Loving care for damaged dolls

Berlin alternative sights: Neukoelln's dolls' hospital or "puppenklinik'

Heads in jars; eyeballs in drawers. No, we're not describing the set of some B-movie horror-fest, but referring instead to the rather magical world of Berlin's dolls' hospitals.

Considering that these 'Puppenkliniken' hark back to an age when broken toys were carefully mended rather than simply thrown away, it's hard to believe that they still exist at all.

But in Berlin at least, poorly playthings benefit from a surprisingly wide choice of emergency healthcare.

Secret Berlin: the city's dolls' hospitals

Neukölln's Puppenklinik, for example, has been giving damaged dolls a new lease of life for over thirty years. The wonderful little workshop (above and below) is appropriately located in the district's quaint 'hidden village' of Rixdorf, and is brimming with nostalgic memories of childhoods past.

Unique things to see in Berlin - a dolls' hospital
Hidden Berlin: the city's dolls' hospitals

Across town in Wilmersdorf, Rosy's Doll and Teddy Clinic has likewise dispensed tender loving care to toys for several decades, while further afield, Renate's Puppenklinik (below) provides another venerable repair service.

Berlin's dolls' hospitals and toy repair workshops

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Unusual things to see in Berlin: a Puppenklinik, or dolls' hospital

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Yet despite the relative abundance of Berlin's dolls' hospitals (and there are several others besides those mentioned here), the craft of toy restoration is inevitably in decline.

Every year clients are fewer, and the workshops tend to open just once or twice a week. They're one of Berlin's most nostalgic hidden gems, but who knows how long they'll still have patients to care for?

See also:
Berlin's cuddly toy soap opera
Neukölln's hidden village
A GDR toy museum

Puppenklinik Neukölln: Richardstraße 99, 12043 Berlin
Opening times: Tuesday, 3.30pm-6pm
Rosy's Puppen und Teddy Klinik: Westfälische Straße 56 (in courtyard), 10711 Berlin
Opening times: Tuesday, 11am-6pm; Thursday, 11am-6pm
Puppenklinik Renate: Soldiner Straße 30, 12305 Berlin
Opening times: Wednesday, 10am-6pm

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