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Photo credit Oh-Berlin.com and Rosmarie Voegtli

Rich history at Hackesche Höfe in Berlin

Hackesche Höfe, a busy and popular place to shop in Berlin, was designed in the early 18th century. It’s not a common site that tourists visit, however it is a bustling area for locals. The rich history of the area might be interesting to tourists so it’s a top tip for those who want an experience off the beaten path.

The Spandau city commander, Count von Hacke, wanted a market built to extend Berlin’s urban area during the 18th century. The apartments surrounding the market became popular and respectable addresses. The tenants were proud of their large complex with eight rear courtyards.

The market progressed after its construction and by 1900, the market was a prime example of the Art Nouveau period. The façade facing Hackescher Markt included a large, round arch and long, skinny windows. The market included many courtyards and shops with a mixture of services offered. The courtyards especially show the age of Art Nouveau, with many green vines mixed with modern, artistic shapes of glass to enhance the courtyard. Today the Hackesche Höfe has a very lively atmosphere. Rebuilt to emulate the original market, it offers many shops, courtyards and coffee shops to add to the busy atmosphere. A great way to experience Berlin.

Hackesche Höfe is also the home to the first ever S-Bahn station in Berlin. The fact that this is where the first train station was built shows the amazing popularity and high traffic that moved through the market during earlier days. The S-bahn station is a great example of the Historicist movement. Often when we think of Historicism, we think of grand buildings such as the Reichtag or the Berliner Dom. These buildings are truly Historicist, however Berlin hides many more examples of Historicist architecture that we often overlook. The S-Bahnhof at Hackescher Markt is a prime example of this kind of architecture. In 1882 the first S-Bahn train traveled, with Emperor Wilhelm I as the guest of honor, through a new railway route. The urban railway station at Hackescher Markt was an impressive station built to excite Berliners about the new train system. The hall measures about 100 meters in length and 16 meters in width. It has a low-arched roof and originally offered a skylight in the middle. The side facing Hackischer Markt is richly decorated with low arches above shops and an upper story with round windows. The side panels of the walls are ornate and detailed. Hackescher Markt was built to reflect the beauty of the Renaissance.

Hackescher Markt is not only a beautiful structure revealing aspects from the Renaissance, but it also is home to one of Berlin’s most important historical milestones. The addition of a street train was essential for the rapidly growing Berlin. The railways allowed Berliners to travel from easy to west without causing traffic. The new railway line symbolized Berlin’s movement to become an ultra-modern city. There was a demand for public transportation, due to the population increase. Hackescher Markt and the first-ever S-Bahnhof stands today as a reminder of the beginnings of a well-thought-out city.

If you’re interested in exploring Berlin further and stepping away from the typical sights, take the S-bahn to Hackescher Markt to see the beginnings of a bustling city.


Picture of Europe a la Carte

Posted by Europe a la Carte
on 9th March 2010 and
updated on 19th April 2021

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