Berlin 16: Around the Spree

I took a few more pictures, mainly of the Spree Canal and the River Spree as we walked around Fischerinsel and made our way back towards the flat. Above is Grünstrassenbrücke.

This is I think the view towards Roßstraßenbrücke from Grünstraßenbrücke, originally the site of another early wooden bascule bridge across the Spree Canal with a 7m wide opening for boats, certainly present in the 18th century. In 1904-5 the rather delicate lifting bridge then in place was replaced by a solid stone bridge designed by Berlin architect Richard Wolffenstein and decorated with reliefs by sculptor Ernst Westphal. The bridge was blown up by the the  German Wehrmacht in 1945, and reconstructed by the East Berlin authorities in 1951, with further restoration after unification in 1994-5.

Along the bank of the Spree Canal is Märkisches Ufer, rebuilt by the East German regime in the 1960s using various buildings from elsewhere in the city.

At right is the Ermelerhaus on Märkisches Ufer, orignally built in the 17th century at Breite Strasse but taken down and rebuilt here in the 1960s. It was named after Ferdinand-Wilhelm Ermeler, the co-founder of the tobacco industry in Berlin, who purchased the house in 1824.  The building at centre has the dates 1740 and 1969 above the door and was taken down and rebuilt here from the Friedrichsgracht. The rather ornate building at left dates from 1890, and has an interesting doorway supported by two young topless maidens (they are also bottomless, as their bodies end around waist level); it once housed a bath house.

I think this is a school building on Fischerinsel.

The moorings here at Märkisches Ufer houuse a collection of historic vessels.

Lions beside the Spree outside a cafe on Spreeufer.

The Spree and Berlin Cathedral from Spreeufer.

This large and impressive statue of St George slaying the Dragon by August Kiss was made for the courtyard of the  Hof des Stadtschlosses in 1853; when the East German government demolished this in the 1950s it was moved  to the Volkspark Friedrichshain. It is now on the banks of the Spree in the recreated Nikolai quarter. It went missing in 2010, taken away for extensive restoration at a cost of 120,000 € and had only recently been returned to its plinth (with a 3-day festival) when I took a series of pictures.

The Kurfürstenhaus (Prince-elector’s House) on Spreeufer is the home of the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (German Business Foundation.) It was built in 1895 to 1896 for wool merchant Gustav Ebell by architect Carl Gause.

Elector Johann Sigismund (1572-1619), Elector of Brandenburg from 1608 to 1619, fled to this site from the Berlin Palace convinced that the ‘White Woman’ announcing death haunted his castle; he died here a few days later.  The figure in the picture is thought to be his wife, Duchess Anna of Prussia and Jülich-Cleves-Berg, apparently a temperamental and strong-willed woman who undermined his reputation by throwing plates at glasses at his head when he was drunk.

Our walks around Berlin continue in later posts.

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