The City Cycling challenge is a 3-week event that encourages Berliners to leave their cars at home, strap on their helmets, and cycle as much as they can. Participants join a “team,” and whichever team has cycled the most at the end of the challenge becomes the grand champion.
May 1 has traditionally been a very eventful day in Berlin. The Battle of Berlin reached its concluding stages in the first week of May, and in the 80s and 90s, Berlin’s Kreuzberg districts were scenes of heavy street fighting between police and left-wing demonstrators. These days, though, May 1 is best known for the family-friendly street festival in Kreuzberg.
One of the more dominant features of Berlin’s central skyline is a row of apartment towers running along the southern side of Leipziger Straße. The apartment towers, along with buildings running on the northern side of the street, were built as an ensemble by the DDR between 1969 and 1982 and are referred to as the Leipziger Straße Complex.
The Berliner Verbindungsbahn (the Berlin Connector Train) was built to connect 5 large train stations around the city. These train stations were built as so-called Kopfbahnhöfe, or Terminus Stations, meaning that trains rode in and out on the same track, and didn’t come in one end and out the other. This meant that it was super difficult to get from one train station to the other. The Berliner Verbindungsbahn was a street-level rail system that connected each of the 5 main stations. It was taken out of service with the completion of the Berliner Ringbahn, which is still in service today.
The Berliner Schloss (Berlin Palace) is a showpiece building at the center of Berlin. It was a Prussian royal residence for hundreds of years before being transformed for a few decades into the imperial residence during the German Empire. Erased from the map for 30 years after the Second World War, the Palace was the site of a DDR monolith in the 1970s and 1980s. The Berliner Schloss is enjoying yet another rebirth, this time as a museum honoring Berlin’s many connections to the world outside of Germany and Europe.
Rigaer Straße 94 has been squatted since 1990. Back then, it was one of dozens of similar squats throughout Berlin, and one of many in and around Rigaer Straße itself. Over the years, most of Berlin’s squats have been either legalized through rental contracts, or the residents have been forcibly removed.