Oranienburger Strasse, Berlin
Oranienburger Strasse is located in the centre of the Scheunenviertel quarter, Berlins former Jewish quarter. After World War II this area was neglected and fell into a state of decay.
These days however, this area has become very fashionable, with many buildings being restored to their former glory. There are lots of trendy bars, restaurants and shops to attract locals and tourists alike. Modern hotels (like the one we stayed in) are being constructed next to derelict-looking buildings which house the latest 'bar of the minute' and such like.
This is a lively area, with plenty of nightlife for those not too exhausted from a big day of seeing the sights.
At 54-56 Oranienburger Strasse you will find Tacheles, the ruins of one of Berlin's most elegant shopping centres which has been transformed by artists into a "symbol of alternative culture". It looks like some sort of squat, but in fact contains cafes/bars, a movie theatre and holds various art related workshops.
You will find the Neue Synagoge at 28-30 Oranienburger Strasse, it is unlikely you will miss its gleaming gold dome shining about the street. The dome belonged to the original synagogue, which was built from 1859-66 and was the largest in Europe until it was destroyed by bombs in 1943 (obviously the dome escaped total ruin).
The new synagogue was completely reconstructed from 1988-1995. Not only can you check out that beautiful dome but there is also a museum you can visit which examines the role of the Jewish Community in Berlin.
We really enjoyed being based in this part of the city and found there was an interesting mix of old and new.
For most travellers a visit to Oranienburg usually means visiting the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Unless you carefully read the information you may be unaware that this was not the first concentration in Oranienburg. The original camp in the town centre was one of the first in Germany and was located in a disused factory which was a former brewery, opening on the 21st March 1933. There was a court house opposite and the prisoners were marched through the town to various locations to carry out work for the local authority. At first it was going to take 700 prisoners with 14 SA guards. By the summer of 1933 the number of guards had reached 170. At its high point the camp held 735 prisoners, and 3,000 prisoners including 3 women passed through the camp during its existence, at least 16 of which were murdered. After the Röhm Putsch the SA lost its power and the camp was taken over by SS guards. The prisoners were moved from the camp on the 13th July 1934 and the camp was put on a reserve status in case it was needed again. The camp buildings were bombed and reduced to rubble during the war. There is a permanent exhibition about the camp’s history at the main Sachsenhausen Camp. There is only a wall that remains of the original camp. A paved blocked area with a seat, plants and memorials have been erected by the original camp wall.
Meika took us to Oranienburger Strasse which is located in the centre of the Scheunenviertel quarter, Berlins former Jewish quarter. After World War II this area was totally neglected and fell into a state of decay.
Today it is a very fashionable and sought after area, with many buildings being restored to their former glory. At night time it really comes alive as there are lots of trendy bars, restaurants and shops to attract locals and tourists alike.
The name Oranienburger Strasse conjured up wonderful images for me , long before I ever set foot on it. From what I'd read, it seemed that this street epitomised everthing that was cool and funky about Berlin. Saturday afternoon, after my abortive attempt to get to Prenzlauer Berg on the 200 Bus, I did make it to Oranenburger Strasse. To make things better, the SUN ( rare commodity here in December ) was shining brightly and I finally felt like I'd found a corner of Berlin that lived up to my expectations.
Obviously there is quite a difference between street life in winter and summer in Berlin and it was no way as busy as I expected. The beautiful people just weren't in evidence but I expect they were still all in bed sleeping off the effects of the night before. It was really quiet and I couldn't believe how few people were in the shops and cafes.
Lack of people aside, I loved the street, did some window shopping and got quite excited when I reached the Tacheles. I'm sure this is very outdated now, but having seen so many photos of it, I really enjoyed browsing round and photographing the graffiti etc.
Another great building here ( on the corner of Oranienburger Str. and Tucholsky Str.) is the red-brick Postfuhramt ( photo 4), which I knew just had to be something more than your average post office. Inside is C/O, one of the newer gallery spaces around here. All along August Strasse as well, you will find galleries in some strange locations, a very pleasurable activity if you're into this sort of thing.
Back on Oranienburger Strasse I got the opportunity to visit something else on my 'must-see' list, the Neue Synagoge. This street and those surrounding it are packed with things to see and do. I just wish I could have spent more time there.
This street is famous for the Tacheles, the cultural art center in an old WWII ruined house....
These days, there are windows in the back wall of the building again....it´s not the same anymore I would say...
But the Oranienburger Strasse still has a lot to see and what is even better is that there are still a lot of very nice bars around... Would have loved to eat something here but all places were crowded....next time maybe but I guess it´s always crowded....
Oranienburger Straße is a street full of great nightlife locations. Apart from great pubs and clubs you will find the Jewish synagogue with its beautiful dome and the Tacheles here - a centre for art, culture and parties.
The house the Tacheles is in was bombed in WWII and during 40 years of GDR government it was never restored. So from the courtyard behind it you can see right into the rooms as the wall is missing.