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Wedding ("der Wedding") is a locality in the borough of Mittemarker, Berlinmarker, Germanymarker and was a separate borough in the north-western inner city until it was fused with Tiergartenmarker and Mitte in Berlin's 2001 administrative reform. At the same time the eastern half of the former borough of Wedding – on the other side of Reinickendorfer Straße – was separated as the new locality of Gesundbrunnenmarker.

History

In the 12th century, the manor of the nobleman Rudolf de Weddinge was located on the small Panke River in the immediate vicinity of today's Nettelbeckplatz. The farmstead, which burned down more than once, remained abandoned in the forest until the 18th century. In the mid-18th century, while Gesundbrunnen was being built up as a health resort and spa town, gambling and prostitution moved into Wedding, transforming it into a pleasure district. In 1864 Ernst Christian Friedrich Schering established the Scheringmarker pharmaceutical company on Müllerstraße, a part of Bayer since 2006. A large hospital at the western rim of the locality was built between 1898 and 1906 on the initiative of Rudolf Virchow.
Coat of arms of the former Wedding borough
The constant migration of country-dwellers into the city at the end of the 19th century converted Wedding into a working-class district. The labourers lived in cramped tenement blocks. After World War I Wedding was known as "Red Wedding" as it was renowned for its militant, largely communist working class; it was the scene of violent protests on May 1, 1929. Because of the politics of the workers in Wedding, it was a target of attacks by the Nazi government in the 1930s.

After World War II, Wedding and Reinickendorfmarker together made up the Frenchmarker sector of Berlin. The north side of Wedding's Bernauer Straßemarker and both northern and southern sidewalks were in the French sector while the buildings along the southern side were in Soviet territory. When the Berlin Wallmarker was being built in August 1961, many who lived in apartments in these buildings frantically jumped from their windows to the sidewalk below, before the buildings could be evacuated and their windows bricked up.

Wedding was the western terminus of one of the first refugee tunnels dug underneath the Berlin Wall. It extended from the basement of an abandoned factory on Schönholzer Straße in the Soviet sector underneath Bernauer Straße to another building in the west. Though marvellously well constructed and its secrecy maintained, the tunnel was plagued by water from leaking pipes, and had to be shut down after only a few days of operation.

A section of the Berlin Wall has been reconstructed near the spot on Bernauer Straße where the tunnel ended. Two sections of wall run parallel to one another down the street with a strip of no man's land in the middle. A nearby museum documents the history of the Wall.

Wedding today

Today, Wedding is one of the poorest areas of Berlin, with a high unemployment rate (almost 26%). Almost 17% of the population live on social welfare; 27% live below the poverty line.[47354] Foreigners make up almost 30% of the population.[47355] Low rents accompany the poverty in Wedding so, like many inexpensive areas in large cities, it is home to a vibrant artists' community. Many galleries have been founded by artists to provide a space for themselves and their peers to show their work.

Wedding has so far not experienced the boom and gentrification of the '90s in Berlin. Unlike many other 19th century working class districts like Prenzlauer Bergmarker, the original character of Wedding has been preserved. It is said to be a place to find the Schnauze mit Herz (big mouth and big heart) of the working class. However, the spirit is not exclusively German. The multicultural atmosphere is visible in the bilingual shop signs (predominantly German and Turkish or German and Arabic). In the latest years Wedding has seen a significant moving in of African people.

Many buildings are relics of European post-war Modernism, the Schillerpark estate in northern Wedding is part of the Modernist Housing Estates World Heritage Site. Beside monolithic housing blocks, several old buildings survived the war and urban renewal and still have coal fired heating.

A green oasis marks the west borders of the "old red" district, the idyllic Plötzenseemarker lake in the Southwest. It is a popular summer hang-out offering sandy beaches and long lawns. A section of the beach is reserved for nudists.


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