Having spent a day largely exploring the confronting history side of Berlin, we stopped by a local chocolatier to indulge in a much sweeter side. Any Chocolate lover, who happens to be in the city of Berlin should not miss the opportunity to visit the Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatier. Let me repeat this again, should not!
Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers is located south of unter den Linden in a beautiful and charming square known as Gendarmenmarkt. I think that European cities have some of the prettiest squares around, I could just imagine many centuries ago they were the epicenter of the town. In Gendarmenmarkt there are two cathedrals (French and German) as well as the Berlin Symphony’s Concert Hall. I am told during summer the cafes sprawl out into the perfect square and the traditional Biergartens (translated to Beer Gardens) come alive.
Being one of Europe’s biggest chocolate stores this delightful place was formed when two businesses merged together in 1999. In Berlin there is history and tradition around every corner. Some of the recipes used at the Chocolatier are over 100 years old. Considering that Heinrich Fassbender produced and sold chocolate in Berlin from as early as 1863 and Wilhelm Rausch opened his confectionery store in 1890, the wealth of experience behind the scenes would be priceless.
Handcrafted Easter Eggs on Display
‘To spoil the chocolate connoisseur in the world with delicious recipes and qualities’
We spent a good hour in the store making our selection of take home chocolates, I was in awe of the range available. There were truffles, chocolates, chocolate bars and confectionery. The staff were exceptionally welcoming considering the number of tourists in the store taking candid snaps. The chocolate volcano was impressive however the range of chocolate was even better, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was backpacking around Europe with limited storage I would have left with a lot more sweets.
Our take home chocolates – Apple pie, Crème brûlée, honey walnut and black forest!
Throughout the store were various impressive chocolate models and the detail in them was astonishing to see and also very tempting to eat. Unfortunately I was sporting a hand held camera and the photos did not turn as good as I would have like.
The Berliner Dome constructed of Chocolate
Me standing next to a chocolate construction of the TV Tower
Charlottenstrasse 60 D10117 Berlin
Chocolate house hours
Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
We walked from Unter Den Linden passing Berlin’s new Fifth Avenue shopping district and the Quartier 206 to reach Berlin’s famous Chocolate House. From Fassbender & Rausch we caught the metro back to Alexander Platz.
I discovered the chocolatier in an itinerary feature in Rick Steves’ Snapshot of Berlin Guide book (version 2010). On our whirlwind European backpacking trip we were on a tight budget and time schedule and so I purchased a guide book thinking it would assist us in unlocking the past of Berlin. The snapshot book is thin and small, handy to slip into a hand bag or backpack. We followed a few of the itineraries loosely that Rick recommends. The book is informative and interesting, offering some fun insights. For example we strolled past the Hotel where Micheal Jackon dangled blanket from the balcony, remember? There are a also a few hand drawn maps of key areas of the city. All the main historical points of interest are covered in this book, some interesting and others sad and even down right chilling. I loved the Berlin at a Glance page where there is a summary of all of the museums and a wrap up of which are the best to visit on a short time. The book allowed us to explore the city at our own pace and if we saw a cool place we were able to ‘detour’. For $9.99 it was totally worth it!
Our trusty guidebook
Guiding us through Berlin