Orte » Historical Walking Tour: Location 3 – Lili-Elbe-Straße

eingestellt am 12.12.2019 von Matthias Kunert (QM Johannstadt), zuletzt geändert am 28.10.2023

Walk back from Johanngarten to now-extended Pfeifferhannsstraße (formerly Stephanienstraße) and follow it left onward to the former chocolate factory at the junction of Hopfgartenstraße. Here you will find location number 3 on the historical walking tour.

Before 1945: Sweets, suds and succor

City map from 1911. Source: SLUB Dresden / Deutsche Fotothek. The panel’s location is indicated.

Beauharnais and Hopfgarten

Stephanienstraße received its name in the year 1876, in memory of Stéphanie de Beauharnais (1789–1860), Grand Duchess of Baden, adoptive daughter of Napoléon Bonaparte and grandmother of the Saxon queen Carola. In 1937, the stretch of road between Tatzberg and the Elbe was renamed Mackensenstraße, after the Prussian general field marshal, August von Mackensen (1849–1945). In 1945, the name was changed once more to Pfeifferhannsstraße, in remembrance of the Cistercian monk and peasant leader, Heinrich Pfeiffer (born before 1500; executed 1525). Hopfgartenstraße—laid in 1895—borrowed its name from the estate once owned here by Saxon cabinet minister, Count Georg Wilhelm von Hopfgarten (1739–1813). Later, the “Hopfgartens” pub would become a popular destination.

Carolahaus and Albertverein

Stephanienstraße received its name in the year 1876, in memory of Stéphanie de Beauharnais (1789–1860), Grand Duchess of Baden, adoptive daughter of Napoléon Bonaparte and grandmother of the Saxon queen Carola. In 1937, the stretch of road between Tatzberg and the Elbe was renamed Mackensenstraße, after the Prussian general field marshal, August von Mackensen (1849–1945). In 1945, the name was changed once more to Pfeifferhannsstraße, in remembrance of the Cistercian monk and peasant leader, Heinrich Pfeiffer (born before 1500; executed 1525). Hopfgartenstraße—laid in 1895—borrowed its name from the estate once owned here by Saxon cabinet minister, Count Georg Wilhelm von Hopfgarten (1739–1813). Later, the “Hopfgartens” pub would become a popular destination.

Find more information about Carolahaus here.

Views of the Carolahaus. Above left: View from the administration building in the courtyard, ca. 1890. Below left: courtyard trail, ca. 1890. Above right: new kitchen building, 1913. Below right: interior of the new kitchen, 1913. Picture postcard for the Women’s Society of the German Red Cross. From the JohannStadtArchiv collection

Chocolate and the Clauß family

In 1917, confectioner Bruno E. Clauß (1872–1930) moved the eponymous chocolate factory he had founded in 1914 out of the Leipziger Vorstadt and on to the grounds at Hopfgartenstraße 28 and Stephanienstraße 49. In order to be able to provide sweets at affordable prices, the company imported cacao, tea and coffee directly from their countries of origin and used their own trucks to market their products. Until 1943, the factory and its branches employed around 300 workers. There was a factory outlet at Elisenstraße 60, at the corner of Hopfgartenstraße.

Advertisement for the chocolate factory. Source: Dresden city directory, 1934

After 1945: Construction, creativity and child welfare

City map from 2020. The map detail is identical to that of the historical map depicted on the opposite side. The panel’s location is indicated. Source: Themenstadtplan, Landeshauptstadt Dresden, Office of Geodata and Land Registry

The evolution of the Dresdner Plattenwerk

Starting at the end of 1957, the 30,000 square meters once occupied by the Carolahaus became home to the “Plattenwerk Johannstadt”. The mechanized factory for industrial-size concrete slabs was largely an open-air operation. This is where the Dresden region would first employ a conveyor belt system to produce large blocks from broken brick concrete (which was primarily made up of rubble, ashes and concrete). This enabled serial manufacturing of story-high concrete slabs. The Johanstädter Plattenwerk also made other concrete products, such as sliding ceilings, bar plates and special orders. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the space was purchased by a Berlin company for 1.1 million DM. After pressured by a citizens’ initiative, the structural remains of the factory were hauled off in 2001. The skate park built on the southern end of the area attracted youth from all over Dresden and beyond. In 2019, this was torn down by its owners. A  building development plan which came into force in 2006 anticipates construction of a residential nature on the site.

Find more information about the former concrete slab factory here.

Above left: The concrete slab factory seen from the air, highlighted in color. Photo: Stadtarchiv Dresden, 6.4.40.2 Stadtplanungsamt Bildstelle, IX500, 1991, unknown photographer. Above right: Fabrik für Großblockbauteile, Johannstadt, 1955, Source: SLUB Dresden / Deutsche Fotothek / R. Petersen. Below left: Reinforced conrete ceilings, which were still being stored at the site in 2015. Photo: H. Seidler. Below right: Demolition of the former concrete slab factory, 2001. Photo: unknown, Source: Landeshauptstadt Dresden, Urban Planning Authority

From chocolate came creative industry and child welfare

Above: Condition of the former chocolate factory in 2012. Photo: G. Gonschorek
Below: Eastern section of the former chocolate factory, 2016. Photo: M. Kunert

The red brick building of the chocolate factory was the only building from that early development era to survive the bombings of February 1945. The plant continued operations for another eight years after the war, before being expropriated in 1953, its machines taken over by the “VEB Elbflorenz”. In the year 1954, the building was expropriated by the “VEB Karosseriewerk Dresden”. This is where a significant portion of parts for the “Wartburg Tourist” automobile were produced.

In 1996, the factory was returned to the heirs of Bruno E. Clauß. Since 1999, these heirs’ association has rented out the building’s office wing at affordable prices, primarily to architecture students In 2019, the Schokofabrik e. V. was founded, which has since managed the western portion of the chocolate factory. In 2020, it housed artist spaces, offices and a recording studio. In 2019, the  Deutsche Kinderschutzbund (German Alliance for Child Welfare) acquired the eastern section of the building, including the former production floor, with the goal of developing it into an Integrative Family Center.

Text: Matthias Erfurth, Matthias Kunert, Henning Seidler