This guide book is a collection of hidden art, architecture and natural beauty. It uncovers spaces of contemplation and cosmopolitanism, and reveals unusual venues of entertainment, oases of individual hospitality and unique accomodation – it is a book for anyone who wants to discover the city behind the city.
Prolog. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a not-quite voluntary journey of discovery began: to get to know a new half of the city and to make it part of everyday life. The online city-guide, www.berlin-hidden-places.de, was the initial compilation of these explorations. Many of the places presented in it have ceased to exist, like the café in the Korean Temple, Danziger Straße, and the Savoy Restaurant in the western part of Kantstraße. Others have closed, like the Nikolaihaus which used to boast Berlin’s most beautiful inner courtyard, or they shut down before we had a chance to record them, like the canteen in the old Staatsbibliothek Unter den Linden (Berlin State Library), with its forecourt seating. The seventy-three places described in this book are an attempt not to document the hidden Berlin, which is different for everyone, but to give an impression of the many precious finds that lie slumbering just below the surface of ordinary city life. In contrast to other big cities, it is not the official attractions, but the city’s constant re-invention of itself, the dynamic transition that started after the war and the division of the city, that makes Berlin so appealing. This book invites you to explore the more delicate layers, those that might only be revealed at a second glance.