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About this City Journal

This CJ is devoted to Ihlingen, a fictional suburb city of Berlin, Germany. Lots of its features are based or inspired in real-life locations, which will be described during the updates.

Entries in this City Journal

TekindusT

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@KonstantinII: Thanks! Not really many wooden buildings around here, but for sure they're not as futuristic as you would like.

@nirwanda: Thank you! I try to aim for a good recreation, and that Regio DB lot helps so much to that.

@kelistmac: ¡Muchas gracias! Today you'll see something inspired in your very own Berlin CJ.

@ROFLyoshi: Thank you! Definately not much wood in on around Berlin. Perhaps in the Deep Germany...

@Benedict: Thanks! I try to have everything under control... Until somebody takes a Jägermeister bottle out of the fridge.

@Huston: Thank you! Not a really complicated layout, just like the towns around here.

@spursrule14: Thanks for commenting! You can get this seawall pack on the STEX, here I think they look quite OK for making a canal.

@SimCoug: Thank you! I also love this variety when walking on the streets. Pre-war, commie, modern glassy buildings... on the same street!

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Friday afternoon on the Fachhochschule für Technik und Wissenschaft Ihlingen (FHTW Ihlingen). This means one thing: the international students are planning the night via Whatsapp. Lessons are about to be over and the action will be from now on in Herdestraße residence hall.

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The FHTW Ihlingen is one of the several universities of applied sciences around in the area, specially reputed for its computer science and biotechnology studies. Together with TH Wildau and HTW Berlin, Berlin's eastern metropolitan area is well served by these very practical-approach oriented universities.

FHTW Ihlingen is directly based in the two aforementioned universities. In fact, the shown BAT resembles a bit TH WIldau's Haus 15.

Lessons are over and the students remaining at the campus head back to their homes, and the international and interchange students head back to Herderstraße Residence Hall, a short walk far from the university at the river's other side.

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Ihlingen Herderstraße Studentenwohnheim is, as many other residence halls in the State of Brandenburg, maintained by the Studentenwerk Potsdam. This residence hall, offers 240 rooms with a total capacity for 480 students in both individual and double rooms, each room counts with its own kitchen and bathroom. There is also a room for bike keeping, laundry, meeting/parties room and several more amenities.

Königs Wusterhausen's real student residence hall is placed very near of a Herderstraße.

Inside each room, the collective of international students self-known as "Herdestrassers" (according to their Whatsapp chat group) are deciding the whats, whos, whens, wheres and hows of tonight's party. After several hours of high level negotiations, it is decided to spend the night in a Berlin club, but only after a pre-heating session at the residence hall.

And before all pre-heating sessions, it is necessary to drop by the nearest supermarket to buy some reserves.

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There's an Aldi supermarket very near of the residence hall, placed at the corner between Königs Wusterhausener Chausee and Landratstraße. The students bring back home a 20-bottles Hasseröder beer box and a liquor bottle for shots. While the sun is coming down, they have a shower, dinner and begin drinking beer.

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At some point, the boys appear with their not-perfectly ironed shirts and lots of aftershave, meanwhile the girls put inside their bags their far-too-high-heels shoes and give the final touches to their make up; all of them, with a beer on their hand. Later than expected, as usual; that heterogeneous 11 people group, 7 boys, 4 girls, leave Herderstraße in order to get to Ihlingen station by walk. There are no buses at this time anymore.

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They have to walk Landratstraße down, where the Märkisch-Niederbarnim Landrat and Landratsamt stands. This means Ihlingen is the capital city of the Märkisch-Niederbarnim Landkreis (a kind of "county") and that red bricks building is the county goverment seat. Looks like there is some last-minute work to do before the weekend.

The group keeps walking also passing by the Church, which is nicely lit at night.

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Temperatures have dropped lately and there is not much people at Kirchplatz. On Summer Fridays, people just go to the square with some chairs and beer to relax and have a chat, but this is an image we won't be seeing until next year.

