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Großer Tiergarten - Points of interest - Areas worth seeing in the park

Zeltenplatz


View of "Zeltenplatz" and the avenues beginning here, 2014; photo: Thomas LeBas / minigram
View of "Zeltenplatz" and the avenues beginning here, 2014   photo: Thomas LeBas / minigram

Among the new designs created by von Knobelsdorff in the mid-18th century is the "Zeltenplatz", or "Tent Square". The seven avenues radiating from the square were named after the species of tree planted along them: Kastanien-allee (horse chestnut), Rüstern-allee (elm), Buchen-allee (beech), Ahorn-allee (maple), Platanen-allee (plane), Eichen-allee (oak) and Linden-allee (lime).

The name "Zeltenplatz" came about due to the setting up of two canvas tents where drinks were sold to passersby. The tents were gradually replaced by weatherproof wooden huts, which were later substituted with solid buildings including inns and entertainment venues that were built at the beginning of the 19th century—the famous so-called ‘tents’.

The "tents" were, however, not only an idyllic place of recreation, but also venues for political gatherings. The first major one was held a few days before the outbreak of the March Revolution in 1848.

At the same time, the district in front of the city gates known as "In den Zelten" was also a residential area popular with the liberal bourgeoisie of Berlin. During the summer months, Bettina von Arnim lived at "In den Zelten No. 5".

The last remnants of the "tents", destroyed in the Second World War, were cleared in 1954 to make room for the Kongresshalle, built in 1957. Since 1989, this building has been used as the "Haus der Kulturen der Welt" (HKW), a cultural venue with a waterside restaurant. It is the starting point for a boat trip on the river Spree.

Zeltenplatz, with six avenues lined with many well-preserved historical trees, was successfully restored in 1987. Twice a day, at 12 noon and 6 p.m., the Carillon can be heard within sight of the Kongresshalle. The Carillon was erected in 1987 to commemorate the chimes of the parish church and the Potsdam Garnisonkirche, both destroyed during the war.