Jüdenstraße stretches from Stralauer Straße, past the Moltkenmarkt, across busy Grunerstraße and ends around the Neptunbrunnen. A 1688 map of the city shows Jüdenstraße continuing to the Marienkirchen on Alexanderplatz.
Historically Significant, but Inconspicuous
Jüdenstraße meanders as a small inconspicuous side street between the Rotes Rathaus and the Rathauspassagen, so tucked away that you would have a hard time imagining this as one of the oldest streets in the city. This is partly due to the fact that, except for the Rathaus, the Altes Stadthaus and the Neues Stadthaus, hardly any pre-1945 building in this area remains. The rebuilding of the city during the GDR period changed the old street layout and general appearance of Berlin's historic city centre.
The Großer Jüdenhof (Large Jewish Quarter)
The Jüdenstraße is named after the Großer Jüdenhof, an Old Berlin residential quarter for Jews dating back to the 13th century. In the aftermath of Luther's polemics against the Jews, Jews were expelled from many cities in the 16th century. This included the Jews who had been residing in Berlin's Großer Jüdenhof. After having been restored and renovated in the 1930s, the Großer Jüdenhof was destroyed by bombing in WWII.
The Großer Jüdenhof is part of a neighbourhood called the Klosterviertel (Monastery Quarter) after a former Franciscan monastery once located here. The neighbourhood is slated to be rebuilt in the future. Prior to the rebuilding, excavations were undertaken of the Großer Jüdenhof which have brought historic artefacts to light, such as the remains of a synagogue and a Jewish mikvah (ritual bath) and various hand tools.