KREUZBERGED: BERLIN COMPANION

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin

TODAY IN KREUZBERG: MARCH 15th – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARHEINEKE MARKTHALLE

Originally known as Markthalle XI and like all other 14 Berlin market halls designed by Hermann Blankenstein (more about him here), Marheineke-Halle between Zossener Strasse, Bergmannstrasse and Marheineke Platz in Berlin-Kreuzberg was opened on March 15th, 1892.

The facade of Markthalle XI as designed by Hermann Blankenstein.

The facade of Markthalle XI as designed by Hermann Blankenstein.

Its 278 small stands on almost 3000  square metres offered everything that running a regular household required. Until the mid-1940s when the market hall was hit by a bomb and destroyed by a fire that followed (only the western entrance in Zossener Strasse survived those air-raids), it was the heart of the neighbourhood and a central meeting point for the residents.

Police raid aimed at the black market activities carried out in front of the ruins of Marhaineke Markthalle in June 1948 (photo: Bundesarchiv)

Police raid aimed at the black market activities carried out in front of the ruins of Marhaineke Markthalle in June 1948 (photo: Bundesarchiv)

Renovated at the end of the 1990s and further refurbished later, it changed so much that it is actually striving to keep up its image as the Kiez centre. It still offers plenty of goods, however, the target audience seems to be rather better off than a regular market hall clientele: French delicacies, Italian titbits and organic breads replaced turnips, cheap fish and shoeshine.

Market hall XI shortly after the war: the business continued from the only remaining rooms of the old Markthalle, the cellars. (the street visible on the on the right side isMittenwalderstrasse with today´s Leibnitz Gymnasium)

Market hall XI shortly after the war: the business continued from the only remaining rooms of the old Markthalle, the cellars. (the street visible on the on the right side isMittenwalderstrasse with today´s Leibnitz Gymnasium) (photo: http://www.meine-markthalle.de)

The question remains whether the new Markthalle is the reflection of the neighbourhood´s new gentility and financial fluidity or whether it actively contributes to the process of Verdrängung (pushing out) of the not-so-well-off residents. However,  the truth lies most likely – like always – somewhere in the middle.

And neither does it change the fact that if you want to eat well, have a good cup of coffee or are in need of 200g of fresh Wurst, Marheinekehalle is the place to be. The days of the turnip are definitely over.

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