Photo by Sigrid Malmgren
When the hurly-burly of Karl-Marx-Straße starts to get all too much, salvation lies at the foot of Körnerpark’s ivy-clad staircases, where 2.4 acres of serene greenery and the Café im Körnerpark awaits.
Bequeathed by owner Franz “Ozymandias” Körner on condition it continued to bear his name, the former gravel pit drops up to seven metres below street level, walling out the blare of Neukölln amidst bird trills and babbling water.
Once an archaeological site of note after the excavation of a 5th-century vaulted grave of a horse and rider, the neo-Baroque villa is today all cement balustrades, long manicured lawns and cascading jet fountains, complete with naked Turkish bubs paddling in the fountains beside their cherubic stone twins.
Planted in the park’s western corner, the café plays weekend watering hole to Neukölln’s otherwise invisible yuppie presence.
They can be seen lazing back with weekend newspapers, beers and watery cappuccinos (€2.30) from the Orangerie’s shaded, gravel terrace. Inside are a gallery and more tables offering rather average fare, but for a bit of old-world refuge away from the multikulti buzz of Karl-Marx-Straße, this place is a true find.