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In the early 19th Century, Hackescher Markt was still a muddy swamp situated outside Berlin's city gates. Yet as the industrial revolution gained hold, new businesses and booming industries set up shop here, bringing wealth and prosperity to the whole area. Hackescher Markt's main claim to fame is, however, its S-Bahn station. Constructed at the height of the railway boom in the late 19th Century, with a red-tiled facade, mosaics and rounded windows, this is one of Berlin's most attractive stations. Originally known as Bahnhof Börse
(Stock Exchange Station) because of its proximity to the Berlin Stock Exchange, the square in front of the station was renamed 'Marx-Engels-Platz' by party apparatchiks during the socialist era. Nowadays, the station is used primarily by visitors to the nearby Hackesche Höfe complex, a labyrinth of courtyards brimming with cafès, restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. A cinema
and the Oranienburger Straße
nightlife strip complete the list of attractions in this increasingly popular (and tourist-ridden) district.