Friday, August 12, 2011

Unter den Linden - Berlin

At the turn of the century, Unter den Linden was Berlin's most elegant street, with lots of sidewalk cafes, restaurants, and nightlife. I visited Unter Den Linden in East Berlin when the wall was still up and went to see an opera at the Staatsoper. The street seemed sad and desolate. Most of the Linden trees were cut down for firewood during World War II. New ones were planted in 1950, but the street has never really regained its stature.

Here we are at the corner of Unter den Linden and Friedrichstrasse. On the left-hand side of the card, you can see the famous Cafe Bauer, where the proprietors had 800 European daily newspapers available for patrons to peruse while they sipped coffee and ate delicious tortes with whipped cream. The Cafe Kranzler is shown front and center on the card. Here's a close-up of the detail at the entrance of the Cafe Kranzler.

Click on the link to see a picture of the same place in 1933. There is still a Cafe Kranzler in Berlin, but it's a newer incarnation in a totally different location.
Here's the back of the card.


  1. I visited East Berlin in the 1980s and was looking forward to walking along 'Unter den Linden', it was very sad and emotionally draining.

  2. Nice! Things change, not always for better. :)

  3. It was still depressing when I was there in 2003- there were pockmarks in the building facades from gunfire over 50 years earlier, and a general sense of abandonment- but things were changing, especially at the Brandenburg Gate end, with Frank Gehry's DG Bank building (don't be fooled by the stark exterior, go inside...) and the the glowing glass dome of Norman Foster's Reichstag renovation beyond the gate. Don't know that it will ever be the most elegant street in Berlin again, but I'm sure it will at least become a place you would want to visit.

  4. What a great street scene! Sad to hear that the area lost its flavor.

  5. I visited Berlin in March this year (2011) and found it a very vibrant city with the same feel of this postcard. It seemed like a place intent on recovering the beauty and heritage of a unified culture.



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