The facade...

time has left its mark. As a sign of the economy of scarcity in Eastern times, it is now a reminder of a bygone era in which uncontrolled niches and free spaces were created precisely through decay.

The house at Böhmische Straße 34 dates back to 1837. In the front house there were flats for the common people, in the back house various trades, once an iron foundry - hence the ramp in the garden, and later also a dance hall. Today the building is a listed building.


In the mid-80s the house was largely empty and was to be demolished. Dresden artists - Rainer Görß, Viola Schöpe, Harriet Böge, Tom Herold, Thomas Reichstein and others - quietly occupied the house as a working and living space. With a cardboard sign on the door, they quickly declared Böhmische Straße 34 a "branch of the art academy" (HfBK). This calmed down the ABV (Abschnittsbevollmächtigter der Volkspolizei) and replaced the rental contract.

Even before the fall of the Wall, the art association "Kunsthaus Raskolnikow e.V." was founded. In addition to occupied flats, there was a gallery in the front building and a painting school, a pottery workshop and a studio for sculpture in the back building.

In the spirit of optimism after the fall of the Wall, the old house was caught up in the maelstrom of conflicts of interest typical of the post-turnaround period: it was bought, sold and litigated. The whole story is a whodunit of the kind that often occurred in those days. In the end, the property was sold in 1996 to the the judge Mr. Söhnen and his wife, who gradually and carefully renovated the buildings in cooperation with the Kunstverein. The aim was to leave the house its old soul and its stories.


The post-reunification period was the time when pubs were founded. They were all called cafés. In the house at Böhmische Straße 34, walls were torn out on the ground floor and heather sand was thrown on the floor, tables were welded from old crane parts and a counter was covered with disused signs from a Russian barracks. The café was given the name "Raskolnikow". Since then, the red lamp has been burning in front of the entrance door.


Myths surround the naming of the café, which is said to have occurred to an artist in the bathtub where she was reading Dostoyevsky's novel "Crime and Punishment". In any case, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is the protagonist and slays two women with an axe in the novel. So the axe became and remained a landmark of the house, along with the red lamp.


In 1997, Dorle Söhnen, actively supported by her husband, opened the "new" Raskolnikoff with an extremely dedicated team. On the ground floor, the Raskolnikoff restaurant was inaugurated with its open kitchen and culinary bites from all four points of the compass. At the same time, the original Café Raskolnikoff reopened with the bar. Very quickly, the good cuisine and especially the beautiful garden were very popular in the New Town.

Many people think that the Raskolnikoff is a Russian pub. It never was. Although Borschtsch and Pelmeni were always on the menu, there was also always Cheese spaetzle and Flammkuchen.


At the beginning of 1998, the Söhnen family built guest rooms in the attic. With the Kunsthaus Raskolnikow e.V., the concept of hosting artists "from all over the world" in the house was realised. The first artist from one of Dresden's twin cities (Columbus, Ohio), Nicholas Hill, inaugurated one of the rooms in 1998. Nicholas Hill remained associated with the Kunsthaus Raskolnikow, the state capital Dresden and also the Restaurant and Pension Raskolnikoff for many years. His works were on display in the city archive in 2014.

Over the years, many artists, mostly from Dresden's twin cities, have lived and worked at the Raskolnikoff. They were looked after by Kunsthaus Raskolnikow e.V. In each guest room hang works by one of the artists who lived there. Artists are still frequent overnight guests in the house.


Even before the restaurant and the guesthouse, the Gallery Raskolnikow >> had been established on the first floor of the front building for many years. It is still run by the Kunsthaus Raskolnikow e.V. under the direction of Iduna Böhning-Riedel. In addition to organising ambitious exhibitions, Ms Böhming-Riedel still oversees the artist exchange programme of the state capital Dresden and the State Ministry for Science and Art.


Ralf Hiener and his wife Petra Burckhardt have been running the Raskolnikoff restaurant and guesthouse since January 2014. Working as a team with numerous veteran and new employees, their aim is to pamper the wide range of guests with culinary delights in a casual atmosphere and to preserve the spirit of the place, according to the motto, much is possible, nothing is arbitrary...