Michelkirchplatz pt2. – Canal Park, Hindu Springs, Angel’s Pool (Kanalpark, Indische Brunnen, Engelbacken)

The area covered in this post is located between Saint Michael’s Church and Oranienplatz, on the border between Kreuzberg and Berlin Mitte.

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Kanalpark in Berlin-Mitte – view on Angel’s pool, Michaelkirchplatz and Saint Michel’s Church

It spans over the area of a former water canal, Luisenstadt Canal, from which it takes its name, as well as its prolonged shape.

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Kanalpark in Berlin-Mitte – view to the south

Luisenstadt Canal was originally built in 1850’s to provide water connection between the Spree River to the north and a large Landwehr Canal to the south. It, as well as the surrounding neighborhood, Luisenstadt, was named after Queen Luise, the wife of Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm III.

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Luisenstadt Canal in Berlin – around 1900

 

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(former) Luisenstadt Canal today

The Canal however never achieved popularity nor practical usability and in 1926 it was filled up and the gardens were created in its place, with ground level remaining approximately at the original water level. Only the Engelbacken, or Angel’s Pool, was left in front of the Saint Michael’s Church as a recreational feature for the locals, where 16 fountains were added.

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Wildlife around Angel’s Pool in Kanalpark

The Canal Garden spans from Engelbacken further south, with the original bridges, once over water, still serving to cross above the below-city-level park.

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Kanalpark in Berlin-Mitte – view from one of the bridges spanning over former Canal

Especially in spring and summer, the area blossoms with various kinds of trees and flowers.

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plants start to blossom around Angel’s Pool on Michaelkirchplatz

The park was badly damaged during World War II and was not properly restored until the 1990’s due to it’s unfortunate location right at the border between East and West Berlin, where from 1961 stood the Berlin Wall

 

In the middle of the Canal Park stays an eastern-style fountain called the Hindu Springs (Indische Brunnen).

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Indian Springs – view from behind
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Indian Springs – front

The fountain-sculpture arose as a compromise between the architect of the park – Erwin Barth, who wanted to rebuild the Luisenstadt Canal area into an oriental garden, as it was fashionable at the time, and the parishioners of the nearby catholic Saint Michael’s Church, who considered the oriental fashion blasphemous. After the negotiations, Barth agreed to forgo the original idea and build a swimming pool, a playground and a small Hindu garden, the centerpiece of which was the fountain.

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Indian Springs – details of the fountain
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Indian Springs – details of the fountain
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Indian Springs – details of the fountain

 

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10 thoughts on “Michelkirchplatz pt2. – Canal Park, Hindu Springs, Angel’s Pool (Kanalpark, Indische Brunnen, Engelbacken)

  1. Nice article! I especially enjoyed learning about the history of the Indischer Brunnen, and seeing the historical photo of the canal.

    Note that the park is in Kreuzberg, not Mitte.

    Like

  2. Nice article! I especially enjoyed learning about the history of the Indischer Brunnen, and seeing the historical photo of the canal.

    Note that the park is in Kreuzberg, not Mitte.

    Like

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