kreuzberg is a beautiful [and in my estimation large] neighborhood in berlin. it’s in the west, but it’s not fancy like moabit or charlottenburg. during the days of the wall, it was the poorest section of the west. it was enclosed on three sides by the wall, making it a less desirable place to live. even now, it’s one of the poorer neighborhoods in central berlin. as of 2006 32% of people who live in the neighborhood didn’t have germany citizenship. a lot of turks, which means a lot of good döner kabop.

“kreuz” means “cross” and “berg” means mountain. cross mountain. a good laugh can be had at the expense of berlin though, because this “mountain” stands at a whopping 217 feet high. berlin is a flat place. [nice for lazy biking after 3.5 years in san francisco.]

a few nights ago after a dinner of mustafas and some delicious ice cream, we decided to attack the mountain that is victoria park.

IMG_1310 IMG_1312  IMG_1314IMG_1316church at the top.  IMG_1317 the city laid out before us. IMG_1318IMG_1320the actual kreutz.

IMG_1319everyone wants green eyes.

IMG_1321twilight revelers.

IMG_1298a different church, down the mountain, but still in the neighborhood. IMG_1300 with all the buildings around, it’s easy to forget that berlin was the royal hunting grounds. this street is named “baerwaldstraße” “bear forest street” IMG_1308kreutzberg was largely destroyed in februray of 1945 in one nights bombing, so most of the buildings are post-war. one can only imagine the casualties. kreutzberg was the most densely populated part of the city with 155,000 people per square mile. it was also a factory hub of the city. the poorest workers who couldn’t afford to live in less crowded conditions lived there.  IMG_1309fertig.