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Alexanderplatz, Berlin

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The original Alexanderplatz (affectionately known as 'Alex' by Berliners) was completely flattened during the War. Its present day appearance is a prime example of East German town planning: a huge, windswept pedestrian area surrounded by featureless 1960s high-rises. But those who are familiar with Alexanderplatz from Alfred Döblin's novel of the same name will find that none of the hustle and bustle of the square has disappeared. Alexanderplatz is still very much a commuters' thoroughfare and is regarded by locals as the true centre of Berlin. Named after Russian Tsar Alexander I who visited the Prussian capital in 1805, Alexanderplatz was at the centre of the mass-demonstrations which brought the Berlin Wall tumbling down in November 1989. Massive redevelopment has now begun under the direction of architect Hans Kohlhoff, but no completion date has been set.