At Spiegelgasse 1, in the Old Town, where Lenin spent a year in exile, is the Cabaret Voltaire. In 1916, it became the birthplace of Dadaism, an intellectual, artistic, and literary movement that, in response to the Great War, questioned norms and conventions.
Today, the place still has an atmosphere of challenge and disintegration, as evidenced by the decorations, which include a bust of Voltaire and disco balls. The mostly young audience comes to read in peace in the afternoon. In the evening, absinthe-fuelled debates, film screenings, literary events and even stand-up comedy take over the venue.
The Cabaret Voltaire is more than a bar: with a library, a permanent Dada exhibition, and a shop selling local artwork, it is a full-blown cultural centre.
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