has been marked by time, a sign of the failed economy of the east zone. The house is reminiscent of a time gone by, a time when the fall of a system made way for uncontrolled niches and free space.
Built in 1837 on the Böhmische Straße, the main house was apartments for simple people. The ramp in our courtyard comes from a time when the rear house was home to a small Iron Foundry. Later it was used as a dance hall. Now it is listed as a historical building.
In the mid-80s the house was marked for demolition. The Dresden artists – Rainer Görß, Viola Schöpe, Harriet Böge, Tom Herold and Thomas Reichstein, among others, quietly occupied the house to use it as working and living space. They hung a paper sign on the door declaring that the house was an “Outpost of the Academy of visual arts” which seemed to be enough for the local police.
The not for profit organisation “Kunsthaus Raskolnikow e.V.” was founded before reunification. Along with the occupied apartments, the front house was also home to the gallery, and in the rear house there was a painting school, a pottery workshop and a sculpting studio.
In the years after Reunification there was a Bar Boom in Dresden. And they all called themselves Cafés. In the house number 34 on the Böhmische Straße, the walls on the ground floor were torn out, the floor was covered in sand and parts of an old crane were welded together to make the tables. The bar was decorated with old metal signs from a Russian barracks and the Café was given the name Raskolnikow. Since then, the red light has been burning over or front door, letting everyone in the Neustadt know we are here.
The origin of our name is entwined in myth. Rumour has it that an Artist thought of the name in the Bathtub. Rodio Romanovich Raskolnikov the protagonist in Dostoyevskys novel “Crime and Punishment,” murdered two women with an axe. Because of this story, the Axe hanging beside the red lamp turned into an emblem of the house.
RESTAURANT AND BAR
With the help of her husband and a very motivated team of helpers, Dorle Söhnen opened the “new” Raskolnikoff in 1997. On the ground floor is the restaurant, with it's open kitchen and culinary specialties from all corners of the world. At the same time as the bar opened, the original Café Raskolnikow reopened its doors. The good food and beautiful courtyard quickly became a popular place for Neustadters to hang out.
A lot of people think that Raskolnikoff is a russian bar. That however has never been the case. It is true, you will find borscht and homemade pelmini on the menu, but right beside it there are you German specialties such as käsespätzle and rahmkuchen.
ROOMS + GUESTS
in the beginning of 1998, family Söhnen renovated the top floor of the house and added guest rooms. Working with the Kunsthaus Raskolnikow e.V., the idea was to bring artists from all over the world to work and stay in the Neustadt. An artist named Nicholas Hill inaugurated the guest house when he came from Dresden’s sister city, Columbus Ohio in 1998. Since his first visit Nicholas has stayed connected with the city of Dresden, the Kunsthaus Raskolnikow and our restaurant and guest house. In 2014 his works were exhibited in the City Archive.
Over the years, many different artists (mostly from Dresden’s many sister cities) have lived and worked within our walls. In every room, we have works from an artist who has previously stayed there. Artists still continue to make up a large part of our overnight guests.
Long before the first rooms were built and the Restaurant and Bar opened, the Raskolnikow Gallery Raskolnikow >> started decorating its walls. Today, the gallery is still run today by Iduna Böhning-Riedel of the not for profit organisation “Kunsthouse Raskolnikow e.V.” As well as organising highly ambitious exhibitions, Ms. Böhming-Riedel oversees the artist exchange program set up by the City of Dresden and the State Ministry of Science and Art.
Since January 2014 the restaurant, bar and guest house have been in the caring hands of Ralf Hiener and his wife Petra Burckhardt. The team consists of old and new faces who ensure that guests from all walks of life are welcomed into a relaxed atmosphere that will spoil them with good food and excellent service.