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"Nolle", "Nolli"
Coat of arms of Berlin.svg
Place in Berlin
Aerial view with the Nollendorfplatz underground station in the middle
Basic data
place Berlin
District Schöneberg
Created 1862-1864
Confluent streets
Kleiststrasse ,
Bülowstrasse ,
Motzstrasse ,
Karl-Heinrich-Ulrichs-Strasse ,
Maaßenstrasse ,
Buildings Metropol-Theater ,
Nollendorfplatz station
User groups Pedestrians , cyclists , road traffic , public transport
Space design Peter Joseph Lenné

The Nollendorfplatz located in the north of Berlin hamlet Schoeneberg in Tempelhof-Schöneberg and is an expansive road crossing an important transport hub of the capital. The subway station of the same name is served by four lines of the Berlin subway .

Lützowplatz and Nollendorfplatz follow the street axis that begins in the north at the Großer Stern with the victory column in the Tiergarten . Winterfeldtplatz is around 200 meters further south .

From 1864 the area bore the name of the north Bohemian town of Nollendorf (Czech: Nakléřov ) , the scene of the battle of Kulm and Nollendorf , and was laid out in 1880 as a place on the border between the then city of Charlottenburg and the community of Schöneberg. Its original character as a typical 19th century Berlin jewelery square and part of the general train is no longer recognizable today.

Origin and naming

Nollendorfplatz, around 1905/1906. Above right the tower of the "American Church"
Nollendorfplatz, 1907

The Nollendorfplatz was created as part of the general train, a series of streets and squares that were expanded in the 19th century - until around 1880 - in today's districts of Schöneberg and Kreuzberg . The work was based on older plans by the Royal Prussian General Garden Director Peter Joseph Lenné (1789–1866) and on the Hobrecht plan from 1862, a comprehensive development plan that included a belt road on the periphery of what was then Berlin. The names of the individual sections refer to military leaders and scenes from the Wars of Liberation 1813–1815 against Napoleon Bonaparte . The Nollendorfplatz was named on 27 November 1864. He recalls the for the Kingdom of Prussia victorious Battle of Kulm and Nollendorf (now in the Czech Republic ) in late August 1813. Commanding General was Friedrich von Kleist , who after winning the title of nobility Graf said with Received the nickname 'von Nollendorf'; he is the namesake of Kleiststrasse , which leads from Wittenbergplatz in the west to Nollendorfplatz. The Bülowstrasse , which continues east to Dennewitzplatz , is named after General Friedrich Wilhelm von Bülow .

Design and change

The square was laid out in 1880 according to the ideas of Peter Josef Lenné. In the middle of the square was a small, park-like facility, characteristic of the urban decorative places of the time: a circular lawn, partly planted with flowers and surrounded by rows of trees.

The south-eastern part of the square belonged to Schöneberg, the northwest, somewhat larger part to Charlottenburg , both of which were still independent communities at the time. The border of the city of Berlin ran about 200 meters north of the square. The shared responsibilities repeatedly led to differences in matters relating to the square. For example, the question at which point the elevated railway brought in from the east should become a subway was controversial ; Residents had protested against noise pollution and poor lighting conditions.

The Berlin regional reform with effect from April 1, 1938 resulted in numerous straightening of the district boundaries as well as some major changes to the area. This is how the entire area of ​​Nollendorfplatz became the Schöneberg area.

The construction of the Nollendorfplatz underground station with the elevated viaduct at the turn of the 20th century was a major intervention in the structure of the square (→  history of the Berlin underground ). After completing the extensive work, however, the green spaces were extensively restored according to plans by the city of Charlottenburg and at the expense of the elevated railway company . Contemporary photographs show that the appearance of the square as a decorative square was essentially retained. The Nickelmann Fountain by the sculptor Otto Westphal was installed below the elevated railway construction in 1904 .

During the Second World War , Nollendorfplatz and the surrounding buildings suffered severe damage in the Allied air raids and the Battle of Berlin . The destroyed buildings were replaced by new buildings with no apparent overall concept. The square itself was made traffic-friendly after 1971; This was done primarily in favor of Kleiststrasse and Bülowstrasse, which, as busy thoroughfares, are part of the fastest connection between the districts of Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg. Today the square mainly consists of the underground building, two wide streets on both sides of the elevated railway line and an extensive intersection area. A parking lot was created on a remaining area.


The former New Playhouse, later the Metropol Theater , and finally the
Goya venue

On the Schöneberg side, large construction companies and banks had once taken over the development and development of the surrounding area. Representative buildings were erected on the edge of Nollendorfplatz, while the properties in Bülowstrasse were built on compactly with houses that were soon called tenements because of their cramped living conditions . This development was essentially over by the crash of 1873. A completely different settlement structure developed north of the square. The vegetable gardener and landowner Georg Friedrich Kielian (1806–1876) had a villa colony built on his now parceled fields between 1867 and 1870 exclusively for wealthy and distinguished interested parties. Today only a few of the 60 or so villas are still there. The names Kielgan-Viertel and Kielganstraße are reminiscent of the founder of the district, albeit in an incorrectly adopted spelling.

