The Ampelmann

curso_eg_reisejournalismus_erfahrungsbericht_2013Making crossing the road in East Berlin fun since 1961 this slightly tubby, hat-wearing man has come to be one of the leading symbols for the city. During the re-unification of Germany in the 90s the Ampelmann was replaced by the more traditional Western figures on traffic lights. However, huge resistance meant that he survives today as a representative of East Berlin culture on many traffic lights.
It’s fitting then that there should be shops dotted around the city dedicated completely to the man himself. Along with more traditional t-shirts and mugs adorned with the Ampelmann symbol there is also an array of products that celebrate him in more interesting ways. If you’re hungry you can snack on Ampelmann shaped pasta or gummy sweets. Bored? Why not pick up some Ampelmann playing cards or for anyone with particularly green fingers perhaps some Ampelmann seeds.
As could be predicted from such a touristy shop the products are slightly overpriced, with a simple mug setting you back around €6. However, gifts from this shop are a much more subtle and meaningful alternative to the brazen ‘I LOVE BERLIN’ designs that make up many other souvenir shops.
Team Curso/CTR Jess Astbury

Rosenthaler Strasse 40-41 / Alte Potsdamer Strasse 7 / Markgrafenstrasse 39 / Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 5.

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