If you’ve been out and about in the cultural scene in Berlin, chances are, you’ve been to RAW before. Sounds edgy, right?
Well, the name is actually kind of unromantic, though the concept itself is great. RAW takes its name from the former Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk (state railway repair/maintenance yard). The repair yard was opened in 1867, and later, for its 100-year anniversary, was renamed RAW Franz Stenzer, after a German communist and railway worker of the same name, murdered in Dachau by the Nazis in 1933.
In 1995, the yard was closed down, and since 1999, the area has been leased to a non-profit group, RAW-tempel e.V. The association in charge of the area promotes “socio-cultural activities,” and there are number of things to find and do in the area. For example, there are skate and climbing halls, venues and clubs, lots of food options, bars, an open-air cinema, a weekly flea market, and much more. The grounds are also host to regular events, such as the Berlin Craft Beer Fest. What’s more is that some of the buildings that are in worse states of disrepair are actually being remodeled or reconstructed so that the space can be used even more effectively.
Even if you’re not heading to RAW for a specific purpose, it’s also pretty great to simply explore. Lots of street art is plastered on the walls of the buildings, giving it a vibrant and lively feel, and reinforcing how important it is to have urban playgrounds for teenagers and adults in our city.
Revaler Straße 99