The favorite game of Goethe and Schiller

 

Kegeln: The old German Forerunner of Modern Bowling (and 53 places to play it around Germany)

Everyone knows about bowling: ten pins arranged in a triangle, glossy hardwood lanes, big heavy balls with three finger-holes, rented leather shoes, the works. Few outside of Germany, however, are aware that bowling is a relatively young variation of a very old game. That game is called Kegeln, and it can still be played today in barroom basements and banquet halls across the Bundesrepublik.

Three main differences distinguish Kegeln from its modern offspring. First, there is the size of the ball. Unlike the bowling ball, which is roughly the size of a large melon and bears three finger-holes for stability and grip, the Kegel ball fits plumply in the palm of your hand and has no holes.

Next, there are the pins—or skittles, as they’re called. Whereas bowling’s ten shiny white pins are arranged, invariably, in a triangular pattern, Kegel’s nine (often ancient-looking) wooden pins can be arranged in a variety of ways.

Finally, there are the lanes, or Bahnen. Most bowling alleys look pretty much the same: lane after lane of perfect, glossy uniformity under a roof as broad as an airplane hangar. With Kegeln, think the opposite of these adjectives. Typically neither perfect, nor glossy, nor uniform, nor broad, Kegelbahnen of all shapes, sizes, conditions and ages can be found lurking everywhere from Boazn (dive-bar) basements to upscale banquet halls; from the back corners of family restaurants to massive sheds constructed solely for the purpose of competitive Kegeln.

This list of Kegelbahnen encompasses every kind of Kegel-locale, from the delightfully sketchy to the shockingly pristine, in Germany’s ten most populous cities. Have a look, follow the links, and see what vibe appeals to you. Just be sure to determine in advance whether the Kegelbahn you want to visit is available on a reservation-only basis. Most are, and pricing varies quite widely across the board.

Viel Spaß!

 

BERLIN

 
Bornholmer Hütte
Bornholmer Straße 89
10439 Berlin
No website
 
Gasthaus Figl
Urbanstraße 47
10967 Berlin
 
Kugelbahn
Grüntaler Straße 51
13359 Berlin
No website
 
Tante Lisbeth
Muskauer Straße 49
10997 Berlin
 
Tegeler Seeterrassen 
Wilkestraße 1
13507 Berlin
 

COLOGNE

 
Bagatelle V – VeggieButze
Herbrandstraße 7
50825 köln
 
Effi
Nußbaumerstraße 86
50825 Köln
 
Em Kölsche Boor
Eigelstein 121-123
50668 Köln
 
Osters Rudi
Hartwichstraße 26-28
50733 Köln
No website
 
Qlosterstüffje
Venloer Str. 221
50823 Köln
 
Schmitze Lang
Severinstraße 62
50678 Köln
No website
 
Tresörchen – die Cocktailmanufaktur
Severinstraße 77-79
 
Zum Goldenen Kegel
Balthazarstraße 53
50670 Köln
 
Zum Knobelbecher
Brüsseler Str. 47
50674 Köln
No Website
 

DORTMUND

Alte Gasse
Hohe Str. 107
44139 Dortmund
 
Baroper Eck
Harkortstraße
44225 Dortmund
No website
 
Haus Stiepelmann
Wickeder Hellweg 43
44319 Dortmund
 
Kegelkotten
Brambauerstraße 51
44339 Dortmund
 
Keglerklause
Oespeler Dorfstraße 6
44149 Dortmund
No website

DÜSSELDORF

Antoniushof
Kirchfeldstraße 137
40215 Düsseldorf
 
Gaststätte Franz Ratte
Gumbertstraße 100
40229 Düsseldorf
 
Gaststätte Geissel
Aachener Str. 58
40223 Düsseldorf
 
Im Goldenen Ring
Burgpl. 21
40213 Düsseldorf
 
Im Silbernen Ring
Hammer Dorfstraße 109
40221 Düsseldorf
 
Zum goldenen Fass
Dorotheenstraße 13A
40235 Düsseldorf
 
 

ESSEN

11 Freunde Die Bar
Kunigundastraße 27
45131 Essen
Restaurant am Kreuz
Ernestinenstraße 116
45141 Essen
 
Wirtshaus Rü
Rüttenscheider Str. 81
45130 Essen
No website
 

FRANKFURT

Blaue Adria
Saarbrücker Str. 4
60529 Frankfurt
 
Gambrinus am Eck
Ringelstraße 54
60385 Frankfurt
 
Homburger Hof
Engelthaler Str. 13
60435 Frankfurt
 
Pilsstube Nr. 297 und Kegelbahnen
Offenbacher Landstraße 297
60599 Frankfurt
No website
 
Ristorante Bella Sena & Kegeln
Pfingstweidstraße 7
60316 Frankfurt
 

HAMBURG

Das Lemon
Margaretenstraße 27
20357 Hamburg
No website
 
Restaurant Dubrovnik
Kieler Str. 407
22525 Hamburg
 
Trattoria da Mario
Thadenstraße 1
22767 Hamburg
 
Tunici – Barmbek Süd
Adolph-Schönfelder-Straße 49
22083 Hamburg
 

LEIPZIG

Bowling-Gipfel-Restaurant
Schönfelder Str. 4
04129 Leipzig
 
Brauereilokal Hopfenspeicher
Oststraße 38
04317 Leipzig
No website
 
Kegelbahn SV Holzhausen
Hauptstraße 37
04288 Leipzig
 
Sportlerbaude Engelsdorf
Hans-Weigel-Straße29
04319 Leipzig
 

MUNICH

Cafe Westend
Ganghoferstraße 50
80339 München
 
Goldene Rakete Schwabing
Ursulastraße 3
80802 München
 
La Migliore
Tegernseer Landstraße 11
81541 München
 
Pogner’s
Pognerstraße 5
81379 München
 
Sax
Hans-Sachs-Straße 5
80469 München
No website
 
Theresa Grill Restaurant Bar
Theresienstraße 29
80333 München
 
Troja im Grünen Kranz
Stürzerstraße 38
80689 München
 
Wirtshaus Hohenwart
Gietlstraße 15
81541 München
 
Wirtshaus Maxvorstadt
Augustenstraße 53
80333 München
 
Zur Schwalbe
Schwanthalerstraße 149
80339 München
 

STUTTGART

Kegelzentrum Feuerbach (Bowling Arena Stuttgart)
Am Sportpark 9
70469 Stuttgart
 
Kolping Kegelheim
Sommerrainstr. 41
70374 Stuttgart
About the Author Kevin Wiesehahn

Kevin Wiesehahn is a New York expat living in Munich. He studied Literature and Philosophy at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst,
and earned a master’s degree in Anglistik from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
Kevin is one of the newest members of the Blue Global Relocation family, where he works as Immigration Team Assistant and Social Media Content Developer.
In his spare time, he enjoys reading German philosophy, riding BMX and cooking.

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