The visitor can expect to find an oriental delight on the first floor of the Palais am Festungsgraben, with its carved pillars and ceiling beams. Throws, cushions and arm rests are piled up to form divans, and the murals are reminiscent of Persian miniatures.
The Tajik tearoom also serves the palace’s own theatre, and is a tangible piece of GDR (Eastern Germany) cultural history. The entire interior comes from the Tajikistan stand that was on display at one of the Leipzig trade fairs in the 1970s, and was presented to the GDR as a gift. At that time, Tajikistan was part of the USSR.
Neither the charming furnishings nor the menu, with its light meals and numerous international tea specialities, has changed much since the Berlin Wall came down. One must remove one’s shoes before sitting on the cushions piled around the low tables (there are several tables and chairs for those guests who find this too arduous).
The tearoom in the splendid palace is a very relaxed and calming spot, sheltered from the tourist hubbub at Unter den Linden by the Neue Wache building and the surrounding grove of chestnut trees. Storytelling takes place in the tearoom on Mondays at 7.30 p.m. The idea came from children’s book author Ilse Korn, who started the tradition in the post-war years, when books were scarce. What was then the Soviet Union’s Culture House is now the same spot where the art of storytelling is being kept alive by the author’s daughter and granddaughter.
Kunst-Hof, Oranienburger Str. 27, 10117 Berlin, Tel.: + 49
(0)30 2041112 Hours of opening: daily 12.00-24.00 Bus, Tube, Tram: S2 Oranienburger Str., Tram M1+M6