The Katharinenstrasse (Katharinen Street) leads from the Leipzig market square to the Brühl. Since the Middle Ages, many merchants’ yards with passageways to other streets have been situated along this connection. The magnificent bourgeois houses on the east of Katharinenstraße were completely destroyed during the 2nd World War. During the GDR era a public sqaure the so-called “Sachsenplatz”, was occupying the same place. On this square, the so-called “Bildermuseum” (Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig) has been errected in the early 2000s. The collection of the museum of visual arts is regarded as the oldest civic art collection in Germany and can be seen on the panorama in the background. The strict cuboid overtops its surroundings, but is enclosed by four angle buildings, softening the strong effect. To the left and right of the panorama you can see the framing corner buildings of the Bernsteincarrés (left) and the Katharinum (right).
Around 1700 a magnificent town house was located on this site, the Lotterhaus, before being destroyed by the war. In 2017 this high-class commercial and residential building has been placed in the inner-city location. The name “Bernstein Carré” is reminiscent of the former owners of the town house, the Bernstein family, and also reminds of the high-quality goods that were once traded here.
The “Katharinum” residential and commercial building was built in 2010 as a “modern kind of merchant’s house”. At the request of the City of Leipzig, the ensemble consists of four individual buildings, which can be clearly distinguished in the façade design. The ideas for the facades were developed in a joint workshop by the involved architectural offices. The natural stone façade of the building flanking the museum entrance refers directly to the history of Leipzig’s close city centre. In addition, two restored sculptures from the 1930s line the way to the Bildermuseum. The Latin lettering of the central building “in hoc signo vinces” (Latin: “In this sign you will win”) refers to the historical victory of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.
The Katharinum is a so-called “Green Building” and has been awarded with the LEED certificate for energy and environmental planning in gold.
In our archive you can also find a streetview of the Brühl, which shows the yet empty area of the Bernstein Carré with the neighboring baroque Romanushaus.