Wedding is perhaps the best example of historic Berlin, having managed so far to largely escape the gentrification sweeping many of the city’s more central neighbourhoods. Today Wedding is home to students, artists, low-income families and foreigners.
Wedding is one of Berlin’s most ethnically diverse areas with almost half of its community coming from parts of Asia and the Middle East - word on the street is that the best Korean food in Berlin can be found in Wedding. A range of bohemian style cafes and arts venues have also started to appear across the neighbourhood, reflecting the diverse mix of socio-economic groups and races. A burgeoning artistic community is making its mark with many small galleries and artist spaces opening too.
Early Prussian architecture dominates, with many buildings that survived the destruction of the war still standing and many of them surprisingly, still using coal as their primary heating source! These contrast strikingly with the UNESCO listed Modernism Housing Estates in Schillerpark – a post war architectural response to communities in crisis. Simple cost effective apartments where designed to house large numbers of people in a short period of time but still provide a reasonable standard of living with privacy and access to natural light. The crossover of historical structures might seem like a clash of aesthetic ideals, however the distinct difference between architectural styles provides much of the distinct character to Wedding’s streetscape.
Wedding was part of the French sector after WWII and as the wall was being built in the early 1960’s, some of the Berlin Wall’s most tragic and most inspiring stories came from the actions of Wedding residents. Refugees throughout various times of crisis have used Wedding as an ideal entry point and old tunnels can still be found as evidence of this.
Wedding’s natural attractions are a big drawcard for many city residents with almost a quarter of the suburb made up of parklands. The idyllic Plötzensee lake is also a popular destination not just for locals but for many Berliners. Wedding offers a tranquil escape along with the gritty urban reality of Berlin - the one that hasn’t been polished by and for the tourists - and exploring it is well worth the effort.