Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!: Visit 1920s Berlin on Second Life

1920s Berlin was a pretty happening place. After WWI the Weinmar Republic saw an explosion of arts and culture unlike anything Germany’s seen before or since. Musicians, artists, dancers, writers, philosophers, singers, and bohemians of all stripes came together to create a vibrant arts scene that was celebratory and tolerant of nearly everything.

While it was later crushed by the rise of the Nazi party, aspects of Wienmar culture still live on today in popular media. The cabaret culture of the Weinmar Era continues to inspire artists to this day, with the musical Cabaret (1966) (plus the 1970s film adaptation), and the music of Max Raabe being prime examples.

Singers aren’t the only artists trying to keep the spirit of 1920s Berlin alive, however. These days, a community of users on Second Life have done something amazing: they’ve created a living, breathing virtual copy of 1920s Berlin. Begun by fellow WordPress blogger Jo Yardley, who started off with recreating the Zum Nubaum hotel from paintings and old photographs, as it was destroyed during WWII, the world quickly expanded with the help of other builders to include nightclubs, bars, theaters, shops, a school, and even zepplin rides! Users regularly gather in it to take German classes, buy vintage items, watch 1920s movies, listen in period music, and even dance the Charleston in one of the clubs.

Other things you can do include:

Catch a show at the famous gay club, El Dorado:

Or see the gorgeous outside lit up at night:

Check out this sweet statue in the square (plus the zepplin!):


Watch a silent film in one of the theaters:

Visit lovely Tiergarten Park:


Dance at the Hotel Adlon:

As you can see, attention to detail is paramount here. The 1920s Berlin Project contains exact replicas of famous buildings like the Adlon Hotel, the Alexanderplatz train station, and the Brandenburg Gate. Unlike most video game recreations of the past, the world’s creators strove to show “both sides of the coin” in terms of history, highlighting not just the gorgeous houses of the rich but the “dirty, narrow streets and tiny apartments” of the poor, too. The map for their world bears this out, which includes cramped apartments as well as glamorous buildings like the Adlon Hotel:

If you have an account on Second Life, you can find details on how to visit the place for yourself here. Otherwise, check out this cool video compilation by filmmaker Pepa Cometa below:

About lupachi1927

My name's Megan, and I'm a writer with an interest in history. While I might not be a real historian, I'm a very thorough researcher. This blog is my place to post about all the interesting historical tidbits I find that can't use in the novel I'm working on, which takes place in Chicago in 1927. If you're looking for research help, writing feedback, or just want to say hi, feel free to drop me a line! :)
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