Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Berlin: Prenzlauer Berg cemetery photos

Two young people - Emily and Joe - living in Berlin write the new blog, Briefe und Zeitungen.

The first post I discovered was dated December 14. In Berlin itself of course is the largest J├╝discher Friedhof (Jewish cemetery) in Europe, in the northern Weissensee neighborhood.

However, Emily and Joe visited the smaller cemetery in Prenzlauer Berg, south of Weissensee, which was in use until the early 20th century. Their photographs are beautiful.

The cemetery had reached capacity well before the war, and was no longer used in part due to a statewide effort to move all burial grounds away from densely populated areas. It is in some ways, therefore, primordial: moss is growing on many of the headstones, some of which are so faded and weathered as to resemble soft, permeable sandstone. Reading the once careful, condensed inscriptions on these stones is no longer possible. The trees are starting to sag, their bark cracking and peeling, their roots reaching up through the ordered cobblestones. Ivy dominates all natural surfaces. In this way it resembles many other ancient, overflowing cemeteries scattered across all of Europe and the western world. At the same time, however, this natural decay was once savagely disrupted. Headstones and other markers, columns and pillars, have been knocked over, and some remain neatly but unapologetically stacked in adjoining pathways. One can only imagine their untimely and violent overthrow. ...

The text also mentions some restoration work that appears to have been done.

Scrolling down, in the entry dated Friday, December 12, I also found their visit to the Maybachufer Turkish Market recorded in text and colorful photos. This market takes place from 11am-7pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, on the Landwehrkanal between Kottbusser Damm and Hobrechtstrasse.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for introducing us to Emily and Joe's blog. If the excerpt is any indication, it will be a joy to read their posts.