensee lake (around 30 minutes on foot), which actually comprises three bodies of water that are home to water fowl, grey herons and, on summer evenings, bats. After some birdwatching on the viewing platform – where you will find a handy pictorial guide to the local ornithology – you can continue on a short loop around the lakes that brings you to the northern part of the forest where endless leafy footpaths await. Oh, and before you head back to the city, take a walk or drive past the former clinic buildings for a glimpse at Hoffmann’s majestic pavilions and columns. It’s the ideal way to wrap up a day of fresh air and tranquility.

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Savannah van der Niet

Bucher Forst can be reached by car or with the S2 to Berlin Buch.

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DISCOVERING THE ARCHITECTURE OF KREUZBERG WITH AUDIO WALKS FROM THE BERLINISCHE GALERIE

DISCOVERING THE ARCHITECTURE OF KREUZBERG WITH AUDIO WALKS FROM THE BERLINISCHE GALERIE

How did the buildings in East and West Berlin change in the years before the fall of the Wall? The Berlinische Galerie’s spring exhibition Anything goes? Berlin Architecture in the 1980s will answer just that. For a little taste of the show to come, the gallery has published three online audio tours featuring some of the most iconic architecture in Kreuzberg. Focused on buildings that were constructed for the 1987 International Architecture Exhibition, the hour-long tours provide an insight into the area’s history and reveal new discoveries for architectural connoisseurs and amateurs alike. The first route covers one of the city’s most playful buildings: New York architect John Hejduk’s complex on Charlottenstraße. Inspired by the masks of the Carnival of Venice, the balconies and awnings give the façade human features. The second audio tour leads from Admiralbrücke to Görlitzer Park – past the so-called “Wohnregal” by Peter Stürzebecher, which was planned and developed as a pioneering project together with residents. What the architectural expressions of the once-divided city have in common is shown by the third walk along Friedrichstraße, which connects buildings of the GDR to the FRG. 

Text: Laura Storfner / Photos: Merle Büttner

Audio walks from the Berlinische Galerie: Anything goes? Berlin Architecture in the 1980s, spring 2021 to 16.08.2021

Route 1, “IBA New – Around the Berlinische Galerie”
Start: Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map

Route 2, “IBA Old – Cautious Urban Renewal in Kreuzberg”
Start: Admiralbrücke, 10967 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map

Route 3, “Friedrichstraße. New Splendor for the Divided Boulevard”
Start: Mehringplatz, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map

@berlinischegalerie

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TIME OUT FROM THE CITY — A PEACEFUL WALK THROUGH THE CEMETERIES OF BERGMANNSTRASSE

TIME OUT FROM THE CITY — A PEACEFUL WALK THROUGH THE CEMETERIES OF BERGMANNSTRASSE

North of Tempelhofer Feld between the Kreuzberg hotspots of Südstern and Marheinekeplatz lies a hidden, sombre world: four adjoining cemeteries that provide not just a memorial to those lost but also a home to tranquil nature. Together the graveyards cover more than 20 hectares of heritage-protected gardens, offering the perfect space for a quiet, thoughtful walk that includes sculptures, gravestones and crypts. What awaits is a quite spectacular architectural journey, from classicism and historicism to art nouveau and modernism. Surrounded by statue-adorned stone walls, Friedhof Dreifaltigkeit II can be reached from the western side, from which a network of alleyways extends – unchanged since the site was laid out in 1811. Continuing on via the Friedrichswerderscher Friedhof II you reach the Friedhof Jerusalem IV, lined with charming avenues of aged linden trees.

Head towards the southern side you come across a quiet corner where a number of dilapidated mausoleums stand surrounded by cared-for but modest grounds. During your stroll through the paths and monuments, you might come across a few names you recognize – Martin Gropius is one of the figures buried at the site. Even in winter, the cemeteries teem with flora and fauna, and are thought to be one of the most species-rich green spaces in the area. It’s a place that offers a real sense of meditative relaxation – a thoughtful idyll in the middle of a hectic Kiez.

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Merle Büttner

Friedhof Dreifaltigkeit IIFriedrichswerderscher Friedhof II, and Friedhof Jerusalem IV are looked after by Der Evangelische Friedhofsverband Berlin Stadtmitte.

