Bernau bei Berlin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bernau bei Berlin
Coat of arms of Bernau bei Berlin
Coat of arms
Bernau bei Berlin   is located in Germany
Bernau bei Berlin
Bernau bei Berlin
Coordinates: 52°40′00″N 13°34′59″E / 52.66667°N 13.58306°E / 52.66667; 13.58306Coordinates: 52°40′00″N 13°34′59″E / 52.66667°N 13.58306°E / 52.66667; 13.58306
Country Germany
State Brandenburg
District Barnim
Subdivisions Hauptort und 4 Ortsteile
 • Mayor Hubert Handke (CDU)
 • Total 103.73 km2 (40.05 sq mi)
Elevation 68 m (223 ft)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 36,020
 • Density 350/km2 (900/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 16321
Dialling codes 03338
Vehicle registration BAR, BER, EW

Bernau bei Berlin (English Bernau by Berlin, commonly named Bernau) is a German town in the Barnim district. The town is located about 10 km (6.2 mi) northeast of Berlin.


Archaeological excavations of Mesolithic prove the fact that this area has been inhabited since about 8800 BC. The city was first mentioned in 1232. The true reasons of its founding are not known. According to a legend Albert I of Brandenburg permitted the founding of the city in 1140 because of the good beer which was offered to him. It is true that beer has been brewed with the water of the river Panke. Therefore it was forbidden by law to pollute this river with waste and excrements before the days the brewing took place.

Bernau had its boom years before the Thirty Years' War. Large parts of the defensive wall with town gate and wet moats are relics of that time. These helped Bernau defend itself successfully against attackers, e.g. the Hussites in 1432. Following the plague and war Bernau was poor and bleak. Frederick I of Prussia settled 25 Huguenotic families (craftsmen, farmers, traders and scientists) in 1699.

In 1842 a railway line was opened. One of the first electrical suburban railway lines in the world began operation in 1924. This line of the Berlin S-Bahn connected Bernau with the Stettiner Bahnhof (today Berlin Nordbahnhof) in Berlin. The Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (ADGB), a confederation of German trade unions, opened its school in 1930. The Waldsiedlung (engl. residential area in the wood) is a district of the city where the political leaders of the GDR lived isolated from the people.

Local District Court
Pulverturm (Armory).
Church of St. Mary.
Timber framed houses and Plattenbauten.


Bernau bei Berlin:
Population development within the current boundaries
Year Inhab.
1875 8060
1890 9583
1925 13403
1933 17671
1939 20256
1946 19678
1950 20482
1964 20545
1971 20511
1981 24318
Year Inhab.
1985 25386
1989 25145
1990 24532
1991 24491
1992 24693
1993 24744
1994 24913
1995 25428
1996 27208
1997 29609
Year Inhab.
1998 31231
1999 32506
2000 33086
2001 33507
2002 33882
2003 34379
2004 34995
2005 35235
2006 35546
2007 35859
Year Inhab.
2008 36059
2009 36154
2010 36338
2011 35843
2012 36020

Detailed data sources are to be found in the Wikimedia Commons.[3]

Main sights[edit]


The museum of local history has two locations. One is the town gate with the former prison Hungerturm (engl. Tower of Hunger). It is one of formerly three town gates, that were part of the defensive wall. Today armours and instruments of torture of the Middle Ages are shown there. Common furniture of several epochs and utensils of the executioner are exhibited in the Henkerhaus (engl. executioner's house) to demonstrate the life in the small town.

In 2005 the Wolf Kahlen Museum opened. Media art from 40 years is shown.


The church St. Marien (Late Gothic style) dominates the skyline of the town. The nave was built in the 15th century.

Large parts of the defensive walls and wet moats of the Middle Ages are preserved. The defensive wall is supplemented by several lookout houses, the Pulverturm (armoury) and a town gate.

Until the 1960s the city centre, enclosed by the defensive wall, consisted of small old buildings with timber framed construction. Most of them were in a bad state because no funds were available in the GDR to renovate these buildings. It was decided to change Bernau into an exemplary city of socialist architecture. Nearly all the old houses were torn down in the 1960s and 1970s and new so-called Plattenbauten (buildings constructed of prefabricated concrete slabs) were built. The new houses had a maximum of four storeys to fit in with the architecture to the historic structure of the city.

The former ADGB school is located in the northeast of the town. It is the largest building in the Bauhaus style besides the Bauhaus itself.


The line S2 of the Berlin S-Bahn (suburban railway) connects Bernau with Berlin Friedrichstraße's station, in the center of that city Regional rail services connect Bernau with Eberswalde, Schwedt, Stralsund, Frankfurt (Oder) in northbound direction and with Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Berlin Lichtenberg and Elsterwerda in southbound direction. Long-distance trains go to Stralsund, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Dresden and Amsterdam.

The Bundesautobahn A11 from Berlin to Prenzlau and Szczecin has the two exits Bernau Nord (number 15) and Bernau Süd (number 16).

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Bernau bei Berlin is twinned with:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Bernau bei Berlin at Wikimedia Commons