Lacy Barry

From my time in Victoriastadt, staying at the Raum für Freiraum, above Lichtenberg Museum, I concocted a view that was fed by its parks, squares, inhabitants, houses, geography, and nature. Visiting in the mid of spring, I witnessed like many places, a blooming of buds and emerging liveliness like one coming to from a long nourishing slumber. In Victoriastadt particularly the places seasonal emergence came with an ease that felt spacious and warm. Deep seeded with gems of history, its secrets whispered from the rustling tree leaves, grew between cobbled streets, proudly professing from the odd house crest, and sparkling from the insular corners of its under bridges, I drank it all in with all the senses.

Secret Place Berlin Podcast

Episode 10 –  A City Within A City

Nestled just outside of the Ringbahn of Berlin, lay a historical little hub, a calm enclave carved out of a point in time when German Industry was at its height and technological discoveries were erupting regularly. Named after the British Queen, the area of Victoriastadt housed workers that spun wools and finery for her kingdoms consumption at high quantities. Initiating a spring of manufacturing from textiles to concrete, train brakes and pellet balls. Some relics still preserved, but virtually unnoticeable to commuters unless seen from an observing bike ride or by train window, for which the little city is surrounded by these silver snakes that guide trains past it. The train tracks create the boarders of Victoriastadt and their screaming lullaby is the soundtrack that signifies encapsulated mirages that poignantly speed by… to be there one moment and gone the next. However all is well in the small gentle stadt, holding safe a close-knit community of artisans, historians, families and so on… a collection of people that are the result of more than a century of evolutions. Though Victoriastadt is no longer an area to house workers to be employed by its nearby factories, the residue of its origins still remain. For instance, a switch-line booth may not hold the telephonic machinery it was intended for, but its shell houses a cultural craft of a newly developed artisanal kind. A tower that once dropped liquefied molton metals for its prize bounty, sits out of commission above a block of row houses. And the robust bridges that safely elevate speeding trains above Victoriastadts entry points, harbor mysteries of light sculptures beneath them. Glowing angels in hiding, waiting like dignified guardians, lighting the way for curiosity seekers to behold the hidden magic of a city within a city that awaits them.

August, 2021