If you want to get away from the hoards of roaming tourists, this might be just the place for you. Berlin’s Georgen-Parochial is right in the middle of the popular Friedrichshain district and dates back to the early 1800s.
This cemetery contains hundreds of old family plots, mausoleums and other interesting things to see. Keep your eyes open for damage from World War II which can be plainly seen in some areas.
A large portion of this cemetery is modern graves, if these don’t interest you, stick to the outer areas of the cemetery (near the wall). There you will find the older, more extravagant graves.
Exploring the cemetery
Johann Carl J. Albrecht holds claim to the oldest marked grave in Georgen-Parochial II cemetery. To find this grave, enter at the Friedenstraße entrance near the southern tip of the cemetery and turn right on the first path.
Large parts of the eastern portion of this cemetery are overgrown with vegetation, while other parts are perfectly maintained.
A sign listing a row of urns (Urnenhain) in old world -Fraktur typeface.
In modern Germany, you don’t buy a plot, you usually lease it for 20 years. Your relatives have the option of renewing the grave for an additional amount of time (and money). If the plot is not extended, the contents of the grave are removed and either buried deeper or in another location. They also take out the headstone, pulverize it into small rocks and use it for various other purposes. We noticed that some of the paths in this cemetery had tiny pieces of headstones jutting out of the dirt, no doubt to fill in the low spots.
Many of the older plots have ornamental fences in varying stages of decay.
A number of fences have fell victim to time and nature. They may have started out as a tiny tree to provide shade over a grave but have since completely taken over elements the plot.
This cemetery has a ton of interesting mausoleums. This one, located near coordinates 52.521639, 13.445260 is the tomb of the Enders family, although only one name is listed inside: Carl Adolph Enders. The mausoleum is locked but the door is somewhat broken allowing a peak inside.
The tiled floors must have looked amazing when it was built, they probably just need a good scrub to bring them back to life.
Large family plots
In addition to the numerous mausoleums, this cemetery holds dozens of large scale family plots. It is apparent that Georgen-Parochial II cemetery is the final resting place of some extremely wealthy Berliners.
Even cemeteries didn’t escape damage from the world wars. Across this cemetery, you can clearly see evidence of bullets and/or shrapnel damage to headstones and monuments.
We are lucky to have a glimpse of history behind the headstone. The brick makers name is clearly engraved on numerous bricks. We can see that the bricks came from Mögelin Rathenow. Mögelin lies east of Berlin in the state of Brandenburg. The Mögelin brick factory was founded in the mid-17th century and continued making bricks until the First World War, when the factory was closed.
The old and the new
The cemetery is surrounded on nearly all sides by modern development. In certain parts, you can see the developers didn’t waste a spare inch when designing their buildings. Some of the neighboring buildings incorporate the cemetery memorials directly into their own walls.
How to get there
Note: There are no cemetery entrances along Auerstraße or Richard-Sorge-Straße.
U-Bahn stop: Weberwiese (Line U5)
Tram stop: Klinikum in Friedrichshain (Line M5, M6, M8)