How old is Wedding?

Weddingstraße Schild

Wed­ding isn’t up and com­ing – and neit­her was it in the Midd­le Ages. It was only after the vil­la­ge of Wed­ding no lon­ger exis­ted that the name was first recor­ded in 1251. Wed­ding never beca­me a pro­per far­ming vil­la­ge, but read for yourself.

The first mention of ‘Wedding’

In 1253, owner Rit­ter von Kare sold “a mill wit­hin the area of the vil­la­ge, which was cal­led Wed­din­ge, built on the river by the name of Pan­kow,” to the Bene­dic­ti­ne con­vent of Span­dau for 21 pounds of sil­ver. So, at this time, the pre­vious­ly sett­led vil­la­ge of Wed­ding beca­me again “deso­la­te”. But whe­re did the name Wed­ding come from? Most likely from its founder.

The naming of a new­ly foun­ded vil­la­ge after a vas­sal of the Mar­gra­ve was com­mon at this time, just as it was in Karow (de Kare) and Ste­glitz. In this case it was pro­bab­ly a ser­vant of the Asca­ni­an Mar­gra­ves named Rudol­phus de Wed­din­ge, who came from west of Mag­de­burg whe­re the­re are other vil­la­ges by the name of Wed­din­gen. The­re is a record of Rudolph’s name in Span­dau from 1197. So Wed­ding, his names­a­ke, is likely to have emer­ged some­time around 1200. In 1289, at which time the vil­la­ge had disap­peared, Mar­gra­ve Otto IV gave a manor “Up den Wed­ding*” with its accom­pany­ing land to the city of Berlin.

A little bit of agriculture

Schmales Handtuch, Müllerstraße, Wedding, historisch
Pho­to: Mül­ler­stra­ße, 1891
Old bw-pho­to: a small house at the roadsi­de near a field

In 1289, “the real fief­dom” of Wed­ding was left to the citi­zens of Ber­lin. Howe­ver, the Ber­li­ners made not­hing out of this unwan­ted gift and the san­dy area quick­ly beca­me over­grown. They ins­tead hel­ped them­sel­ves to fire­wood from this “Ber­lin city heath”. Fish far­ming is also said to have taken place in ponds, and bees and pigs were also likely to have been kept the­re. Inci­dent­al­ly, no archaeo­lo­gi­cal fin­dings of the vil­la­ge, mill or manor of Wed­ding have been pro­ven until recent­ly so alt­hough we do not know whe­re Wed­ding was pre­cise­ly loca­ted, we suspect it to be on Wed­ding­stra­ße. Only some rou­tes that ran through the cen­ter are known to this day: the Heer­stras­se to Rup­pin (today’s Mül­ler­stras­se), the Bad­stras­se and the path to Pan­kow (today rough­ly the Pankstrasse/Prinzenallee).

The Vorwerk Wedding

(Pho­to: The Vor­werk Wed­ding in 1890)

It was not until cen­tu­ries later that the­re was ano­t­her attempt to use this bar­ren area for agri­cul­tu­re. In 1601, Count Schlick von Pas­sau und Weiß­kir­chen acqui­red fif­ty pie­ces of farm­land and mea­dows north of Ber­lin and deve­lo­ped inten­si­ve live­stock far­ming and a sheep farm bet­ween today’s Net­tel­beck­platz and Wed­ding­stra­ße. Short­ly after, Elec­tor Joa­chim Fried­rich took over the esta­te and trans­for­med it into the Wed­ding Vor­werk – ther­eby pre­ser­ving the ori­gi­nal name for the area, Wed­ding. This came under elec­to­ral admi­nis­tra­ti­on in 1648, and Wed­ding no lon­ger belon­ged to the Ber­lin agri­cul­tu­ral district. In 1722, King Fre­de­rick Wil­liam I gave up direct manage­ment of the esta­te, and it retur­ned to civil owners­hip. The Vor­werk con­sis­ted of a four-win­ged com­plex and final­ly disap­peared around 1900 due to incre­a­sing land speculation.

What remains?

(Photo: The district's coat of arms, formed in 1920, drawing on the village's history)

What remains of Wed­ding befo­re 1861, when the sub­urb was offi­cial­ly incor­po­ra­ted into Ber­lin? Alt­hough the face of the Pan­ke has chan­ged, it still flows – as it has sin­ce living memo­ry. Wed­ding­platz (pre­vious­ly: Kirch­platz) and Wed­ding­stra­ße have bor­ne their names sin­ce the first half of the 19th cen­tu­ry. Wed­ding­stra­ße was crea­ted at the request of the Ber­lin magis­tra­te in 1817 bet­ween the Vor­werk farm­s­tead and the gar­den of the Vor­werk. The district’s coat of arms, crea­ted in 1920, har­kens back to the village’s histo­ry, refer­ring to the fami­ly coat of arms ‘von Wed­din­ge’. During the district reform of 2001, the district of Wed­ding was anne­xed to the district of Mit­te and divi­ded by Rei­ni­cken­dor­fer Stra­ße. For no real rea­son, the heart of Wed­ding was torn apart becau­se the sec­tion of the district cal­led “Wed­ding” lies com­ple­te­ly out­side (west) of the pre­su­med loca­ti­on of both the vil­la­ge Wed­ding and the Vor­werk Wed­ding. The area of the vil­la­ge and Vor­werk Wed­ding now lies in the district of Gesund­brun­nen – a com­ple­te­ly unhis­to­ri­cal divi­si­on of the district, which still wounds the soul of every true Weddinger.

Wed­ding is as old as Ber­lin, even though it was clo­se to disap­pearing com­ple­te­ly, and its name may only have been dis­co­ve­r­ed in a docu­ment dating 1251. 

*and that’s whe­re the expres­si­on “Auf dem Wed­ding” comes from, which is still known today

Trans­la­ti­on: Fio­na Nugent

Joachim Faust

hat 2011 den Blog gegründet. Heute leitet er das Projekt Weddingweiser. Mag die Ortsteile Wedding und Gesundbrunnen gleichermaßen.


  1. Es ist mir völ­lig unver­ständ­lich war­um ein inter­es­sant er Bei­trag in Fremd­spra­che ver­öf­fent­licht wird,oder sind wir schon so hipp,das es ohne nicht mehr ehr geht?
    Scha­de um den Beitrag
    WOlf­gang Malinowski

    • Wie­so? Den Bei­trag gibt es auch auf Deutsch. Wenn ihn jemand ger­ne für uns über­setzt, damit auch Men­schen, die nicht so gut deutsch ver­ste­hen, etwas davon haben, was spricht dage­gen? Ber­lin ist nun mal eine Weltstadt.

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