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Haupt-, Potsdamer Straße

Former trade route, King's highway and federal road

Haupt-, Potsdamer Straße

Die Hauptstraße

Since 1979, the main street in Schöneberg is home to our Hotel Schöneberg. Historically, it has a lot to offer.

History of the trade route

Schöneberg itself was first mentioned in a document in 1264 as “Villa Sconeberch”. It was located about 5 kilometers away from the former double city of Cölln and Berlin, directly on the old trade route, which partly ran over today’s main street.
This trade route led from the Middle Ages across Europe from Bruges in Belgium to Novgorod in Russia. In Germany today, the Bundesstraße 1 (from Aachen via Magdeburg and Berlin to Küstrin) runs to a large extent over exactly this ancient trade route.
Schöneberg benefited greatly from its location, since in the Middle Ages there was road compulsion and passing merchants had to use the road. After all, they had to pay for food and lodging; a valuable source of income for the people of Schöneberg.
In the 13th century, the trade route had a boom and also in the 14th and 15th centuries it was used by numerous traders.

Wood in particular was traded, but grain, wool, hides and honey were also sold.
Initiated by the “Old Fritz”, Frederick II, the village of Neu-Schöneberg was established in 1750 north of Schöneberg and only a few kilometers away, where Bohemian weavers settled. Presumably, this led to a reawakening of trade.

King road

In 1791, the street came to new fame as part of the Berlin-Potsdamer-Chaussee when Frederick William II ordered the construction of the first “Kunststraße” in Prussia. It enabled the king to reach his summer residence, the Marble Palace in Potsdam, more comfortably.
Traffic on the main street
Then as now, the traffic volume was very high – in the past on foot or by carriage, today on foot, by bicycle and by car. Until the 1960s, additionally by streetcar. That is why today’s main street has a median strip, which used to be a route.

The main street today

The original village of Schöneberg was located along the current Hauptstraße between Grunewaldstraße (north) and Dominicusstraße (south/southwest).

Today, Hauptstraße merges into Potsdamer Straße at the level of the eastern entrance to Heinrich von Kleist Park, and Rheinstraße joins it in a southwesterly direction shortly after the junction of Fregestraße, which runs to the south.

Many historically significant buildings and squares are located along the main street, which make an extensive stroll almost mandatory. These include the Schöneberg village church – the oldest church in the district – which has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. It stands at the height of Hauptstraße 46-48.

A completely different famous place is Hauptstraße 155: This is where music greats David Bowie and Iggy Pop lived in the late 1970s, first in a shared apartment, later in neighboring ones.

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