The Prinzessinnengarten
Prinzessinnenstraße 15 , 10996 Berlin

At first sight the Prinzessinnengarten (German for ‘princessgarden’) isn’t easy to spot. Actually, it’s quite easy to walk past the relatively small entrance, which is located at a busy roundpoint in the middle of one of Berlin’s hippest districts Kreuzberg. Only a pink sign stating ‘Prinzessinnengarten’ may lead you to look a second time and maybe have a quick peek behind the metal plated fence.

©Maarten Ketelaar

The garden lot is a well sized 6000 squaremeters consisting of a great variety of plants, trees, small art projects, bee containers, and even a working place where bicycles can be repaired. In 2009 a few inhabitants of Kreuzberg rented the lot from ‘Liegentschaftfonds Berlin’, the owner of the surface area. Since then it has been open for everyone who wants to participate in the gardening project, wants to learn more about gardening, or even for those who want to meet new people from their neighbourhood.

©Maarten Ketelaar

When I walked into the garden, a communal atmosphere was to be felt right away. Since it was lunch time, groups of people were sitting at picknick tables, eating their lunch and talking to one another. I saw an older women with a headscarf talking to a younger girl with brightly pink dyed hair. ‘Is this then the multi-cultural garden of eden?’ I thought by myself for a second. Maybe, but a self-councious one at least: in 2012 a snake in the form of an investment company came sneaking by, offering a large sum of money to the official owner of the lot. Through an open letter to the senate and the help and autographs of almost 30.000 Berliners, the planned privatisation was backlashed and the garden could remain open. Hurrah! Let´s hope the Prinzessinnengarden can stay open for a great number of years to come.

 

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