After a short walk, the group finally reaches the Bahnhofsvorplatz, Ihlingen's commercial and social life center.

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The area's restaurants and cafés are open and taken by the crowd who has decided to go dinner outside tonight. Some of the guys stop in a nearby Sparkasse teller machine to get some money for tonight, while the sparkling fountain changes its colours.

Once the regional train arrives, they ride on it while finishing the remaining beers and, 15 minutes later, they finally reach...

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The club is not far away from Alexanderplatz station, so they just leave the bottles in the street (some bottles collector will get them in a few minutes), the girls put on their high heels and they all head for a party night near the Fernsehturm.

TekindusT

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@All: You all analyzed that last picture very well, took a lot of details that I didn't even realize when making the update. Anyways, nobody pointed to the wrong detail I had in mind. On the last description, I said the right tracks are left for S-Bahn trains. Berlin S-Bahn trains have their power supplied via a third rail, never by overhead catenaries! While on my picture, the catenaries on the right tracks are clearly seen. I confess it was difficult, but after seeing all that details, I'm sure somebody would have noticed this sooner or later.

@Benedict: Thanks! Well, after seeing kelistmac's work with Berlin city, it is a kind of sacred territory for me... :D Also, you're right with the bridge, but I can do nothing about it.

@infamousjbe: Thanks! Wow, you took a lot of details (including that sunken canoe, I guess I messed it up when MMPing the river shore). As for the bridge thing, well, it's just the NAM. I have no control over it. Oh, and BTW... I have been "investigating" about where did I get that buildings, on the description it only appears SC4Labs. I guess they came from one of these cool Japanese sites.

@k50: Thank you for commenting! Well, then I guess my English grammar has still room to improve... :P Today we're not driving but walking!

@agunter999: Thank you! With this detail, however, you're wrong. There are 5 TKmaxx in Berlin city and 1 in Potsdam, or this is what the advertisements covering all the area I live claim.

@Johan_91: Danke sehr!

@ROFLyoshi: Well, it's just changing lakes for canals. It's water after all! :P

@kelistmac: ¡Gracias! In this case, I just learn from the masters!

@naftixe: Thank you for commeting and for the tip! Yeah, that wall is always a nuisance in my bridges, but still haven't applied your tip on today's update...

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Today it's October 3rd, day of German unity. And also, today begins Ihlingen's Oktoberfest!

Lots of cities and towns in Germany have their own Oktoberfests or just popular fests where people go, drink beer and have a good time. Obviously, the most massive and well-known, is Munich's; but there are several others than deserve a visit. Ihlingen's is one of them.

Reaching Ihlingen from Berlin city is a no-brainer using the RE1 line trains.

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Ihlingen is the first RE1 stop in the State of Brandenburg after leaving Berlin. We travel through a forest of lodgepole pines, a very common sight in the area.

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We pass by the microscopic village of Sigridsdorf, part of Ihlingen's municipality. It has its own tiny S-Bahn station, due to the needs of people from Sigridsdorf to commute to Ihlingen or Berlin everyday. Regional and freight trains bypass the station on the upper tracks at a high speed.

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In a short while, we arrive to Ihlingen train station, the town's transport center. It was constructed at the edge of the town during the 19th century. Now, the surrounding area is considered the town's city center, with a very active commercial and administrative life. The water tower is currently a local landmark, a monument to the time when steam trains stopped at this station and had to load their engines to keep their routes along the old Niederschlesisch-Märkische line railroad.

Just like happens in many other towns in the area, like Erkner.

Outside the station, billboards like this remind us where are we heading:

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Ihlingen's station front square (Bahnhofsvorplatz) is considered by all the town's center. All banks offices are placed around the concrete square, which boasts a sparkling fountain on its center (except on Winter). Also, very popular cafés and restaurants can be found in the area. Finally, the large grey building in front of the square is Ihlingen's Rathaus, Bürgeramt and Agentur für Arbeit. On it, most of Ihlingen's local administration offices were centralized on year 2004, when this very controversial construction opened its doors.

