The Helmholtzplatz or just Helmi, is a little green oasis located right in the midst of a densely populated area in the heart of the borough Prenzlauer Berg. Since it is the only bigger green space of the neighborhood, the Helmi, with its rectangular layout, resembles a small public park.
Before turning into the popular place it is today, the Helmholtzplatz experienced periods of unsteadiness – reflecting the ups and downs of the different social systems: Everything initially started in 1862 with the planning of the square which, according to the typical German principles at that time, was simply named Platz „D XII”. Back then, however, a brick factory was still located on “Helmi’s” grounds.
For this reason, the factory was no longer wanted and torn down. On 4 August 1897, after the construction of apartment buildings around the square, the Helmholtzplatz was given its name after the physician and physicist Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz, who was one of the most versatile scientists of that time and who was also known as the Reich Chancellor for Physics. One year after renaming the square, the designing of the horticultural arrangements with integrated play areas was iniciated.
The whole neighborhood around the Helmholtzplatz was part of a development plan (the so called Hobrecht Plan) which was intended for the outskirts of Berlin.
As a consequence, technical and hygienical conditions were improvedand, due to the rapid growth in population, the infrastructure was adapted. Furthermore, about 30 years later in 1928, the square was equipped with an electrical switching station, a transformer building with adjacent seating areas and with a weather proofing for better aesthetics.
Through the decades, the square remained a popular small green lung for its residents. From time to time, however, the Helmholtzplatz had to bear hard times: it was destroyed during the war, afterwards partly redesigned, then bricked up (about 1950), extended (1976), sealed (1983), rediscovered by the population (from 1990 on), then, subject to different planning activities (1993), in between savaged
(1995) to be embellished afterwards (1998) and to be finally redesigned (1999 to 2000).
Come by and visit the Helmi as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. Stroll through the adjacent streets and enjoy the cosy coffee shops, bars, clubs and restaurants. A culinary diversity will be guaranteed. You can either enjoy a coffee at “Bekarei” in the morning, a lunch at “Maccheroni”, cakes at “ImNu” or a fondue at “Ars Vini” at night. Other combinations are also possible. Furthermore, anybody interested in a shopping tour in the numerous boutiques of the neighborhood or anybody looking for individuality, will definately find what he is looking for. We promise!