from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
coat of arms
Street in Berlin
Street cafes and showcases on the pavement of Kurfürstendamm
Basic data
place Berlin
District Charlottenburg ,
Wilmersdorf ,
Created in the 16th century
Connecting roads
Tauentzienstrasse (east)
Hubertusallee (west)
Cross streets (Selection)
Rankestrasse ,
Joachimsthaler Strasse ,
Fasanenstrasse ,
Uhlandstrasse ,
Brandenburgische Strasse,
Places Breitscheidplatz ,
Joachimsthaler Platz,
George-Grosz-Platz ,
Olivaer Platz ,
Adenauerplatz ,
Lehniner Platz ,
Henriettenplatz ,
Buildings see sights
User groups Pedestrian traffic , bicycle traffic , car traffic , public transport
Technical specifications
Street length 3500 meters

The Kurfürstendamm ( colloquially also Ku'damm ) is a main shopping street in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf , which leads from Rathenauplatz in the district of Grunewald to Breitscheidplatz with the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the district of Charlottenburg , where it turns into Tauentzienstrasse . The Kurfürstendamm is characterized by trade and gastronomy and is one of the tourist spots in Berlin's City West .


The Memorial Church as the eastern end of the Kurfürstendamm
Corner of Kurfürstendamm / Georg-Wilhelm-Strasse, 1911
Poster of the Berlin Secession , 1912

The Kurfürstendamm was laid out around 1542 as a dam path from the Berlin City Palace to the Grunewald hunting lodge and initially served as a riding path for Elector Joachim II. The oldest evidence of the existence of this dam (at that time still without a name) is the Plan géométral de Berlin et des environs des engineers La Vigne from 1685. After another 100 years, the name Churfürsten Damm appears for the first time on a map by Friedrich Wilhelm Carl von Schmettau from 1767 to 1787 . On February 5, 1873 Otto von Bismarck wrote a letter to the Secret Cabinet Councilor Gustav von Wilmowski , in which he first expressed the idea of ​​expanding it into a special boulevard. Bismarck's idea was taken up and a 25 meter wide paved road was planned. But through an objection, Bismarck managed to fix the street width for the expansion on June 2, 1875 by cabinet order at 53 meters. That was the starting shot for the construction of the villa colony Grunewald , for which Bismarck also campaigned. After the establishment of the Kurfürstendamm Society on December 22, 1882, the expansion of the Kurfürstendamm and the villa colony could begin.

In Halensee, the Elektromote test route crossed Kurfürstendamm in 1882 , the world's first trolleybus . In 1886 the street was finished and development into a boulevard could begin. The painting from 1862 by the painter Ernst Hancke gives an impression of the rural roadway that Kurfürstendamm was at the beginning of the 19th century.

Boulevard from 1886

May 5th, 1886, the day the steam tram line Zoologischer Garten - Halensee opened, is considered the official birthday of the Kurfürstendamm boulevard . In the 1880s, the street developed into a preferred residential area, and the new residents included: Eugen Bracht , Konrad Fehr, Karl Schuch and Eduard Hildebrand.

By the First World War , Kurfürstendamm changed at a rapid pace from an elegant residential street in the New West to a center of entertainment, shopping and cultural communication. As a stage for bourgeois self-expression and a place of cultural awakening, including the “ Café des Westens ” (from 1932 “ Café Kranzler ”) and the “ Lunapark ”, it soon competed with the old boulevard Unter den Linden in Berlin-Mitte . This development reached its peak at the time of the Weimar Republic , when the Kurfürstendamm became a synonym for the Golden Twenties for many people , this was reflected, for example, in the Kakadu bar at the intersection with Joachimsthaler Straße. Well-known, often Jewish, photographers had settled on Kurfürstendamm: Frieda Riess was on Kurfürstendamm 14/15, Suse Byk in house 230, Lili Baruch in number 201, Alexander Binder in Kurfürstendamm 225, later number 205, the fashion photographers Yva around Corner at Bleibtreustraße 17, later Schlüterstraße 45 , and Lotte Jacobi and Ruth Jacobi at Joachimsthaler Straße 5, later Kurfürstendamm 216, then no. 35, which Hein Gorny took over.

