THEHackesche Höfe is a rare example of art nouveau architecture in Berlin: the complex is nothing more than a very lively courtyard, Höf in fact, where art, fun and work are combined.
The Hackesche Höfe, located just outside the S-bahn station in Hackescher Markt, is a historic building consisting of 8 communicating courtyards, accessible through the main entrance at number 40 of Rosenthalerstrasse. The neighborhood in which it is located, known as Scheunenviertel, is one of the best entertainment centers in Berlin, very popular with both locals and visitors.
The restoration of this historic complex, completed in 1997, has been a central goal in the politics of modernization of Berlin after reunification. The area around the Hackesche Höfe was in fact at the center of the urban renewal of the city; the area is considered historic as it differs from the style of the other nineteenth-century courtyards, where commercial establishments were separated from residential areas and commercial activities.
The 8 courts are nothing more than a mix of offices, residential homes, entertainment venues, art galleries, boutiques, bars and restaurants.
The main attractions of the Hackesche Hofe are the chameleon Variety Theater, still today located in the original tavern and restaurant Hackescher Hof, for its liberty style ceiling. A walk around the area must necessarily include the Big Hamburger Strasse with the Jewish cemetery, destroyed by the Gestapo in 1943. Only one memorial stone remains and belongs to the Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn.
The area where the Hackesche Hofe stands, in fact Hackescher Markt, had its origins as early as 1700, when a market by an officer of the city of Spandau, the count from hoe. In the area there was an influx of Jewish immigrants and French Huguenots who gave this cosmopolitan characteristic to the neighborhood, which it has never lost even in the past centuries.
The Art Nouveau style began to be seen with the restoration of the first courtyard in 1907, by the architect August Endell. At that time the neighborhood was populated by many expressionist poets. In the following years, the area saw a number of cultural trends flourish, only to suffer a serious setback during the Nazi period and later during the Soviet occupation.
How to get there
To visit theHackesche Hofe you can take the S-Bahn no. 5, 7 and 75 and get off at Hackescher Markt station, or take U-bahn number 8, stopping at Weinmeisterstrasse.