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The history of Berlin’s Karstadt


One of Berlin’s oldest department stores, Karstadt has been offering amazing wares for more than 80 years. We take a look at its architectural history and see why it’s still so popular today

Hannah Lewis / © Katie Wilson-Ells
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Hannah Lewis,

The original Karstadt department store on Berlin’s Hermannplatz, built in 1929 to the designs of architect Philipp Schaefer, was an impressive 71 metres high, covering nine levels and offering 72,000 square metres of shopping space.

One of the largest structures in the capital, it was a real feature of Berlin’s skyline, especially when lit up at night. The store was very advanced, with escalators connecting all the floors and a bank of lifts, and had its own underground station, which still exists. The store was rebuilt in the mid 20th century on a slightly smaller scale, this time designed by architect Alfred Busse.

Since re-opening in 1951 the Berlin branch of Karstadt has once again become one of the busiest shopping centres in Germany, with visitors coming from all around to enjoy one of the best selections of brands in Berlin.

Karstadt, Hermannplatz, 10967 Berlin, +49 (0)30 69550

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