In 1931 and 1935 there were anti-Semitic attacks, the so-called “Kurfürstendamm riots” (see → here for 1931 and → here for 1935 ). During the time of National Socialism there were restrictions in the political and cultural field, which also resulted in considerable changes. The Olympics gave the Kurfürstendamm in 1936 with his flair nor international glamor, but what he represented - such as intellectual alertness, international understanding, artistic creativity, provocation, freedom of movement, commerce, spirit and culture - was in contrast to Nazi ideology and was always more regulated. With the expulsion and murder of the Jews , who had shaped the appearance and charisma of the Kurfürstendamm, the old spirit was finally eliminated.

After 1945

Kurfürstendamm (looking east), summer 1945

During the Second World War , significant parts of the building were destroyed by Allied air raids . The reconstruction was carried out with the aim of turning Kurfürstendamm into a shop window for the West and a symbol for the economic miracle during the Cold War . After the division of the city after the currency reform in 1948, the business center of West Berlin , City West , developed here, especially at the east end in the direction of the Zoo station . The colloquial term Ku'damm became the epitome of the promenade . In 1954, the full length tram lines on Kurfürstendamm were replaced by bus lines .

In February 1968 a large demonstration against the Vietnam War took place here. On April 11, 1968, the unskilled worker Josef Bachmann shot Rudi Dutschke on Kurfürstendamm .

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989

Glass facade of the New Kranzler Eck, opened in December 2000

After the Berlin Wall fell on the evening of November 9, 1989 , East Berliners first flocked to Ku'damm. The importance of the Kurfürstendamm soon declined, however, as a return to the historic center of Berlin began in the Mitte district and the newly built district on Potsdamer Platz created additional competition.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, after the closure of cinemas and long-established cafés, the boulevard has been developing more and more from the nightlife and entertainment mile into an exclusive shopping street. New hotels were built, the legendary Café Kranzler was embedded in a quarter redesigned by Helmut Jahn and there are disputes about the preservation and reconstruction of the stages on Kurfürstendamm.

In 2011, several months of celebrations were held to mark the 125th anniversary of Kurfürstendamm. They started in the spring with a classic car exhibition, which had the theme “125 years of the automobile”, which took place in the same year, followed by a three-month exhibition of the United Buddy Bears and the staging of a French street theater group, and finally in October with the light show Festival of Lights .



The house number counting originally began at the Cornelius Bridge on the northwest side of the street, changed to the southeast side at the west end in Halensee and ran back to the Landwehr Canal . When a suitable street was to be named after President Friedrich Ebert , who died in February 1925, the previous Budapester Straße between the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz was chosen . So that this renaming could not be misunderstood as an affront to the country Hungary and its capital Budapest, one wanted to transfer the old street name to another, not too peripheral street. Therefore, on April 22, 1925, the easternmost section of the Kurfürstendamm between today's Breitscheidplatz and the Cornelius Bridge over the Landwehr Canal, which was clearly separated from the western part by the busy square and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on it, which interrupts the visual axis, renamed Budapester Strasse . Since then, the Kurfürstendamm has been “missing” its original lowest and highest house numbers (1–9 and 238–264). House number 10 (immediately west of Breitscheidplatz) fell away after the Second World War due to the enlargement of the square. The house numbers 77-89 never existed; Lehniner Platz was created in their place. You will also look in vain for house numbers 221–223, the previously undeveloped properties of which were "swallowed" by Meinekestrasse, which was laid out in 1899.

Traffic pulpit

Traffic pulpit on Joachimsthaler Platz

The traffic pulpit at Joachimsthaler Platz, the intersection of Kurfürstendamm and Joachimsthaler Straße, consists of a glass pulpit on a four and a half meter high pillar. Despite its very exposed location, it is seldom noticed even by many Berliners. It is the traffic pulpit from which police officers switched the traffic lights in the square by hand in the 1950s. It has not been in operation since 1962, but is now a listed building . The traffic pulpit is a relic of traffic control from the 1950s.

