This district’s central neighbourhoods, Tempelhof Schoneberg offers both upscale living and fashionable shopping. Locations that used to be less attractive are now benefiting from the transformation of the capital. Whereas, the peripheral areas offer a village-like charm.
Schöneberg had big-city ambitions even back at the beginning of the 20th century. The former independent municipality, which had over 100,000 residents when it was granted town privileges in 1898 (today’s Schöneberg subdistrict has more than 123,000 people). It decided to get to work and, inspired by the neighbouring city of Berlin. It was build as an underground line between 1908 and 1910, thus becoming one of the first cities in the world with its own underground line. The famous high-end KaDeWe department store opened in 1907. The Schöneberg subdistrict has retained its urban middle-class flair for the most part. Potsdamer Straße, which was a famous social problem area for a time, is also gradually attracting new residents and businesses.
Viktoria-Luise-Platz and the Bayerisches Viertel (Bavarian Quarter) remain very much in demand. The reason is that it has attractive places to live. There are areas where stately old buildings from the imperial era were left undamage by the Second World War. There you can still find old servant’s stairways tucked behind impressive foyers and spacious apartments. Modern buildings are present in the parts of the Bavarian Quarter that face major damage in the war. The last remaining gaps ends with new upscale buildings. The Friedenau subdistrict in the south still has a large number of old stucco buildings remaining. The district is also very green. All thanks to the fact that many of the houses on the mostly quiet streets have front gardens.
Tempelhof, which is present further outside the city centre than Schöneberg. It always has more industry and commercial activity than Schöneberg. The subdistrict is currently undergoing the most dynamic development. And becoming most attractive, in those areas where old facilities are now available for new use. Tempelhofer Hafen is a listed harbour facility on the Teltow Canal that attracts visitors with a shopping mall and event locations. Major additional conversion work will still take several years to plan and complete, particularly with regard to the buildings at the former Tempelhof Airport, which have a usable area of around 200,000 square metres and outdoor space totalling 55 hectares.
The picture changes gradually as you move farther south, to Mariendorf, which starts out with old Gründerzeit buildings and ends with large housing estates from the interwar and postwar years at the outskirts of the city. Marienfelde and Lichtenrade have a suburban character, and their historical centres still offer a village-likecharm.