1. April 2013. I remember Berlin having a thriving street art scene, with murals, paintings and graffiti literally everywhere. A lot of this stuff you’ll discover naturally on buildings, bridges, doors, windows, tunnels, rubbish bins… you name it. There are also a handful of art zones, many of them delightfully under the radar back when I was in the city. One of these was the edgy, underground Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley, a narrow passage of thought-provoking street graffiti that will delight and concern in equal measure.
2. April 2013. The art project here was started by Haus Schwarzenberg, a non-profit group dedicated to mostly free, sometimes low-cost art to the people of Berlin. Dozens of high profile artists have contributed to the graffiti, sculptures and installations on display and a quenchless thirst for evolution ensures the works are constantly changing. A visit here in the summer will be completely different to a Christmas experience, with fresh murals papered over and new flourishes aplenty. One mainstay however who has always and will always be here is Anne Frank (by the Australian artist Jimmy C), whose portrait holds court over the stairwell entrance leading up to Schwarzenberg House.
3. April 2013. Schwarzenberg House presents a number of galleries, exhibitions and an art house cinema. Some of these are free, while others require a ticket to enter. Even the stairwell itself deserves some time, plastered as it is from head to toe with paintings, scribblings, signatures, hand-written message and spray-painted quotes.
4 April 2013. Among the attractions in Schwarzenberg House is the unsettling, dystopian Monsterkabinett (Entrance 8 Euros), a studio of grisly machines and robots. There’s also a small museum dedicated to Anne Frank (5 Euros) and a free gallery showcasing the works of Berlin’s blind artists.
5. April 2013. Another free exhibit is the Neurotitan Gallery, where the art focuses on “electronic music, comics and graphic art”. Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley is located at 39 Rosenthaler Straße in the labyrinthine Hackescher Markt neighbourhood. The entrance to the alley is understated, there’s no grand signage of any description just look out for the red neon signs of Café Cinema, it’s next to that. The house itself is open daily from 10:00-16:00, but closes on Saturdays.
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