Marzahn is located in the far east of Berlin on the edge of the Brandenburg area. Berliners tend to think of Marzahn as an archetypal tower-block monstrosity; most visitors therefore expect a grey and impersonal residential area and are surprised to find restored, brightly coloured buildings surrounded by greenery. The villages in the district date back to the 13th century and the historic Biesdorf castle has retained its authenticity. The main park is the "Erholungspark Marzahn", which was opened on Berlins 750th anniversary in 1987. It offers sporting activities and areas for relaxing and it also hosts the biggest Chinese garden in Europe. A Japanese and a Balinese garden were opened in 2003. A big effort has been made to enhance local cultural life, for example through the "KulturGut Alt-Marzahn", a workshop for painting, textile design and ceramics. The S7 overground is the best route downtown; tram lines 6, 7, 8, 17 and 18 also run to the city centre. Regional trains stop in Ahrensfelde on their way from Lichtenberg to Tiefensee.
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