Cultural Route Mülheim
5 tips for Cologne’s other side
Many locals and visitor often know Mülheim, the Cologne borough on the right side of river Rhine, only from their outings to prominent concert venues E-Werk and Palladium. In the past years, though, many things have changed in Mülheim that once was an independent city before its incorporation to Cologne in 1914. New structures have been established, old industrial sites revitalized, many places smartened up and long-approved sites newly discovered. Especially along the link road from Mülheim’s north over its historic centre to its industrial South (the road often changes its name) many exciting locations have sprung up during the last years and wait to be discovered – from cultural centres over bars and cafés to extraordinary concert and theatre venues. I have taken a closer look at five of these locations and will now introduce them briefly here:
MüTZe Bürgerhaus with café and park
„MüTZe“ has long since fulfilled the function of a community centre to Mülheim’s northern part. Apart from its many counselling services and course offers a spacious café forms the centrepiece of the institution. Breakfast and lunch are served here daily and every first Sunday a month the café offers a substantial brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In the evening, music events as well as readings and exhibitions form part of MüTZe’s regular programme. The centre itself is embedded into an idyllic and newly refurbished park which not only boasts a public bookcase and a playground, but also Cologne’s largest Hall of Fame, a hundred meter wall where graffiti may be sprayed legally. Especially on weekends one can observe many sprayers painting their elaborate pieces and characters here. The park thus gets a new paint job almost every other week!
Café: Mon-Thu 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat 2-6 p.m.
Berliner Straße 77, 51063 Cologne
About twenty years ago the old air raid shelter at Mülheim’s market place was turned into a cultural and arts centre. On its three floors the bunker offers plenty of space for a rich programme of exhibitions, concerts, theatre, cabaret, readings and parties. Located in the building’s glass annex, café KUBUS opens its doors on the occasion of each event and on weekends. On Sundays during the summer visitors are also invited to enjoy their afternoons in the café’s beer garden. Kids may spend hours on the new playground in front of the bunker, while street art fans can discover many hidden artworks within and all around the massive building. From its first-floor roof garden one may enjoy a good overview over the entire neighbourhood. No doubt: Northern Mülheim’s cultural heart is beating right here!
Office: Tue-Fri, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Café KUBUS: Sat 6-10 p.m., Sun 2-10 p.m. (only on Sundays during the summer) and an hour before the start of all events
Berliner Straße 20, 51063 Cologne
The many stickers adorning its doors and walls already seem to announce that alternative (pop) culture is alive and kicking inside Limes. In order to live up to its outward promise the cosy pub in Mülheim’s historic centre not only plays a good mix of punk, rock and New Wave music, but also clears the stage for local punk and rock bands at least once a week. Apart from that, Limes pays tribute to St. Pauli, Hamburg’s legendary entertainment borough: Hamburg’s Astra beer is served and all games of the St. Pauli football team are screened here. Real pub sportsmen may also prove themselves at playing table football. Regular readings and poetry slams round off a uniquely alternative programme. Everyone seeking to flee the (pub) mainstream should definitely take pains over crossing river Rhine, while those who have always been punks (or at least felt as such) should immediately feel at home here anyway.
Mon-Sat from 7 p.m.
Mülheimer Freiheit 150 / Wallstraße, 51063 Cologne
Fans of cocktails get their money’s worth at Sakleti Bar. Since 2010 more than eighty different cocktails are served in this stylish, yet also laid-back bar not far from the banks of river Rhine. Besides weekly live screenings of local football club 1. FC Köln’s games, Sakleti also hosts concerts and parties several times a year. Due to its favoured riverside location and its practical cocktail-to-go service one may even enjoy one’s favourite cocktail at the newly refurbished Rhine boulevard.
Tue-Thu 6-12 p.m., Fri 6 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat 3 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun 3-12 p.m.
Formesstraße 2 / Deutz-Mülheimer Straße, 51063 Cologne
Kunstwerk and Gebäude 9
Marked by the rough industrial charm of the old Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz factory buildings, a special kind of art hub has evolved on Mülheim’s most southern tip during the last twenty years. The most well known part of this ensemble certainly is Gebäude 9, one of Cologne’s most cherished concert and party venues. An almost daily programme of first-class concerts and parties on weekends has long since turned this comparably small site into an institution among Cologne’s music aficionados. The Gebäude 9 is flanked by Kunstwerk, Germany’s largest self-administered studio centre, being home to about 150 artists from most different backgrounds. On certain occasions, like Mülheimer Nacht, the artists open their studios and present their recent work to the public. Moreover, Kunstwerk also houses its very own exhibition space (PiK) which is also open to artists from outside the studio community. On the building’s south front murals by Erosie (painted during CityLeaks Festival 2015) and the Office for Subversive Architecture (parking bays and street lights on the wall) are to be discovered. From the neighbouring Zoobrücke (bridging over river Rhine) one may also catch sight of more artworks on Kunstwerk’s rooftop (also at night!).
Gebäude 9: only during concerts and parties
Kunstwerk: only on the open studio days and during Mülheimer Nacht (April)
PiK: Thu 4-8 p.m., Sat 3-7 p.m.
Deutz-Mülheimer Straße 127, 51063 Cologne
www.gebaeude9.de | www.kunstwerk-koeln.de | www.projektraumimkunstwerk.tumblr.com