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Berlin - Around Town : Central Berlin: Scheunenviertel (part 2) - Best of the Rest, Old Courtyards

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A Day in Scheunenviertel

Morning

Take the S-Bahn to Friedrichstraße and explore this road, Berlin’s former entertainment district. Walk north along the street up to Reinhardstraße, and turn left here towards Bertolt-Brecht-Platz. Continue south to Albrechtstraße to the Berliner Ensemble . Once you have admired the theatre where the great playwright used to work, you could make a detour to visit his home, Brecht-Weigel-Gedenk­stätte in Chausseestraße. The best way to get there is on foot – walk along Chausseestraße. If you remain in Friedrichstraße and turn right behind Friedrichstadtpalast into Oranienburger Straße , you will get to the heart of the fashionable Scheunenviertel. At the corner of the street rises the arts centre Tacheles, and a few steps to the east the shiny golden dome of the Neue Synagoge will come into view.

Afternoon

Before exploring the Scheunenviertel district, you should take some refreshments; not far from the Synagogue is Café Oren (see Restaurants & Cafés). Walk along Tucholskystraße, then turn right into Auguststraße. Here you will find some of the most attractive courtyards, for example Kunsthof at the corner of Gartenstraße. Return along Auguststraße to Gedenkstätte Große Hamburger Straße and the Hackesche Höfe to shop and for an evening meal.

Best of the Rest

  1. Charité

    Many important physicians, such as Rudolf Virchow and Robert Koch, worked and taught at this world-famous hospital, founded in 1710. A Museum of Pathology has some 23,000 remarkable exhibits on display.

    • Schumannstr. 20–21

    • Medizinhistorisches Museum 10am–5pm Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun, 10am–7pm Wed & Sat

    • 030 450 53 61 56

  2. Alte and Neue Schönhauser Straße

    Alte Schönhauser Straße is one of the oldest streets in Spandauer Vorstadt. The lively road is still characterized by a colourful jumble of traditional and trendy new shops.

    • Hackescher Markt

  3. Deutsches Theater

    Once Max Reinhardt’s place of work, the theatre – widely considered the best German-language theatre – shows mainly German classics, often in new interpretations.

    • Schumannstr. 13a

    • 030 28 44 12 25

  4. Berliner Ensemble

    This theatre, established in 1891–2 by Heinrich Seeling, was the main venue for Bertolt Brecht’s plays.

    • Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1

    • 030 28 40 81 55

    The Berliner Ensemble
  5. Hochbunker

    One of the last surviving World War II bunkers.

    • Albrechtstr. corner of Reinhardtstr.

  6. Monbijoupark

    A small park, in which once stood the little Monbijou palace. It is now an attractive green space for a rest.

    • Oranienburger Str./Spree

  7. Auguststraße

    The area round this road is one of the closest to the original old Scheunenviertel, featuring old interior courtyards and many buildings that have not yet been restored.

    • Between Oranienburger and Rosenthaler Str.

  8. Koppenplatz

    In this small square, a monument of a table and upturned chair recall the expulsion of the Jews.

    • Near Auguststr.

  9. Sophienkirche

    This parish church, built in 1712, has managed to preserve its traditional Old Berlin charm. Be sure to see the Baroque pulpit.

    • Große Hamburger Str. 29

    Inside Sophienkirche
  10. Tucholskystraße

    This narrow street is typical of the transformation of Scheunenviertel – trendy shops next to decaying façades.


Old Courtyards

  1. Sophie-Gips-Höfe

    Famous for the Hoffman art collection, which is based here, this former sewing machine factory is a popular meeting place for locals.

    • Sophienstr. 21–22

  2. Sophienhöfe

    The 19th-century red-brick artisans’ workshops have been transformed into artists’ studios.

    • Sophienstr. 17–18

  3. Heckmann-Höfe

    These lavishly restored yards, the most elegant in Berlin, attract visitors today with a restaurant and fashionable clothes shops.

    • Between Rosenthaler and Tucholskystr. 34

  4. Kunstwerke

    Large-scale installations by the resident artists are regularly on display at the alternative gallery space – a recent example was an entire artificial reed garden. The courtyard also has a café in the conservatory.

    • Auguststr. 69

    The alternative Kunstwerke gallery
  5. Rosenthaler Straße 37

    This narrow unrestored alleyway and courtyard gives a good impression of how the entire area once looked. Just enter via the archway – you will be able to stroll around and drink a beer at the tables on the left. Until 1933, a Jewish school for the blind was based in these buildings.

    • Rosenthaler Str. 37

  6. Schulhof

    Time seems to have stood still around 1900 in this courtyard, today part of the district’s Kulturamt (cultural office).

    • Auguststr. 21

  7. Hof Joachimstraße

    The extensive courtyard of the former Postfuhramt permits a glimpse of the original façade of the building.

    • Joachimstr. 11

  8. Auguststraße 83

    A café and an art gallery are now based in the yard of a former sewing machine factory.

    • Auguststr. 83/Linienstr. 147

  9. Kunsthof

    A courtyard full of nooks and crannies, which is today occupied by a number of workshops, offices and cafés. Take a look at the richly ornamented staircases.

    • Oranienburger Str. 27

  10. Sophienstr. 22 and 22a

    Two small inner courtyards, partially planted, are surrounded by yellow and red brick walls.

    • Sophienstr. 22–22a

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