Discoveries in Spandau: Queer Art and Music in West Berlin

Many queer visitors to Berlin tend to focus on the centrally located districts like Mitte, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Schöneberg or Neukölln. This is a pity, as further afield, for example in Spandau, there is an exciting mix of culture and nature to be explored.

The Galerie Historischer Keller exhibits contemporary art in an historic setting.

Galerie Historischer Keller

In the middle of the medieval centre of Spandau there is an archaeological and historical treasure, namely the Galerie Historischer Keller. Originally, the cellar belonged to a house owned by wealthy occupants. In the 18th century, the Prussian military made use of the imposing building, which was destroyed in the Second World War. All that remains is the cellar, which today serves as a gallery for contemporary art. In this special ambience, visitors can enjoy primarily photography and sculpture, often produced by up-and-coming young artists. This makes the Galerie Historischer Keller an interesting alternative to well-known contemporary art museums, such as the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin-Mitte.

Galerie Historischer Keller
Carl-Schurz-Straße 49, 13597 Berlin-Spandau
Metro Altstadt Spandau
Website Galerie Historischer Keller

Nilbar Güreş's Wildness 2014 exhibition at the Zentrum für aktuelle Kunst (ZAK) in Berlin-Spandau.

Zentrum für aktuelle Kunst (ZAK)

Spandau is consolidating its reputation as an upcoming art centre with a new and spacious exhibition centre: the Centre for Contemporary Art (ZAK). It is part of the fortress complex of the Spandau Zitadelle (Citadel). ZAK showcases contemporary art from all over the world in changing exhibitions in the former barracks of the citadel. The exhibitions often deal with the major social issues of our time, such as migration, or the political and social situation in Eastern and Central Eastern Europe. But from time to time, they also interrogate the historical site of the citadel itself. There are guaranteed to be some interesting things to discover here in the future.

Zentrum für aktuelle Kunst (ZAK)
Am Juliusturm 64, 13599 Berlin-Spandau
Metro Zitadelle
Website Zentrum für aktuelle Kunst (ZAK)

The mighty walls that now house art and culture: the Zitadelle Spandau.

Zitadelle Spandau

The Zitadelle itself is also worth a visit: it is the oldest surviving building in Berlin. Today, the impressive Renaissance fortress houses a gallery and four museums. However, most Berliners are probably familiar with it as an events and concert venue. Many a queer icon, including Patti Smith, has made the audience dance in the Burghof. Fans of early music also get their money's worth here. In winter, classical music concerts are also held within the historic walls of the citadel itself.

Zitadelle Spandau
Am Juliusturm 64, 13599 Berlin-Spandau
Metro Zitadelle
Website Zitadelle

Ballhaus Spandau

In Spandau, parties are also organised outside the Zitadelle, for example, in the Ballhaus Spandau. The building was a popular party venue in the 1920s, and then evolved with the times. In the 80s, for example, it turned into a hip punk rock club frequented by many queers from Kreuzberg. Now, the historic venue invites you to dance on Fridays and Saturdays. The programme includes hits, as well as music from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Lovers of Black music will also be happy here with ‘Back on Black’. The building’s historic ballroom offers plenty of space for pleasure.

Ballhaus Spandau
Dorfstraße 5, 13597 Berlin-Spandau
Bus station Heidereuterstraße
Website Ballhaus Spandau

Pure relaxation in Tiefwerder, Berlin's green Little Venice.

Fischerdorf Tiefwerder

The fishing village of Tiefwerder lies in the middle of Berlin's Little Venice - a green oasis criss-crossed by many small canals. The history of the settlement goes back a long way. Slavs, the first inhabitants of Berlin, once settled here. The beautiful area is ideal for a relaxed stroll or a break from the hustle and bustle of art, festivities, and the big city. The numerous residents of the local queer allotment garden colony also appreciate this. The Place2be.Berlin city tour Tiefwerder also offers detailed insight into the interesting history and contemporary life of Tiefwerder in German. Have a listen!

13507 Berlin-Spandau
Bus station Pichelswerder

Further Information

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The Place2be.Berlin city map shows you interesting queer locations all over Berlin.

You can find a complete overview of all events for every single da on the event pages of SIEGESSÄULE, Berlin's famous queer city magazine.

Words: Julia Vorkefeld

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