Berlin

Europacity - the new Hauptbahnhof district

more than a year ago

When Berlin's Hauptbahnhof main train station opened in 2006 on the site of the former Lehrter Bahnhof, it was marooned in a desolate plain. The area was never residential; instead used for the train business and exhibitions.

In the meantime, several block-like hotels and the John F. Kennedy Haus office building have opened up next to the station, while to the north the area along the canal, formerly Berlin's border zone, is the largest construction site in Berlin. A total 40 hectares of land between three old harbours is being transformed into a modern residential and business district with a new central boulevard. Anchored by the completed headquarters for Total, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, electricity network company 50 Hertz and builders Ernst Basler und Partner and others are also busy constructing offices, while the Kunstkubus 'art cube' will join up with the Hamburger Bahnhof modern art museum, across the canal. The newest development is the opening of a new tram line connecting Hauptbahnhof to Hackescher Markt.

One remarkable lone survivor from the olden days is the charming gourmet Paris-Moskau restaurant (www.paris-moskau.de). Overlooking the station from Alt-Moabit street, for years the half-timbered building was surrounded by construction. Now that the new interior ministry building next door has been finalised, peace has returned, a good opportunity to drop by for a bite.

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