If you ask Berliners or tourists the answer to this question will surely be – “na in Mitte at Alexanderplatz”. But is this really the center of Berlin?
The historical center of Berlin is said to have originally been located on Spittelmarkt. The post mile column near Spittelmarkt was decreed in 1730 as a milestone for calculating distances.
If you look at the kilometer markings when driving to Berlin, you could easily assume that they point to the center of Berlin. Here, however, the intersection of Leipziger and Seydelstrasse is indicated. Since 1991, this has been the measuring point for distances to other cities.
Until the founding of Greater Berlin, the City Palace was said to be the center of the city. When Groß-Berlin was founded in 1920, it was said that the flagpole on the Red City Hall was the center of the city. Today, here are the coordination zeros of the State Statistical Office for official maps and thus their Berlin center.
How to determine the center of Berlin?
Take the entire Berlin surface and cut it out neatly. Then take a needle and put it under the surface. Now balanced this surface until it lies nice and straight, no longer tilts down. The tip of the needle, which you have certainly moved several times until you find this point, now marks the area center of Berlin.
So says the theory.
Of course, this can also be done mathematically, without cutting out the city. To do this, you take hundreds of vector points on the outer border of Berlin and calculate the center of Berlin with the help of formulas.
So where is the center of Berlin?
Exactly 52°30’10”,4 north latitude and 13°24’15”,1 east longitude. For those of us who can’t spontaneously tell where that is:
The point is in Kreuzberg at the edge of a small strip of green between Alexandrinenstrasse and Lobeckstrasse. Here, residential buildings stand next to residential buildings, a sports field and a kindergarten are in the immediate vicinity.
If you expect an imposing monument, a huge sign, a large square or flashing arrows, you will be disappointed. There is an inconspicuous granite plate here since 1997, which one almost overlooks if one does not look specifically. When I was there to take pictures of this slab, pedestrians walked past me and looked irritated at what I was photographing there between the sidewalk and the grass strip. A couple stopped and noted with astonishment that there is a sign plate, which they had never noticed before. An astonished look at the inscription and an oh – followed when they read the text.
Lying among bushes and grass, the inscription shows the silhouette of the city and the plain clues what kind of place is marked here. The inscription reads
“HERE IS THE CENTER OF BERLIN
Area centroid in the 1996 boundaries.
52° 30′ 0″, 4 north latitude 13° 24′ 15″, 1 east longitude.
Kreuzberg Surveyor’s Office in cooperation with the Berlin Guild of Stonemasons and Sculptors”.
Oh well – the point is, if you take it exactly, set wrong by 200 meters. The actually measured center point is a good 200 meters northeast on the closed club grounds of the BFC Südring. But since no one can get there, this point was chosen.