This part of the Mitte district is really different: far from the ultra-modernity of the design building and the very commercial atmosphere of this area, Scheunenviertel is a quiet place with a lot of designers and independent maker shops.
It is in fact an old Jewish district of the city, which has suffered a lot from the WWII: some metal signs are applied on walls and pavement to insure the memories.
Here is the old/new synagogue (built during the XIXth century, it definitely has this eastern/Russian style that was in vogue at the moment: it was new at ,the moment, but now, it seems that the Jewish district moved to Spandau). A very beautiful realization.
Random Street Art:
A cute Cafe installed in the middle of a garden and building court...
We walked a lot because we wanted to see the University where Hegel was a professor, and its grave, in a lovely green cemetary just behind. He is buried next to Fichte! It was also important for M. Nokturnal who also worked a lot on this complex author for his thesis (everyone has now understood he studied German philosophy a lot!).
The district has also been a part of this alternative Berliner's way of life (please, see the past form! It might not be the most alternative place nowadays, even if some places are still really interesting).
Here you can still see the traces of this foolish past: This inside court and blind alley is hosting a cinema, two cafes and bar, a library, an art gallery and a shop.
It is something you can do at the beginning of your trip, because there are tones of flyers: a good point to catch up with concerts during your stay.
This is the adress of this crazy place.
Rosenthaler Strasse 39, Berlin Mitte
There were a exhibition called "MonsterKabinett", with fantastic machines taking life :)
Anyway, one of the living symbol of this underground has fallen to pieces, since Tacheles got closed. We were so disappointed passing by:
Tacheles was a former squat in an historic building, but has taken an important place into modern art, lately, since it was used as a giant gallery. They got expulsed in october 2012.
Again, pretty buidings:
We had a little promenade: near by, the Jewish philosopher Mendelssohn is buried, in the a Jewish garden dedicated to the memories of the Shoah. Many Jewish groups are visiting this place so we could not took a picture, sorry.
Passing by, we stumb upon this shop, which is selling every contemporary international revue dedicated to design, art, architecture, photography and even food. It has the disagreement of its fabulous advantages: the whole lot is a bit empty, and a lot driven on the showing... Anyway, a true reference:
do you read me?!
Magazine und Lektüre der Gegenwart
A beautiful private clinic:
I love to see those buildings inside court: I find them so typicaly Berliner... A few are open into the district.
Speaking of inside courts, let's talk about Die Hackeschen Höfe: those are a lot of height inside courts that are linked together and represent the finest style of industrial architecture, from the beginning of the Xxth century. Even if it has been transformed into a commercial gallery (lots of little shops: decoration, garments, porcelain...), it worth a visit.
Each court is very different, and has a proper atmosphere. I love those greeneries!
Anyway, we have been really astonished by this one, pure Jugendstil:
It seems that jane_smithston has also been impressed while she visits ;)
Yes, this is the MAC shop, into beautiful surroundings :)
Rosenthaler Str. 40-41,
In a window shop, cute mini dolls sceneries into small matchboxes:
All in all, the district is also less authentic than Friederishchain, but it is still really insteresting. If Prenzlauer Berg became the Bobo's place-to-be, I would say Scheunenviertel is definitely the hipster one, because of the lot of design places, and stylist shops. But the atmosphere is still a bit arty, and it's nice to have a walk in this area.
As a conclusion...
Our apartment was in a kind of youth hotel somewhere between Pankow and Wedding (suburbs out of the Ring, North side of Berlin), so still in the core of the East remembrances. Even if our hostel was not charming (but extremely cheap and practical) – (I know, most of the blogs makes you dream with luxury and comfort, but sorry, it is not our style of holidays! We are more trekkers in the spirit!) - the surroundings were beautiful!
We met a absolutely adorable French girl, who seem to be now a Berliner since she bought a flat here, at 12:00 PM in Pankow, lost in some problems of transportations. She told us about Pankow, and it seems also to be a part of the city to explore, as it was the place to be for Berliners into the 1920's, after being a Jewish quarter for a long time.
Our railway station for our suburb train, which was typical of this area too:
She has been of good advice too about the transport maps: it is really fun how the east side is covered with tramway that are not mention on most of the touristic maps: you have to ask for a special map into some of the main stations (or a BGV store: we took it at Alexenderplatz). She said it was so DDR and it was true. U-bahn and S-bahn (U-bahn serait plus le métro, et le S-bahn ressemble plus au RER parisien, pour les français) are sufficient, but it is cool to discover the city with tramway!
Plus the major S-bahn and U-bahn lines don't stop at night, there is a train at each hour. More information on the BVG website.
And around our places, some parts of the district were litteraly covered by small gardens, with tiny handmade houses, where people come to spend their week-ends!
I would just conclude by saying that Berlin definitely worths a visit: there is a true easy living in this city, where the Nature takes a huge place, and the atmosphere is really relax.
People are far more polite and self-controlled than in France: nothing new, of course, but it is always nice to hang around a city in a relative quietness.
Contrary to France, even the ethnic districts are quite peaceful, and are totally respectable.
As you can see, we essentially spent our time East side, so I can't talk much about what I haven't see. But prices are cheap compared to wear I live: accommodation, food and beers (of course!) are more than reasonable. Of course the touristic and pretentious places can be expensive, like in each city, because there are people to pay stupid prices for thing that don't worth it.
Berliners often ride bikes :)
People are relax, too. Most of the time, you see that you are in a capital by the way people are dressed up, to the last extend of fashion. In Berlin, people are quite at the last pulse on plenty of aspect, but they don't look pedantic like here or in Paris. When you get on the bus, no-one scans your outfit with its eyes: people just live their life.
I know for lots of you, this is absolutely normal: but that's something that changes from my poor French daily life, so I just wanted to note it.
ANother way and guide to visit the city, with its underground twist, is to consult Berlin City Spy map. It is a collective that try to make you visit the cities of Europe by other ways.
I found their map in Berlin, but you can find more informations on their website.
We definitely want to go back, to visit the city in another season: I want to see the atmosphere in winter, when the flowers faded and light is low.
So go East and share the Berliner's sweet life of summer!