Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Mohrenstraße 40/41

Behind the portico of the Mohren Colonnades built in 1787 by Carl Gotthard Langhans (the architect behind the Brandenburg Gate), this building is buzzing with lively teaching activity: it is the home of the Department of European Ethnology.

Mohrenstraße 40/41
Figure: Martin Ibold

The former Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität established the first entirely ethnological chair in Germany back in 1936. The Department of Ethnology was established in 1952, and 1994 saw the creation of an independent Department of European Ethnology. This branch of Cultural Studies deals with ways of life and living environments in Europe – historical, global, cultural, gender-specific and medial.


The building on Hausvogteiplatz, still called Schinkelplatz at the end of the 19th century, is next to the Mohrenstraße facility. Once a bastion of the city’s fortifications, it dates from the 17th century. In 1750, Frederick II built a bailiff’s lodge (‘Hausvogtei’) in the hunting yard facility to serve as a remand prison for people subject to the court’s laws. In 1891, the Reichsbank acquired the land and used it for the neighbouring Reichsbank building, at which point the prison was demolished. In the late 19th century, Hausvogteiplatz was the centre of the Berlin manufacturing trade. The building’s facade and foyer are currently being renovated.



Mohrenstraße 40/41 und Hausvogteiplatz
10117 Berlin