Named for the painter, sculptor, and political activist Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), who lived nearby, the square is the center of the old working-class district of Prenzlauer Berg. Kollwitz, who portrayed the hard times of area residents, is immortalized here in a sculpture based on a self-portrait. Ironically, this image of the artist now has a view of the upwardly mobile young families who have transformed the neighborhood since reunification. Bars and restaurants
peal off from the square, and one of the best organic markets in town takes over on weekends.