Schwarzenberg House: A Hidden Courtyard On Hackescher Markt, Berlin

Photo of Sonia Poveda
10 October 2016

Berlin’s courtyards are some of the most intriguing sites of the city. Although these hidden buildings were built with the aim to separate social classes (normally used to host the lower classes), today they have become beautiful gardens surrounded by residential and commercial spots. Berlin is known for its hundreds of beautiful and unique courtyards, but this one is truly exemplary. Read on to find out more about the fascinating history behind this landmark.

Schwarzenberg House | © Cylk34/ flickr

In the heart of Berlin lies Hackescher Markt, a square located near some courtyards such as Schwarzenberg House, the weirdest and coolest courtyard in the city. This is the perfect place to experience Berlin’s diversity. It’s home to hidden shops, bars, cafés and museums, complete with an environment that will surprise you.

Schwarzenberg House | © Cylk34/Flickr

Located next to Hackescher Höfe, this hall’s walls are covered with a collage of colorful graffiti, which has changed over the years, radiating a strange feeling impossible to describe but definitely worthy of visiting. In order to experience it like a Berliner, here is a list of some things to explore.

Café Cinema | © Vicente Villamón/Flickr

First is Café Cinema — this café marks the entrance of the courtyard on Rosenthaler Straße — a cozy and legendary café where filmmakers, artists, bohemians and locals have been meeting for years. This small, old and dark café offers good snacks and drinks at a reasonable price. During summer, the terrace extends along the hall with musicians providing great tunes while you enjoy your drinks.

Monsterkabinett | © Aaron Muszalski/Flickr

As you continue walking, you will find the Monsterkabinett, a museum of strange tinplate figures and robots — a result of Hannes Heiner’s imagination. These bizarre figures are inspired by the artist’s dreams and can be freaky and scary. You may never understand what are you looking at, but that is what makes this museum a unique place in the world. For more information about this museum, visit their website.

Anne Frank’s Museum | © Rae Allen/Flickr

If you are in the mood to learn a bit more about Anne Frank’s story and her diary, a small but complete permanent museum is exhibited in a corner of this hall of graffiti. The mystery and hidden feelings of Anne Frank can be discovered in the historical building, Schwarzenberg House. Normally, the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm, and the entrance fee is five euros.

Eschschloraque Bar | © gilipollastv/Flickr

In this building, you can also visit Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind, the strange Eschschloraque Bar, the Central Cinema, and the shop and gallery known as Neurotitan.

Schwarzenberg House | © Cylk34/Flickr

If you go to the top of the last dark building adorned with graffiti, you will find the design fashion shop Stokx Shop, where it is possible to see how designers, manufactures and machines do their jobs while you have a look at the collections.

More small exhibitions and stores can be found at the Schwarzenberg House, so when you come to Berlin, don’t miss the chance to explore Berlin’s charming vibe — this courtyard can be your springboard.

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