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Beyond the beaten track: Köpenick


As the weather gets better, we thought we would start a little series on the blog of places a little bit beyond the centre of town, that might make a nice day-trip and a chance to see a different side of our city and its surroundings. This blog comes from our Cwiki – a wonderful tool that is basically the Circus staff’s own guide to Berlin, including everything from bars and clubs to books, sports and, yes,day trips. So go check it out… and take a look at Köpenick as well.

The district of Köpenick in the southeast of Berlin was once a town in its own right, and it still has its own distinct feel. The Altstadt (Old Town), a walk or tram ride from the S-Bahn station, is still laid out according to the medieval town plan. The most prominent building is the Neo-Gothic town hall which actually has a pretty good restaurant in the basement serving heavy duty German food. It was built in 1901 and features a very impressive clock tower.

The statue of the gentleman (The Captain of Köpenick), which stands outside the main entrance, commemorates an incident that took place here. In 1906, an unemployed man called Voigt disguised himself as an army officer and commandeered a troop of soldiers. He then marched them to Köpenick Town Hall and, with their assistance, requisitioned the contents of the municipal safe. Having then ordered his detachment to take the mayor and accountant to the guardhouse, he promptly disappeared. Although he was soon caught the story was seized upon as an example of the Prussian propensity to blindly follow anyone in a uniform.

At the southern end of the Altstadt is a baroque Schloss, which was built back in the 17th Century and houses the Museum of Applied Arts, whilst a short walk away is the Kietz, a cobbled street of 13th Century fishing cottages. Next to Koepenick is the Mueggelsee, a really popular lake in the summer for swimming and general sun-worshipping. There is also an FKK (nudist) section for those that are that way inclined. Also on the southern side of the lake is the Mueggelsee Tower, the top of which offers outstanding views of the entire area.