Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spandauer Vostadt, Berlin

Yesterday John and I took the S-Bahn to Hackescher Markt stop to visit the lively Spandauer Vostadt neighbourhood.
The area is was once the centre of the pre-War Jewish community and since the fall of the Wall has become a centre of shopping, night spots and art galleries.
Restored after 2nd World War bombing, the rabbit warren of Hofe (courtyards) around Rosenthaler Strasse and Sophienstrasse
bustle with cafes, fashion shops
and art galleries.
Brass-covered cobblestones remind visitors of the individual Jewish citizens who once lived and worked here
and the Neue Synagogue, destroyed during the Nazi regime and 2nd World War bombing was restored to its mock-Moorish splendor on Oranienburger Strasse in 1988.
The Baroque Sophienkirche (1712) on Grosse Hamburger Strasse is a rare survivor of the wartime bombing and its elegant spire a landmark in the neighbourhood.
Auguststrasse is now lined with art galleries that show international artists. We stopped at Galerie EIGEN + ART where a show by Birgit Brenner was newly opened. We didn't know her name but loved her cardboard wall sculptures.
At DNA (Die Neue Aktiongalerie) we were thrilled to see Up Against Down, new installations by Gary Hill. In my capture we see the six projections of the artist's body pressed up against a seemingly infinite dark space.
Our luck in seeing Gerhard Richter's work in Berlin continued at me Collectors Room where his Editions, 1965-2011/Olbricht Collection was on view.
We couldn't photograph in the gallery space but thought you might enjoy seeing the cafe space at me.
Here's another smart cafe at Kleine Hamburger Straße.
By this time were were getting hungry as we came to the end of Auguststrasse. We're just about to come upon Nord Sud, the cafe where John will show pictures of our lunch in the upcoming post.
As we arrived at Oranienstrasse after lunch we discovered the famous Tacheles, a ruined factory building taken over by artists in the 1990's that revitalized the neighbourhood.
The glory days of Tacheles seem to be over. We found mostly vendors and shops in the hippy mode but its history and importance to the revival of the neighbourhood stand strong.
As we headed back to the subway along Oranienburger Strasse with its mix of restored and new architecture, John and I resolved to return to the intriguing area to continue our exploration of its treasures.

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