Thinking about going on an archaeologal dig? Interested in archaeology? Well, you do not need to go Egypt, Lebanon or Greece. You have one on your doorstep here in the middle of Berlin. Yes, just five minutes walk from Alexanderplatz!

With great happiness, our group met for the first tour this year without using Zoom, eager for our walk through the oldest parts of Berlin. Our meeting point, Klosterstrasse UBahn, named after the Greyfriars Monestry, was the perfect start to an afternoon of Alte Berlin.

Our first stop was the excavation site of the Molkenmarkt, Berlins oldest square. We were met by a very enthusiastic Dr. Michael Malliaris who is the director of the excavation project and who also directed the excavations at Palais Schwerin. He gave us a very informative talk and tour of the three sites explaining how this old square used to look and what the Berlin Senate plan in the way of the reconstruction of the Molkenmarkt. Even in the Middle Ages this market was named “Olde Markt”. By the 1960’s, the area became a mass of concrete and a huge crossroads. The plan now is to excavate, archive the knowledge and rebuild the area, which will be predominently residential.

Some interesting aspects will be kept in place with archaeologal windows created to protect them, but allow the past to be preserved and viewed. We continued our walk and visited the newly renovated Parochialkirche and it’s beautiful churchyard, a part of the old Berlin city wall and Klosterruine. Due to Covid restrictions our visit to the Amtsgericht, the courthouse for Berlin-Mitte, was not possible, but we did manage a peek through the door.

Group Photo @ Restaurant Zur Letzten InstanzHowever, after such an exhilarating historical afternoon, we were all quite happy to sit in the garden of the nearby historical pub Zur Letzten Instanz and discuss our wonderful experience.

Many thanks to Sue and Eva, the North-East Neighbourhood Group Coordinators.

Janice Weiß