Daily 8–20h

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HULA HOOP ONLINE COURSES WITH MAMA ULITA FOR MINDFULNESS, CORE FITNESS AND FEMALE EMPOWERMENT — RECOMMENDED BY SHARON WELZEL

HULA HOOP ONLINE COURSES WITH MAMA ULITA FOR MINDFULNESS, CORE FITNESS AND FEMALE EMPOWERMENT — RECOMMENDED BY SHARON WELZEL

With more of us spending our days at home, it’s a great time to experiment with new forms of exercise. Enter the humble hula hoop. Usually considered an outdoor activity, hula-hooping is now flourishing in living rooms all over. Offering a taste of this trend are the hula hoop online courses run by Ulrike Biller aka Mama Ulita. Usually the Leipzig-based artist teaches hula hoop techniques at events and small training sessions, but with the pandemic she has shifted everything to Zoom – and it’s an amazingly fun place to practice! It is clear that Mama Ulita usually tours internationally as a burlesque dancer from her sensational energy: she is a great entertainer, extremely authentic and takes care of her students, giving plenty of devotion.

All you need to take part is three square meters of space around you, good lighting and a solid internet connection. Ulrike’s aim in her courses is not just to teach technique, but to work the body’s core and encourage mindfulness in a way that empowers women. The online hula hoop sessions are for all – from beginners to pros – and there is no pressure or expectations. I have already completed one course and am already looking forward to what’s next. At the start I could barely hold the ring up, but now I can already do a few little tricks and, most importantly, I’ve learned something new. Tip: It’s best to get a ring before the course and practice holding it up. Your hips will thank you!

Sharon Welzel is a Hamburg-based writer passionate about sustainability and innovation.

Text: Sharon Welzel / Photos: Karolina Grabowska, Mama Ulita & Nikolas Fabian Kammerer

Hula hoop online courses from Mama Ulita
On 05.02.2021 there will be a free taster sessionBeginners courses start this month.

@mama.ulita

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GUIDED AUDIO WALKS ON KARL-MARX-ALLEE: REDISCOVERING GDR ARCHITECTURE AND HISTORY

GUIDED AUDIO WALKS ON KARL-MARX-ALLEE: REDISCOVERING GDR ARCHITECTURE AND HISTORY

If Berlin’s east has a magnificent boulevard, then it is Karl-Marx-Allee. Its architect Hermann Henselmann created the imposing towers at Frankfurter Tor and Strausberger Platz that give the area its grand 1950s glamour. Today, there are hopes the boulevard will gain Unesco World Heritage status and so as part of the Art in Urban Space at Karl-Marx-Allee project the area around Kino International and Café Moskau will this year host four outdoor artworks starting this spring. Anton Steenbock and Peter Behrbohm plan to erect two sculptures based on the East German film “The Sons of the Great Bear”, while artists Michaela Schweiger, Ingeborg Lockemann and Inken Reinert are to create works inspired by the women of this former GDR neighborhood. Meanwhile, sculptures and works of art that once lined Karl-Marx-Allee are to be resurrected by Joachim Blank, Karl Heinz Jeron and Robert Sakrowski using augmented reality.

The outdoor exhibition series has already kicked off with radio shows which invite you on an audio walk through the neighborhood. In the first show (in German), cultural critic Thomas Flierl and conservator Georg Wasmuth talk about the architectural peculiarities of this East German showpiece street. They explain how the Allee has changed over the years while pointing to places which retain their GDR-era look. The pair focus on the details – the original ceramic tiles and geometric structural walls that you easily overlook in everyday life – letting you finally see your own city with brand new eyes.

Text: Laura Storfner / Photos: Merle Büttner

Kunst im Stadtraum on Karl-Marx-Allee, various installations and events running until autumn 2021, 10178 Berlin–Mitte and 10243 Berlin–Friedrichshain; map

“La Passante Écoutante (Listening and Walking) – Karl-Marx-Allee” is available on Mixcloud. The next show will be broadcast live on 16.02.2021 at 23h on Colaboradio and archived on Mixcloud.

@kisr_berlin

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