Heckmann-Höfe – Far away from the hustle and bustle of the world

Heckmann-Höfe – Far away from the hustle and bustle of the world

Large courtyard ensembles cast a spell over visitors. As points of tranquility in an urban environment, they retain their own charm.

Berlin's history is also the history of its backyards. They often extend deep into the properties, into a world of their own, away from the street. Whether leafy and lovingly tended, inconspicuously functional, cluttered with bicycles, strollers and scooters, or magnificently landscaped: Even today, they are often an important place of urban life in the neighborhoods. 

The dome of the New Synagogue is towering above the courtyards 

Especially the large complexes in Berlin's Mitte district, such as the Hackesche Höfe, captivate visitors. The Heckmann-Höfe are located just a few hundred meters away from the Hackesche Höfe and, like them, are an example of the charm of such quiet spots in a bustling urban environment. The Heckmann-Höfe consist of just three courtyards that connect Oranienburger Straße parallel to Tucholskystraße with Auguststraße. Towering above the courtyards is the dome of the New Synagogue, a testament to the formerly omnipresent Jewish life in the neighborhood. 

Playgrounds show that families live here

Residential houses frame the front and back courtyards. Playgrounds show that many families also live here in the center of the Spandauer Vorstadt. The middle cobblestoned courtyard is characterized by a fountain surrounded by rose bushes: a picturesque backdrop for studios, workshops and stores. "An oasis in the hectic Oranienburger Straße: the Heckmann-Höfe," a visitor praises on the travel portal Tripadvisor. 

A place to go for fans of Harry Potter

Stores for handicrafts and jewelry are located here, as well as one called "Seven Kingdoms," where fans of Harry Potter will be enchanted. The two-story Werkhaus serves as an event location for receptions, exhibitions and presentations. Restaurants and a candy store provide culinary delights.

The Galli Theater is also located in the Heckmann-Höfe: The theater is named after the founder Johannes Galli and performs comedies, fairy tale plays and prevention theater for children and young people.

Almost 230 years of history

Like the Hackesche Höfe, the Heckmann-Höfe have an eventful history. The area was first mentioned in 1799, and almost a hundred years later, in 1887, the owner added a horse stable and a coach house. In 1905, the industrial magnate Friedrich Wilhelm Heckmann acquired the farms, which is why they bear his name today. Heckmann mainly built distillery plants in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The administration and design offices moved into the Heckmann-Höfe, and senior employees were also allowed to live here. After World War II, the site became "property of the people." 

Artists and creative people revitalize the neighborhood

After the fall of the GDR, artists and creative workers discovered the neighborhood in the 1990s and brought new life to the dilapidated and neglected buildings. After changes of ownership, subdivisions of the courtyards and partial vacancy, Places Prime GmbH has been responsible for the ensemble since 2014. 

Today, the Heckmann-Höfe enchant as a tourist attraction with their silence and seclusion: an inimitable mixture of residential and commercial use, of regional crafts and creativity, of entertainment and enjoyment. 

Photo credit:
Lead picture: © Picture Alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Gerald Matzka
All other Photos: © Smith – Agentur für Markenkommunikation/Axel Novak