Romanisches Café  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Romanic Café (or Romanesque Café) was a café-bar in Berlin well known as a meeting place for artists. It was located on the Kurfürstendamm, in the Charlottenburg district (although that section of the Kurfürstendamm was renamed "Budapest Street" in 1925).


The Romanic Café was situated in the prestigious Romanic House (Romanisches Haus), which was built between 1900 and 1901 from a design by Franz Schwechten. This building, equipped with two towers, stood approximately on the site of the present-day Europa-Center. It was initially the location of the Hotel Kaiserhof's patisserie; the Romanic Café opened in 1916. Since the old Café des Westens (another artists' haunt) had shut in 1915, it quickly developed into the most important artists' cafe in Berlin, particularly after the end of the First World War.

The café was a meeting place for the intelligentsia, a place at which the leading writers, painters, actors, directors, journalists and critics of the day consorted. At the same time it became a place for budding artists, who would try to start their careers by establishing their first contacts here. The already established artists, for their part, would group into séparées in an attempt to distinguish themselves from the mass of talent.

Towards the end of the Weimar Republic, as the political situation in Germany became more violent, the Romanic Café gradually lost its role. As early as 1927 the Nazis instigated a riot on the Kurfürstendamm during which the café, as a meeting place for the left-wing intellectuals they hated, was among the targets of violence. The coming to power of the Nazi Party and the subsequent emigration of most of its regulars signalled the final end of the café as an artists' haunt. The Romanic House was completely destroyed in 1943.

Renowned regulars

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Romanisches Café" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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