History on the peninsula Stralau

Though it is situated right next to the busy transit hub of Ostkreuz station, the Stralau neighborhood is altogether unfamiliar to many residents of Berlin. People have lived in Stralau since a very early time. Archaeological finds date back to the Neolithic Age. Remnants of human settlements from the Germanic period to the early Middle Ages have also been documented. The first official mention of the village “Stralow” appears in the 13th century.

From the 18th until the early 20th century, the village, then inhabited by eleven families of fishermen, served as a popular destination for fun, nature, and respite for nearby city-dwellers. The illustrator and photographer Heinrich Zille, the novelist and poet Theodor Fontane, and a young Karl Marx were just some of the prominent visitors to the fishing village back then.

Beginning in the middle of the 19th century, industry made a home in Stralau: for instance, the Stralau Glassworks or the palm kernel oil factory of Rengert & Co, whose buildings are still somewhat intact to this day. Even after both world wars, Stralau remained an industrial site in the GDR. Only with the reunification of Germany did this change, as one factory after the next was forced to close due to drastic economic change. Many inhabitants of Stralau also moved away. With the creation of spacious residential developments the peninsula became attractive to young families. Thus the borough was again transformed: from an industrial site to a calm, residential area. In the course of all these changes over the history of the Stralau peninsula, the town church, dedicated in 1464, has remained Stralau‘s lasting landmark.

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