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‘Lübars’: A Village in Berlin

Who would have thought that Berlin, a city not exactly known for quietude or deceleration, has an authentic village? Lübars is just the right spot to walk around at on a nice spring day.

Thirteen kilometers (8 miles) north of Berlin’s eastern city center, Lübars is a surprise to those who have not been there. At some point, those typical apartment blocks and office buildings disappear. They make room for a nice countryside one would expect to see in neighboring Brandenburg, including a hill, cornfields and part of an actual 13th century village.

Lübars does not look like Berlin. But it is. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Pheasantry without Pheasants

Located at the foot of Lübar’s hill, the ‘Alte Fasanerie’ (‘Old Pheasantry’) may not have pheasants anymore. They may have been shot, eaten or given way, but the place is still nice for children to run around and play at. A few days after the Corona restrictions were eased, adults were already sitting at tables here, drinking lemonade and beer.

The ‘Old Pheasantry’ does not have pheasants, but colorful flowers. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Countless families spend sunny days on the enormous pastures on ‘Lübarser Höhe’, the hill. It provides plenty of room for everyone, for picnics, flying kites and other games. Also it has a view. In the distance, huge apartment blocks can be seen. They may be ugly when looked at close by, but from here they almost look beautiful, and they are part of a scenery only one spot in Berlin offers.

They could not hide the apartment blocks in the neighboring district. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

The Most Popular Spot

The Lübars Fields are spread all over this part of Berlin which belongs to the Reinickendorf district today. In the year 1247, the village was mentioned in a document for the first time. Back then, 773 years ago, they might have grown the same crops. And Lübars’ cobblestone streets probably looked the way they do today.

Those goats in Lübars are almost as big as horses. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

But, in 1247, they did not have Angelina’s Ice Cream Parlor, which was definitely the most popular place on yesterday’s Christian Ascension Day holiday. People waited in a long queue to get their vanilla, strawberry or chocolate ice cream. They did not seem to mind the wait at all. It looks like the Corona crisis, but also the quiet surrounding in Lübars, makes people more patient.

Lübars’ church is one and a half centuries old. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

More Mud than Water

Built in the mid-19th century, the ‘Alter Dorfkrug’ (old village pub) is under monument protection. Its interior is authentic too. In its garden and the former ballroom, guests have begun consuming excellent food and good wines again. This place, located right in the center of the village, just a few steps from the old church and the historic phone booth, is nice indeed.

This is what Berlin looks like. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

From the cobblestone street, a path leads through fields and pastures to Berlin’s last open water source, the ‘Osterquelle’. But the spring for a tiny brook, the ‘Quellgraben’, produces more mud than water. Those who want more water can visit the Ziegelei Lake. Its public bathing beach will reopen later this month.

The team at the old village pub is adhering to the distance rules. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Nice Animals

The main activity in Lübars, apart from licking ice cream cones, is riding horses. Several paddocks and horse stables are scattered all over the village. They do have very nice animals up there.

The pub’s former ballroom is now the restaurant. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

During the Cold War, Lübars was even more of a tourist attraction than it is today. The fact that West Berlin, which was surrounded by the Wall, had a 13th century village with farmers working on fields seemed exotic and somewhat strange. It still does.

Getting to Lübars is easy by bicycle, car or by bus lines 222 and X21.

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