Our hungry man about town Jared has written about Markthalle Neun in this pages before, specifically about the Street Food Thursday events that are held there, but this week we wanted to draw your attention to the Wochenmarkt – Weekly Market – that takes place every Friday and Saturday. The Markthalle Neun is one of the few remaining examples of Berlin’s market halls, that were built towards the end of the nineteenth century to help feed the rapidly growing population of the city. Their story is an interesting one in its own right, and you should check out this article from Slow Travel Berlin to learn some more.
As you will read, only four of the market halls are still in some kind of operation, and Markthalle Neun has won a lot of attention in recent years for what the good folks behind its revitalization have been doing there:
Of all the existing Markthallen it feels the most alive, full of glorious smells (the barbeque stand, the fish smoker), and the noise of children attacking the playground in the centre of the hall. Though not always packed to the rafters, there’s almost always a healthy bustle and one can certainly imagine what it must have been like in its heyday. Nikolaus Driessen, one of the instigators behind the initiative to rescue the old Markthalle, sees the revitalised Markthalle precisely as an alternative to the faceless modern shopping centres and discount stores that have taken over large parts of the city.
What they are aiming for is to show people that regardless of living in a metropolis like Berlin, it is still possible to shop and eat different. The stress is on regional and seasonal goods, with the producers right there in front of you. Beyond the eating and drinking, the Markthalle Neun aims to be a focal point for the local community, offering space for neighbourhood projects, cookery courses and more. It is a wonderful concept, and you can see, smell and taste some of the best that Berlin and its surrounding countryside have to offer, if you visit the hall for the Wochenmarkt on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Wochenmarkt takes place in the hall between 10am and 6pm on those two days, and for those of you who can read German, you can find out more about Markthalle Neun and all that is going on there on the website.
All photos courtesy of Markthalle Neun