INBERLIN: Auguststrasse

Auguststraße is known as Ber­lin’s main gallery area. An area that encapsulates the thriving na­ture of the avant-garde, a hive of creativity that has turned into a magnet for all those looking for contemporary art and culture, be it gallery spaces or chic eateries. Auguststraße was a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood before World War II. When […]

Auguststraße is known as Ber­lin’s main gallery area. An area that encapsulates the thriving na­ture of the avant-garde, a hive of creativity that has turned into a magnet for all those looking for contemporary art and culture, be it gallery spaces or chic eateries. Auguststraße was a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood before World War II. When the wall came down in 1989, buildings stood unused, aban­doned from the days of the GDR. Gal­leries and young creative types knew how to take advantage of the cheap rent and cost of living. They moved into the area, thus establishing it as the centre of the German art scene.

Standing proudly amidst August Street, is the former Jewish School for Girls. It was designed by promi­nent architect Alexander Beer in the so-called ‘New Objectivity’ style, emphasizing function over form. Looking from the outside it’s dark and imposing. The inside, however, is elegant and flow­ing with mosaic tiled floors, high ceilings and large metal framed windows. Previously unused for ten years, it held the 4th Berlin Bien­nale in 2006. It reopened in 2012 and now houses several indepen­dent art galleries and a museum devoted to former U.S. president John F. Kennedy and his family.

More art galleries line the street, from smaller outfits to larger insti­tutions like Kunst Werke and the ME Collectors Room. Kunst Werke, in particular, brings a lot of inter­national attention because of its interest in showing work from art­ists around the globe. Be prepared to be immersed, shocked, chal­lenged and surprised when visit­ing. The street is also home to a number of inde­pendent fashion designers.

It can be a long old stroll if you want to experience it all in one sitting but there is no shortage of cof­fee shops. For a little pick me up try Factory Girl, Au­guststraße 29. They serve tasty variations on coffee (Cappuccino with Banana nectar), homemade lem­onade and numerous well-craft­ed sweets and desserts. Break­fast and lunch are offered all day. As you’d expect from such an area, there are also many restau­rants and music venues that give Auguststraße a reputation for being an equally trendy spot for nightlife.

For dinner choose between; Italian (Al Contadino Sotto Le StelleSlow), French (Brasserie Nord Sud), Span­ish (Restaurant Ruz) or German (Clärch­ens Ballhaus). For something a little more dynamic try Shiso Burger, they offer an interesting Asian inspired take on gourmet junk food.

Auguststraße is lit up beautifully in the evening and is humming with peo­ple taking in the night. The atmo­sphere, especially during the sum­mer months, is languid and sultry. There is a real mix of people and it seems so relaxing that you could easily spend your entire trip here, drinking it all up.
AUGUSTSTRASSE/Mitte | 10117 Berlin, U Rosenthaler Platz, S Oranienburger Straße
Team Curso/CTR Travel Writing 2013 By Benjamin James Brady

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