There was a time in Berlin when in every courtyard there was hills of coal, when the Kohlenmann was bringing them and then everyone was going to put their in the keller. And then the infinites trips from there to the apartment, everyday bringing down the ashes and bring up new coal.
There was a time when East Berlin was smelling of coal.
This time is passed, although apparently there still some appartments in East Berlin where the heating is still running with coal. Just one year ago a friend was living in an appartment in Prenzlauer Berg.
The funny story is that the same friend, some years ago, was telling me about a special place, south east of Berlin, close to Dresden, where strange industrial towers where still up and there were going to be converted after a long decadence.
Just recently I've managed to go Lauchhammer to have a look at the Biotürme, built by the DDR in the 50's to produce different coal-related materials and also the black coal bricks used in the houses of East Berlin.
All the area to the border with Poland has been used for a long time to dig for the pits of lignite mines (you can have a look at the Ikarus and Dädalus Tower here) and in Lauchhammer there was a very huge industrial site.
Today the area has been totally removed and just the bio-towers are still up. Restored, it's now possibile to have a guided tour inside one of them that has been cleaned from the residuals and the strong smell, to the top where some artists have made some actions and build some landings on the area.

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