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Alexanderplatz

Alexanderplatz

Alexanderplatz is the busiest square in central eastern Berlin. Known just as "Alex" by Berliners, it is not one of Berlin's most attractive locations, but is nevertheless an important commercial district and transport hub.

A woolmarket on Berlin's Alexanderplatz in 1830
Alexanderplatz in 1830
It marks the eastern periphery of Berlin's central district, and lies just outside of the original city walls (no longer in existence). It was originally a cattlemarket (known as Ochsenmark, Oxen Market), around which by the end of the 17th century a small but vibrant settlement known as Georgenvorstadt developed. In 1805 it was officially named Alexanderplatz on the occasion of a visit to Berlin by Russian Czar Alexander I to Berlin on 25 October 1805.

Kaufhaus Tietz, Alexanderplatz, Berlin
The pre-war Kaufhaus Tietz
During the 19th century, as Berlin grew outwards, the Alex became an increasingly important commercial district, and the opening of Alexanderplatz station in 1882 following the construction of the Stadtbahn railway line (and a nearby market hall served by the new railway) further cemented its popularity.