Schöneberg has a character all its own, as well as a fascinating and diverse history. It has been home to world famous intellectuals and artists such as Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, David Bowie and Iggy Pop and has evolved over the centuries from a small village to become an inner city haven for the middle to upper class of society.
The leafy neighbourhoods that sit between Viktoria Luise Platz and Bayerischer Platz showcase the finest buildings produced towards the end of the Prussian era, known as the Bavarian Quarter. Wonderful examples of pre and post war architecture can be seen along Martin Luther Strasse, with damaged buildings retained and restored where possible and newer architecture evident where buildings were destroyed during WWII.
The elegant Schöneberg Town Hall is a great stop for history buffs, as the site of US President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 speech, where he passionately announced America’s support for West Berlin to a crowd of thousands. A more sombre time in history is also remembered in Schöneberg with more than 16,000 Jews deported to concentration camps from the streets around Münchener Strasse alone.
Schöneberg will be familiar to cabaret aficionados as the area around Nollendorfplatz was home to those who made 'the roaring 20's' come to life. Many of the city’s most bourgeois residents lived here and it's where the idea of Christoper Isherwood’s beloved ‘Cabaret’ star Sally Bowles was born. Feathers and sequins metaphorically lined the streets during those days and today it is still a colorful and liberated place to live with much of the city’s LGBQT population calling it home.
Schöneberg’s great local landmark is the towering frame of the gasometer. At almost 100 metres tall it dominates the local skyline and its form provides a historical reminder of days gone by as well as a striking inspiration for present day architecture nearby. Local shopping in Schöneberg is a delight with the best of fresh regional produce at Winterfeldplatz weekend market and the finest of the world’s food, fashion, homewares and accessories at the historic KaDeWe, the largest department store in Europe.
Schöneberg may not be one of Berlin’s most talked about areas but it is certainly its most graceful and unassuming, with plenty of surprises for those who take the time to visit.