The northwest of Berlin consists of the boroughs of Spandau and Reinickendorf. The area was urbanized in the 19th century through the industrialization of Berlin. Before that most districts were small towns. In the early 20th century it was the working-class area with heavy industry where Siemens was founded (today even a small part of Reinickendorf is called Siemensstadt, due to the location of the company). Today it's become more residential but big industrial complexes are still seen in some areas.
Spandau is the westernmost borough (Bezirk) of the German capital city of Berlin. The district lies conveniently in a green area with the nearby Spree and Havel rivers. Once a town in its own right, Spandau is one of the oldest areas in the Berlin region and retains much of its unique character, having been spared the worst of the Allied bombing in the Second World War that so devastated the rest of the city. The center of the district is formed by a dense network of medieval streets and a market square, retaining a large number of timber-framed buildings. Spandau was the site of the military prison in which Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess was imprisoned after the 1946 Nuremberg trials until his death in 1987. The prison was then demolished. Despite being part of Berlin, neither Berliners nor Spandauers usually consider that fact to apply in popular thought. If for example, you ask a taxi driver to take you to the "city center", they will most likely take you to the center of Spandau, not necessarily Mitte or the old heart of West-Berlin. It's as much in the boondocks as some Berliners ever venture and even those who consider Potsdam in BVG zone C to be at the edge of civilization might consider Spandau basically another planet.
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