In the center of Berlin you can find one old ruin of a monastery made by the Franciscan Monks in the early days of the life of Berlin. This monastery was actually the first building in the town to be built solely by bricks and thereby it introduced the tradition of red brick masonry to Berlin which is so famous across this part of Europe including the many Teutonic castles in Poland.
The monastery was an important part of the religious life in the growing city of Berlin for centuries after it was build. But with the appearance of Martin Luther and the reformation the northern part of the German speaking countries including the area where Berlin is located converted to the new protestant movement within Christianity things changed.
After the reformation there was no longer room for a catholic monastery in the city of Berlin and the monastery was transformed. It was acquired by Leonhard Thurneysser who was a physician and alchemist and he set up his laboratory in the complex. There was also room for a printing press and a library inside the complex.
Later the complex was transformed into a grammar school – this was still before the schooling of the average kids had become mandatory so the school was a fairly important center of learning in the city.
At the end of the Second World War there were many bombings in Berlin and most of the buildings in the center of the city was destroyed or badly damaged. This was also the case for the old monastery which was damaged – but something still remains standing and today it is the last remaining structure from the medieval times which pays testament to the former important monastic culture which were happening in Berlin. The monastery is located in a fairly open area with a bit of green – I guess the bombing cleared the area and they decided to leave it partly open.