ORA in Kreuzberg

ORA in KreuzbergIsn’t it weird how we pass by buildings day in day out, knowing nothing about their rich history and the wonders and tragedies their thick walls might be concealing?

With all of its windows covered in brown paper I didn’t look at Oranien-Apotheke in Kreuzberg twice. And why would I? How interesting can a closed pharmacy possibly be? Until one day, when the paper was gone and the door open…just like that. Being naturally drawn towards mysterious places like these – looking abandoned one day and welcoming you to enter the next – I obviously had to check it out.

ORA in KreuzbergORA in KreuzbergI’m so glad I did, because what I discovered behind the walls of this old pharmacy is beyond beautiful. Oranien-Apotheke was founded in 1860 on Oranienplatz 14, and from 1886 onwards owned by Dr. Franz Albert Lutze, who became “purveyor to the court” for the German colonial territories and the colonial protection force of the emperor – indeed a place rich with history!

ORA in KreuzbergMore than a hundred years later filmmaker Lukas Schmid and photographer Christoph Mack used the beautiful pharmacy Dr. Lutze had built and turned it into a charming French brasserie. ORA opened its doors only very recently, on April 14th to be exact, and I can honestly say that it is one of the most characterful places I’ve ever been to.

ORA in KreuzbergORA in KreuzbergMost of the original furnishings – like the dark wooden apothecary cabinets and even some of their historical contents, have been preserved and lovingly complemented by equally dark tables and upholstered chairs and benches. The menu is still rather concise, but already holds everything a coffee addict with a sweet tooth might desire. I for one have already fallen in love with their rice pudding with apple and raspberry compote and the heavenly cinnamon rolls.

ORA in KreuzbergORA in KreuzbergIf you do happen to be in Berlin these days I urge you to check it out asap. Right now, I don’t think many people now about ORA. There’s no articles talking about it (although Stil in Berlin beat me to it), and even the website isn’t up yet, but it is only a matter of time before Berlin’s finest hipsters find out about it and start claiming it as their own… what can I say, ORA is housed in an old pharmacy in Kreuzberg; of course it will be besieged by hipsters 😉

ORA in Kreuzberg

  • http://charleslangston.blogspot.com Emil

    That place looks stunning! Really love the atmosphere.


    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Me too! It was so serene and infused by rich history 🙂 xx

  • http://www.mressentialist.com MR ESSENTIALIST

    Those chocolate cakes look delicious.
    Mr Essentialist

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      And they’re filled with salted caramel…so yummy 🙂 xx

  • http://giana.ledesociale.com/ LeDeSociale

    This place looks like an absolutely darling place to have a nice quiet coffee ! Or even with a bunch of good friend by the table. Thanks for sharing, I would make sure that will be a point of visit when im in Berlin. Love the interior.


    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      It is indeed! I can’t wait to see it growing and flourishing 🙂 xx

  • http://messagesonanapkin.blogspot.com/ Marlen

    Uh this place is absolutely charming- I would make this my new hangout for sure. It looks so gorgeous and cozy and you can just see its history. I love that they kept some of the original furniture- and how dreamy are all those leather couches? You found a truly fantastic place!

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thanks…although I’d say that it found me..it lured me in with its mysterious transformation 😉 xx

  • K.

    If building could talk. I always think of that when I pass by an old building restored. And I absolutely love the design inside this place as well. Such a beautiful post.

    K / The House of KTS (formerly of Pure & Complex)

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Yeah…sometimes I feel like they do. Some buildings just have such a special aura… xx

  • http://twoward.com vivian

    Wooww what a beautiful place! And I so agree with Lena from Feline Creatures! It’s impressive to see how an old pharmacy turned into a beautiful brasserie! Love the vintage feel of the building too! I’ve been to Berlin a few years back, but I wouldn’t mind going back now haha! Would love to visit this place in the future! 😉 Thanks for sharing and have a great week! xo Vivian

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Vivian. If you do visit Berlin again, you definitely have to check this place out. It’s so worth it 🙂 xx

  • Beauty Follower

    Wow amazing place to hung out!

    By the way, ”ora” means time in greek 😉


    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Ahh…thanks for the translation. I guess it makes sense right? 🙂 xx

  • http://www.balgarka.co.uk/ Lubka Christova

    Ah that coffee machine there!! :))
    Coffee crush!

    I like the reclaimed interior of the shop.

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Hehe…although I don’t drink coffee, I do like the coffee machine too 🙂 xx

      • http://www.balgarka.co.uk/ Lubka Christova

        You don’t drink coffee? I don’t understand how it is even possible. ;))

  • http://www.stylevanity.com/ Alyssa Martinez

    I’m loving the vintage vibe of the place 🙂


    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Me too 🙂 xx

  • http://www.felinecreatures.com/ Feline Creatures

    What a unique little corner, I would love to visit someday! It’s amazing to see the transformation from a pharmacy to a classy French brasserie as I can still see remnants of its founding use in the little shop. Thanks for the share Jasmin! Have a lovely day! 🙂 xo~ Lena

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Exactly…it would have been such a shame if the new owners had removed all the original cabinets. 🙂 xx

  • http://365hangers.com/blog/ 365hangers

    Ahhhhh, coolest place ever, and we can totally see while hipsters would want to take over the place asap, because we totally do too! You just always make us wish we were in Germany 🙂

    xx 365Hangers

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Hehe…Berlin is pretty special when it comes to cool food places 🙂 xx

  • http://awayfromtheblue.blogspot.com/ Mica

    That looks like such a great little cafe – how nice they could keep so much of the history!

    Away From The Blue

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Indeed it is 🙂 xx

  • http://www.fashionandcookies.com/ Vale

    What an amazing place, love it <3 Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies – fashion blog

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      I’m so happy you like it 🙂 xx

  • vanessaah92

    So lovely place and lovely photos too!! Send u kisses!

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thank you Vanessa 🙂 xx

  • http://www.laurajaneatelier.com Laura Jane Atelier

    That place looks great, I want to go there



    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Should you ever find yourself in berlin, you know where to go for a coffee 🙂 xx

  • http://www.reveriesanctuary.com/ shanaz@ReverieSanctuary

    Ohhh I love reading posts when you’re onto something like this! It’s like an unfolding of a mystery of an abandoned building at the precipice of turning into haven for hipsters, haha and you beat them to it. Does that make you the original hipster, then? 😛 xo

    Shanaz | Fashionista NOW

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Haha…I’d just call it a curious mind 😉 xx

  • http://carolticala.blogspot.com/ carolina ticala

    Very nice place!!kiss

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thanks Carolina 🙂 xx

  • Ivana Džidić

    The older I get, the more I become interested in buildings and the history that is behind them. I love this pharmacy turned cafe…it’s so arty and….. so beautifully decorated!

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Same here! I love to immerse myself in the history of characterful buildings and places. Visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, for example, was such a moving and heart-breaking experience. Plain walls and bricks can have so much power…

      • Ivana Džidić

        so true…history can be both painful and happy, but I still love the sense of history in a place. In Mostar there are a lot of Old Austrian villas that are basically in ruins because people living in them (owners) can’t afford to fix them according to standards…it’s sad to see them, because they’re really so beautiful even in their presents shabby state.