Pankow was named for its location on the Panke River and is known for its gardens, castles, and large parks. After Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it was merged with the former boroughs of Prenzlauer Berg and Weißensee; the resulting borough retained the name Pankow. The original Pankow neighborhood is a very green, middle-class district with a laid-back atmosphere, good cafes, shops and small music clubs. The Weißensee locality still remains primarily a residential district. See our borough maps.
Between 1945-1960, during the Cold War, Majakowskiring street in the Niederschönhausen locality of Pankow was the home to many members of the East German government. Because of this, Western writers often referred to Pankow as shorthand for the East German regime.
The Rykestrasse Synagogue, Germany's largest synagogue, is located in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. For tourists, Prenzlauer Berg (called sometimes Prenzlberg) is a popular locale. This former district has changed impressively since reunification, from deserted appartment houses to a lively area for students, artists, and young people.
The Individual Localities (Ortsteile) of Pankow:
Ortsteile: Blankenburg, Blankenfelde, Buch, Französisch Buchholz, Heinersdorf, Karow, Niederschönhausen, Pankow, Prenzlauer Berg, Rosenthal, Stadtrandsiedlung Malchow, Weißensee, and Wilhelmsruh