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Time to walk! After Bahnhofsvorplatz, it's time to walk down Kirchstraße. Not too far of the Rathaus, the old Ihlingen's church is found, just in front of Kirchplatz. This plaza was the very first town center, where the old cementery was placed and, where some centuries later, the peasants sold their products. Nowaday's Kirchplatz popularity has decayed, but keeps being the venue for Wednesdays and Saturdays flea markets. We pass by the local police station and the post office in the corner.

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Low rises and single-family houses are the backbone of Ihlingen and the outer Berlin suburbs as well. Kirchstraße passes by the public swimming pool and a GDR-era playground after entering in Schwartzkopfsiedlung. Not too far, Karl-Marx-Allee is the road crossing Ihlingen from north to south.

There is a Karl-Marx-Whatever in every single east-German city, town or village.

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Schwartzkopfsiedlung is a Plattenbau-based small neighbourhood besides the Ostkanal. It forms the largest Plattenbau buildings concentration in Ihlingen, and houses a large percentage of the town's population. Before the Schwartzkopfsiedlung was erected, the area was occupied by several factories, damaged and defunct after WWII. The walk continues now along the Ostkanal.

District named after the Schwartzkopfsiedlung existing in Wildau (even though it is not a Plattenbau district) and inspired by the Marzahn Plattenbau districts in Berlin.

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Again, we have to cross the Ostkanal with that steel bridge, and pass by the Aral gas station.

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Five minutes later, we arrive to the Volksbrauerei, the "People's Brewery". This building was the main production site of Schwartzkopfer Pilsner, a very popular local beer during the 70s and 80s. The "Schwarzi" was (almost) the national beer of this part of Brandenburg until the invasion of new brands after the reunification. The company closed its premises, and they were bought by the city hall several years later, with the intention of establishing a kind of civic center for Ihlingen; with plenty of space for cultural activities and fests. It quicly became the "People's Brewery" and the place where the yearly Oktoberfest is held.

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Hours go by fast with a Maß of beer on the hand and eating a large Bratwurst with Sauerkraut. It's only the first celebration day and the best of the party is still yet to come. Ein Prosit!

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TekindusT

Driving Around

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Benedict: Thanks! I don't feel it like a project right now but a kind of funny thing. But who knows what can it become in the future.

Blunder: Likewise. ;)

Huston: Well, the higher are the hopes, the worse the disappointment is...

ROFLyoshi: Are you ready to feel more nostalgia? (Hopefully)

k50: Is there any way of disagreeing with Ben when it's about SC4 stuff?

TekindusT: I'm happy to see you happy because this means I'm happy.

mystic_destiny: Thank you! Anyways, you will not see Berlin from this CJ, only its anonymous, extensive and sometimes not really cozy outer suburbs.

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Today we are just driving a little bit around Ihlingen, getting from the outskirts to the town center. We are not in the Low Emission Zone anymore and cars with a B and the Bundeshauptstadt sticker on their plates have been progressively replaced by MNB plates with the State of Brandenburg sticker. Entering The Real Germany.

Traditionally, the key to Ihlingen was Berliner Straße. The Greeks knew it. The Carthaginians knew it. Now you know it. But since the completion of the east stretch of the A10 motorway, now it is more confortable entering Ihlingen from the motorway exit riding along Königs Wusterhausener Chausee.

Like the Königs Wusterhausener Straße found in RL outer suburb villages like Bestensee or Waltersdorf.

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Ihlingen's largest industrial area is very near the A10 access ramps, this is very handy for truck drivers and for workers coming from other cities. Warehouses dominate the area, but a McDonald's restaurant was established here some years ago attracted by the presence of a nearby shopping mall.

