Berlin is famous for its Hinterhofe: the spaces between the buildings where they stash their garbage cans. Berliners even proudly call themselves Hinterhofplanze: Hinterhofshrub. Obviously, Berliners do well in a shady, stinky place! But, on the other hand, some Hinterhofe are really pretty. Such as Rhiemers Hofgarten, in Kreuzberg.
Rhiemers Hofgarten, palace behind a pretty facade
If you don’t know about Rhiemers Hofgarten, you might easily walk by without noticing it. But now you do, so enter the large, beautifully decorated steel doors on Yorckstrasse. Don’t forget to look up. Architects Wilhelm Rhiemer and Otto Mrosk created pretty creatures in 1891 and they are right above your head. Large white stone lions and nearly naked men that resemble gods look down on the people visiting Rhiemers Hofgarten. Inside it’s peaceful and quiet and you hardly notice you are in busy Kreuzberg. It’s like visiting a small palace. Small kids row their boats on the facade, and the hinterhof has beautiful old street lights.
Fight over the rent at Rhiemers Hofgarten
Although it seems peaceful and quiet at Rhiemers Hofgarten, the people that rent apartments or small studios at this place have a different experience at the moment. Of course, they like living and working here. But for how long? An investor has bought the place a couple of years ago. And this investor too knows Rhiemers Hofgarten resembles a palace. Meaning: the rent has gone up and a lot of apartments are now empty. The people that still live here are really angry with this investor. Went their rent contract ends, they too face a larger rent. The investor wants to renovate the place and make fancy, expensive apartments of them. The people living here try to stay as long as they can, have a created a special group of renters to combine forces and complained about their situation and the empty apartments in the news more often. But until now, they haven’t been very successful. The investor knows the potential of the palace style of Rhiemers Hofgarten a little too well…