At the beginning of the 20th century, three distinctive structures were erected on Nollendorfplatz:

Fragment of the destroyed "American Church"
  • At the beginning of Motzstrasse , the architect Otto March built the “American Church” between 1900 and 1902 . The client was the Berlin community of the independent "American Church", which had existed since 1896. The building, which is based on the English Gothic style , was badly damaged in World War II and demolished in 1958. In the courtyard of the newly built property there is an architectural fragment with columns and a stone statue, evidently based on the Greek model. Both are attributed to the destroyed church.
  • In 1905/1906 a theater building was built as the Neues Schauspielhaus , which was later called the Theater am Nollendorfplatz and Metropol . The architect of the building, which is stylistically situated between tradition and modernity, was Albert Fröhlich for the Boswau & Knauer office . In addition to the theater hall and a wood-paneled concert hall, there was a wine restaurant, a beer restaurant and a concert garden in the courtyard. The years 1927 to 1931 were historically particularly significant, when Erwin Piscator staged his revolutionary, time-critical theater productions here using the latest stage technology. Today only the magnificent front building (foyer areas) remains, the actual stage construction with its rear and side stage areas as well as the cloakrooms fell victim to the bombs. One after the other, the building was used as a theater, operetta stage, cinema, variety show , discotheque and, for a short time, as a dining and dance club. Most recently it traded under the name Goya and was used, among other things, for gala events. In May 2014 the Goya was closed again. Events under the name Metropol have been taking place there again since April 2019 .
  • The Nollendorfplatz underground station consists of a high station and a two-storey underground station. The city of Charlottenburg requested a particularly sophisticated design for the stop, which opened in 1902, in keeping with the character of the square. The architects Wilhelm Cremer and Richard Wolffenstein designed a building with many decorative elements and a dome as a special feature. During the Second World War, the building, including the dome, was badly damaged and then, in a simplified manner, repaired so that it could fulfill its function. In 1999, a renovation in line with listed buildings began, the originally glazed dome was rebuilt as a stylized, open iron construction in the old dimensions. A plaque on the south side of the facade has been commemorating the homosexual victims of National Socialism since 1989 . It was the first public memorial for this group of victims in a German city.

Residents and visitors

Memorial plaque at the subway station for the " Rosa Winkel "
Rainbow stele by the artist Salomé

The biographies of well-known personalities, mainly from artistic professions, are connected to Nollendorfplatz and its immediate surroundings. A selection (alphabetically):

The area around Nollendorfplatz is the setting for the children's book Emil and the Detectives (1929) by Erich Kästner . Christopher Isherwood's books Mr. Norris rises (1935) and Lebwohl, Berlin (1939) were partly set in the nearby Nollendorfstrasse and in the traditional gay bars such as the Eldorado , which was also described by Erika and Klaus Mann .

Nollendorfplatz has long been considered the western center of the lesbian and gay scene in Berlin. Its area includes the traditional pub scene and multicultural restoration of the surrounding streets such as Motzstraße, Maaßenstraße, Eisenacher Straße and Nollendorfstraße up to Goltzstraße on the not far away Winterfeldtplatz . During the time of National Socialism , the bars around Nollendorfplatz visited by homosexuals were closed or raided "to create ' pink lists " [homosexual files] ".

Today the gay advice and information center Mann-O-Meter and the gay and lesbian bookstore Bruno’s are located on Nollendorfplatz . At the confluence of Motzstrasse on Nollendorfplatz is the rainbow stele by the artist Salomé , donated by the association of gay hosts in the district. Every year since 1993, on two summer days - usually on the third weekend in June, one week before Christopher Street Day  - the Lesbian and Gay City Festival Berlin has taken place in several streets around Nollendorfplatz . In 2007 it had 420,000 visitors and is now the largest gay street festival in Europe.

On the occasion of a demonstration against the visit of the then US President Ronald Reagan on July 11, 1982, one of the most serious street battles in West Berlin's history broke out. Despite a Berlin-wide demonstration ban imposed by the Senate , numerous people gathered on Nollendorfplatz. The Berlin police tried to encircle those present by blocking the access roads on the square. Autonomous people then began to throw cobblestones at the police. They managed to clear an escape route via Bülowstrasse . The event shifted to the area around Winterfeldtplatz , where the police hunted down fleeing demonstrators. Overall, there were injuries on both sides as well as high property damage. The press photo of a burned-out police van on Nollendorfplatz gained cult status as a poster in the autonomous scene.


Web links

Commons : Nollendorfplatz  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Susanne Twardawa: The Nollendorfplatz in Berlin . Motzbuch, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-935790-02-3 , p. 10.
  2. Montblanc brings the stars to Berlin. Retrieved June 26, 2019 .
  3. ^ Metropol Berlin. Retrieved June 26, 2019 .
  4. Thomas Beckmann: Deadly - dead silent. 30 years of Rosa Winkel at Nollendorfplatz in Berlin . In: HuK -Info 206 (2019), p. 23.
  5. ^ Obituary for Loki Schmidt. In: Der Spiegel No. 43/2010
  6. Antje Kraschinski: June 1982: In the boiler from Nollendorfplatz . In: Berliner Zeitung . ( [accessed June 14, 2018]).

Coordinates: 52 ° 29 ′ 57 ″  N , 13 ° 21 ′ 14 ″  E