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Kreuzball

Ancient Kreuzberg game rediscovered! The game arena has been reconstructed on Mariannenplatz!

We have discovered at the round square of Mariannenplatz the original field of kreuzball. The game was lost for centuries but are now to be rediscovered. The playing field of kreuzball mimicked the plan of the ideal roman city plan. The Kreuzbergers wanted to make fun of the authorities and to have a laugh – on the 13th of June – playing around in this ideal plan.

To fix the centre of the city the Romans made a but in Kreuzberg they made a little berg instead. 36 steps away from the centre they drew a big circle. The cross of Kreuzberg divides the circled field into quarters. This is a kind of hyper football – an ancient kind of football.

This act of playing kreuzball consisted of 4 teams and 4 balls – or maybe not so many balls – we do not know for sure yet. We don’t know how it was played exactly. We have the space and the four goals – the gates. Still in the fifties when the Germans played and won the World Championship they shouted tor! tor! tor! after every goal. The origin of this tradition is from kreuzball – where the goals are gates – in German language Tor.

In the middle of the circled field there is a berg – a pyramid of faith. You put the ball on top and where the ball can go in all directions. (The balls were maybe originally).

Kreuzball was quite a violent game – we have to admit that. This brutality explains the nearby and axial location of the hospital Bethanien, the St.Thomas church as well as the cemetery at the end of the third axis.

The stairs around this circled square was for the audience. There was a fence around where the hooligans were really shouting. They even used to burn cars. That is why the sculpture of the firemen is located at the third axis as well.

However, we are social, architectural and urban experts. We quite understand how the playfield is drawn out but we do not know how to play it. We will invite players to replay the game in order to rebuild the rules. The game had four teams of 9 people, thereby 36 players. The number 36 is very important around here. We do not know how the game works yet.

We hope that we can rediscover this game and reuse this Kreuzberg playground. It will probably be less violent – Betanien is no more a hospital. So we have to reinvent some soft rules.

Football probably originated from kreuzball. Mariannenplatz is where it all started. By digging up the history of the kreuzball we have understood the history and importance of the place where the Knot has now arrived.

Thursday, 13.05.2010 | 16:00

Berlin Mariannenplatz Event
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