Culture and art

shopping street

The Kurfürstendamm is the most famous shopping and promenade in Berlin. International fashion brands like Giorgio Armani , Hugo Boss , Burberry , Chanel , Dolce & Gabbana , Dior , Gucci , Hermès , Tommy Hilfiger , Michael Kors , Yves Saint Laurent , Prada , Valentino , Versace , Louis Vuitton or even companies like Apple (in the former Filmbühne Wien ) or Tesla and many more have set up their flagship stores on this street . Jewelers such as Cartier , Bucherer , Bulgari , Rolex , Askania or Wempe can be found there.

Further buildings and facilities on Kurfürstendamm

(from east to west)


Berlin Kurfürstendamm on the occasion of the Festival of Lights , 2012
  • Wolfgang Ribbe, Jürgen Schmädeke: Small Berlin story . Stapp, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-87776-222-0 .
  • Karl-Heinz Metzger, Ulrich Dunker: The Kurfürstendamm - the life and myth of the boulevard in 100 years of German history . Sabine Konopka Verlag, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-924812-13-6 .
  • Regina Stürickow: The Kurfürstendamm - faces of a street . Arani-Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-7605-8658-9 .
  • Johannes Althoff: The Kurfürstendamm . Berlin-Edition, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-8148-0020-6 .
  • Hans-Jürgen Tast: Cinemas in the 1980s. Example: Berlin / West . Kulleraugen-Medienschr., Schellerten 2008, ISBN 978-3-88842-035-1 .
  • Dorothea Zöbl: Life on Kurfürstendamm . Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-7861-2641-6 .
  • Peter Brock (ed.): Berlin streets rediscovered. 33 forays through the capital. Jaron Verlag Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-89773-114-2 . The Kurfürstendamm. The top location , pp. 99–104.
  • Peter-Alexander Bösel: Kurfürstendamm - Berlin's splendid boulevard . From the archive images series, Sutton Verlag GmbH, Erfurt 2008, ISBN 978-3-86680-284-1 .


  • On the Ku'damm. Documentary film, Germany, 2007, 43:30 min., Script and direction: Manuela Jödicke and Sylvia Rademacher, production: RBB , series: Berliner Ecken und Kante, first broadcast: May 30, 2007 on RBB, film information .

Web links

Commons : Kurfürstendamm  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. A short Berlin story . P. 50
  2. Heinz Ohff, Rainer Höyinck (ed.): Das BerlinBuch . Stapp Verlag Berlin, 1987, ISBN 3-87776-231-X , p. 112 and p. 146
  3. City Museum Collection Inv.Nr. VII 59/773 x . Painter Ernst Hancke (1846-): The area of ​​today's Breitscheid-Platz with the beginning of Kurfürstendamm . Oil on canvas, dating 1862, painting size H: 39 cm W: 52.9 cm
  4. Kurfürstendamm. In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  5. A Little Berlin Story , p. 137
  6. A Little Berlin Story , pp. 140 and 165
  7. Iris Meder: Steffi Brandl - Rediscovery of a Photographer , ( Memento of the original from May 14, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in David, Jewish Culture Magazine , No. 103, December 2014, accessed May 14, 2016 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / davidkultur.at
  8. A Little Berlin Story , p. 217
  9. A Little Berlin Story , p. 229
  10. 125 years of the automobile ( Memento of the original from December 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on the official website of the federal government, accessed on February 8, 2013 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.bundesregierung.de
  11. That was 125 years of Ku'damm . On the official website of Berlin Partner GmbH, Society for Economic Development and Location Marketing of the State of Berlin, along with extensive PDF documentation ( memento of the original from October 5, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed February 8, 2013 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kudamm2011.de
  12. Knef: "Heimweh ..." on youtube
  13. ^ Berlin: Rowohlt 1931
  14. ^ Berlin: Blanvalet 1952
  15. ^ Soesterberg: Aspect 2014
  16. ^ The Story of Berlin. BerlinOnline Stadtportal, May 18, 2020, accessed on July 1, 2020 .

Coordinates: 52 ° 30 ′ 3 ″  N , 13 ° 18 ′ 46 ″  E