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We pass by the town's sports hall, used by several tenants in local leagues. The most well known tenant are TV Ihlingen 99, the town's handball team, always moving between the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga. Besides it, a Netto discount supermarket and Malibú, the town's only high-capacity night club, are found.

Just like KW-Bestensee Netzhoppers, who played on the Bundesliga the last season.

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After passing an Aral gas station, we have to cross the Ostkanal by the all-steel-constructed Ostkanalbrücke. Ihlingen's town center begins here.

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We keep driving down Königs Wusterhausener Chausee, passing by Ihlingen Studentenwohnheim (Students Residence Hall) and an Aldi supermarket. It is not uncommon to see, during Saturday afternoon, students attending the supermarket carrying several shopping carts full of returnable bottles. The content of these bottles was invariably drunk during the last weekend party.

Directly based on the 3 residence halls existing in the RL town of Wildau. The shopping cart thing actually happens.

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As any East German town, Ihlingen boasts (or suffers) an interesting mix of architectural styles only several meters apart from each other. Traditional low-rise buildings mix with communist-era buildings, Plattenbauten and post-unification modern constructions. On this picture, the first high-rise apartment building, built during the first years of communist rule over the German Democratic Republic, still didn't adjust to the used further Plattenbau system. The coat of arms at its top is a local landmark nowadays.

At the other side of Bettina-von-Arnim-Straße, the modern new firefighters precinct is the main example of post-modern civic architecture in Ihlingen.

- A block relatively similar to the ones found near Köllnische Heide S-Bahn station in Berlin.

- Bettina-von-Arnim was a German writer, lots of streets are named after her in cities and towns like Königs Wusterhausen, Potsdam, Fürstenwalde...

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Still along Königs Wusterhausener Chausee, the building popularly known as Das Dreieck (The Triangle) makes its appearance. It hosts small rental offices for start-up companies or local companies. The start-ups emerged from the nearby FHTW Ihlingen begin always on this building.

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Königs Wusterhausener Chausee dies on the road crossing next to the road traffic bridge. The level crossing between the road and the railroad is the oldest in Ihlingen, and locals have applied to it the very original name of "Old Level Crossing". At the top of the picture, Ihlingen S-Bahn and regional train station is shown. Regional trains use the left side platforms, while the S-Bahn trains use the other platform having also four more tracks to be parked for servicing.

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And one last thing!

There is, at least, one deliberated mistake on this last picture, something that is impossible to exist as I have described it and as it is shown on the picture. If you discover which detail it is, you will earn... something. I still don't know, but something. Happy guessing!

TekindusT

Wilkommen!

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Wilkommen in Ihlingen, jungs!

Ihlingen is for me, more than a CJ city, more than a city tile. It is a homage to a region, to a people and to some unforgettable memories.

Seven months back, I arrived to Königs Wusterhausen, an outer suburb south-east of Berlin, Germany, to study in TH Wildau, a nearby technical university. SInce then, I have not only completed my degree, but I lived SO many experiences, knew people from virtually everywhere, from Colombia to China; and finally, got the job that allowed me to settle in Berlin city and, who knows, perhaps I even root here.

Berlin's outer suburbs have blatantly inspired this CJ up to the point that some of the locations shown in the next updates are directly based on them. This no-man's land, between the crazy, punk and everchanging Berlin and the surrounding quiet, rural and nothing-ever-happens-here-like State of Brandenburg is where Ihlingen is placed. Towns like Königs Wusterhausen, Wildau, Niederlehme, Zeuthen, Erkner, Bernau, Ludwigsfelde... are the sources where Ihlingen comes from.

The fictional Landkreis Märkisch-Niederbarnim is a direct "parody" of these Dahme-Spreewald, Oder-Spree, Märkisch-Oderland, and all of these surrounding Berlin.

Enough chatting, let's see the first picture!

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Ihlingen Senderberg

Directly based on

Königs Wusterhausen's Funkberg