Hackesche Höfe and Hackescher Markt
A rare example of Art Nouveau architecture in Berlin, the courtyard complex Hackesche Höfe in the Mitte district is a vibrant urban quarter combing art, workspaces, restaurants and entertainment.
The Hackesche Höfe in Berlin's Mitte district are a magnet for Berliners and tourists by day and night. Historic buildings with Art Nouveau facades together form a network of beautiful small courtyards with a mix of stores, art galleries, culture and nightlife. The Hackesche Markt is located in front of the courtyards and is a popular place for eating, shopping and meeting people, especially during the warmer months.
The Hackesche Höfe, located not far from Alexanderplatz, are part of the extensive historic district Spandauer Vorstadt
. The eight interconnecting courtyards (Hof means "courtyard") between Rosenthaler Straße and Sophienstraße were redeveloped in 1993 at a cost of 80 million marks. Today, with their many stores, galleries, restaurants and bars, they are a popular meeting place for hipsters, night owls and tourists.
History of the Hackesche Höfe
The area north of Alexanderplatz, where today's Hackesche Höfe are located, was still outside of city walls at the end of the 17th century. Numerous barns for storing straw and hay were located here since they were forbidden inside the city walls because of the high fire risk. The term "Scheunenviertel" (barn district), which has survived to this day to describe the area around the Hackesche Höfe, dates back to this this time.
Jewish Migrants and French Huguenots: The History of Hackescher Markt
Around 1700, many people had settled in the area outside the city walls, and the Spandauer Vorstadt
with its own church was formed. In 1731, at the behest of the Prussian King Frederick William I, the city wall was extended - now the Spandauer Vorstadt belonged to Berlin. The Hackescher Markt (Markt meaning "market) was created according to plans by city commander Hans Christoph Graf von Hacke. In the following years, the area experienced an influx of Jewish migrants and the exiled French Huguenots, who gave the district the cosmopolitan diversity which it never lost. The first synagogue was built in this area and the first Jewish cemetery established on the Große Hamburger Straße. The largest synagogue in Germany
was built on nearby Oranienburger Straße in 1866.
Opening of the Hackeschen Höfe in 1906
Directly opposite Hackescher Markt, the Hackesche Höfe were opened in 1906 after several years of construction. The building complex consisting of eight courtyards was planned and built by architect Kurt Berndt as the largest residential and commercial courtyard complex in Germany. The idea behind the architectural concept of the Hackesche Höfe was to closely interlock the functions of the individual courtyards: the buildings of the first courtyard were used only for cultural purposes, the following ones for commercial purposes, and the other courtyards were exclusively for rental apartments. August Endell designed the first courtyard with an attractive Art Nouveau facade.
Second World War, Current Use and Attractions
During the Second World War, the Hackesche Höfe were partially destroyed. After renovation, the entire complex was listed as a historical monument in 1977. During the German division, the Hackesche Höfe became property of the people and were not maintained, so the facades gradually deteriorated. It was not until after the fall of the Wall that the Hackesche Höfe were restored in 1993 at a cost of 80 million marks. Since then, the Hackesche Höfe have once again become one of the main sights of Berlin. The inhabited courtyards are closed every evening while the front courtyards remain open. In addition to many office spaces, the courtyards are home to numerous small stores and boutiques, a diverse array of restaurants and cafés, a movie theater, and the Chamäleon Variety Theater housed in the original wine tavern.
Source: Berlin.de | All texts, photographs and graphics on this site are protected by copyright. They may not be copied, reproduced, translated or used otherwise.
Last edited: 17. March 2022