House full of history
No doubt, the 2007 opened Berlin Ellington Hotel in Charlottenburg, not far from Wittenberg Square, is a house with history and stories - but what immediately stands out is what I had already heard a lot in the run-up: The outstanding service of around 100 Employees who are competent and efficient for the guests. It was time to look at it personally.
The first impression: enthusiasm. Just a typical piece of Berlin. Designed by Richard Bielenberg and Josef Moser and built by 1928 to 1931 by Märkische Bau- und Grundstücksverwertung-AG, the building became known as "Haus Nürnberg", "Femina or Tauentzien Palace".
Visually influenced by the building designed by the architect Erich Mendelsohn over the continuous storey floor - even today there are 6 shops that can be used as a showroom - with illuminated elongated window bands the four upper floors, which were originally built as an office. The walls are covered with travertine, framed by narrow strips of dark brick underneath and above the strongly profiled windows.
The 185 meter is divided into a long and largely intact façade through staircase towers and bay windows. The entrance and shop windows of the shopfront are made of brass - this also contributes to the elegant exterior of the building under monument protection.
But this was mainly known for its ground floor, more precisely by the rear, two-storey ball house, called "Femina", already on 1. October 1929 was opened as "The Ballroom of Berlin" featuring 2.000 seating, "Two Giants Bars and Three Chapels", "Daily Dance Tea. Place M 2,50 "and" Dance Attractions "advertised.
Special features were a lift for up to 16 people, a pneumatic tube and the hydraulically opening roof, which gave the dancers the view of the starry sky. "Tango king" Juan Llossas played on it.
The Grand Café
Already 1931, the Grand Café, which was located just below the ballroom on the ground floor, was rebuilt into Willi Schaeffer's "Cabaret for All", in the Third Reich the house developed on the Nürnberger Straße with the large ballroom and its numerous side bars and restaurants The most popular swing palace in Berlin, where Teddy Stauffer, Heinz Wehner and other famous Kapellmeister "performed with their dance orchestras.
The ballroom was closed during the war, but the rest of the premises continued to swell until the bitter end. While the front house survived the war quite well, the back ball house was badly damaged during the war. Only the outer walls remained standing.
Klaus Kinski caused a sensation
On the ground floor, 1946 opened the cabaret "Ulenspiegel" in June, where Werner Finck celebrated his return to Berlin and Gustaf Gründgens his return to cabaret. 1948, the hall was converted into a movie theater, 1958 he became the venue of the privately financed "Berliner Theater", whose cast list reads like the Who's Who of the German boulevard theater. Many of the old Ufa stars, from Lil Dagover to Olga Tschechowa to Grethe Weiser, but also younger ones like Günter Pfitzmann and Edith Hancke were on display here.
1959 caused a sensation for the young Klaus Kinski when he recited Villon, Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde and Gerhart Hauptmann ten days in a row. From the former "Pusztastube" in the basement 1949 became the "bathtub".
Initiated by a group of painters as a rustic artists' lodge, the Kellerclub soon developed into Berlin's most important jazz venue - which could always be enjoyed for other rock-n-roll events: for Rock'n'Roll prizes, or Marlon Brando-Lookalike contests.
Coca-Cola was the most popular beverage alongside beer, and numerous American GIs mingled with the audience to hear the likes of Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Dizzie Gillespie or the eponymous Duke Ellington live.
The wild seventies
In the seventies, they turned to pop and disco, 1978 reopened as a discotheque "Sugar Shack" again. But the air was out, even the successor "garage" bobbed more bad than right.
In the old ball-house 1973 had already passed by with pleasure. The former cabaret, cinema and theater hall became the personal office of the Berlin financial administration, which 1951 had moved into the office floors.
Those who want to hear and experience even more stories about Berlin can use the free app "Going Local Berlin": It presents twelve Berlin districts, 60 Kieze and more than 700 personal Berlin tips, events and restaurant recommendations. The idea behind it: discover Berlin like a real Berliner. For this purpose, the app offers a tour per district, which is also available as a video and give insight into the atmosphere and highlights of a district, such as the Herb Farm in Reinickendorf, Little Venice in Spandau or the "Imaginäre Manufaktur" in Kreuzberg. The app is available in German and English and is available for download http://app.visitberlin.de ready.
Public transport use in Berlin
For tourists, the Berlin WelcomeCard is worthwhile: It allows free travel on public transport - and favorable conditions with some 200 partners who offer discounts from 25% to 50%! Berlin WelcomeCard users will also receive the Berlin WelcomeCard Guide, which enriches your Berlin trip as a travel guide.
There are different ticket options in 12 including the Berlin WelcomeCard Museumsinsel and as a ticket for all public transport - for 48 hours, 72 hours, 4, 5 or 6 days from validation as well as for the tariff zone AB or ABC (including Schönefeld airport). It can be booked online in advance at the Visit-Berlin Shop, but also in hotels, at vending machines and many travel agencies.
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