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The Grand Reconstruction of the Berlin City Palace

Today, the first stone of the historic facade was laid. The buildings’ walls are ready to rise

April 01st, 2015

Berlin is soon to have its historical 18th-century palace back. The Berlin City Palace, also known as Stadtschloss, was a royal imperial palace, the capital of Prussia and the heart of Berlin city. All residents of the German Emperor, all buildings and all streets surrounded the Baroque styled palace, which was constructed in the 15th century. The “Berliner Stadtschloss” was essential in the constitution of the city center, and now, a new palace is under construction. 


“When the palace was demolished, the old berlin was demolished as well…and now we are repairing the face of the city,” said Wilhelm von Boddien, the director of the Humboldt Forum. The city palace gave the center of the city its cohesion. As a result of its demolition, this was lost, making it almost impossible to recognize how the surrounding buildings, such as the Berliner Dome and Museum’s Island, were designed to relate to each other. Mr. Boddien emphasized that the project is dedicated to “giving Berlin back its old identity”, and that there is no better place for the new building than in the ancient city.

The Humboldt Forum is to be created within the footprint of the former palace. Its purpose is to show all arts and cultures of the non-European continents so that people learn more about foreign cultures. According to Mr. Boddien, “The more you understand about these cultures, the more you are prepared to negotiate the problems of the world”. Within the multifunctional spaces, visitors will be able to experience the whole diversity of cultural forms of expression: film, music, performance, visual art, podium discussions and more. The Berliner Schloss Post claims, “a bridge will be created between the historic collections and the issues of the present and the future”.

In 1945, demolition bombs destroyed the Berlin Schloss during its heaviest allied air raids. The building burned out for 4 days, however remained solid in its foundations. In 1950, the former palace was demolished supposedly as an arbitrary act by the GDR to root out Prussian History. After the reunification, the public pleaded for a rebuilding of the old palace. First, the Palace of the Republic was built and then destroyed, because of asbestos and the fear for nostalgic feelings to the former government. People wanted to feel a bit of the old glory and wanted the old palace to be rebuilt.

In 2013, work started on reconstruction and a part of the exterior of the palace has been rebuilt. The completion is expected in 2019. An example of the Baroque façade is shown nearby at the ‘Humboldt Box’, a cultural installation where history, information, progress and modules are available to visitors. The Humboldt University will also host a library.

German citizens and international tourists will be welcomed to visit the palace anytime. Mr. Boddien’s dream of the cultural landmarks rise is coming true and will hopefully be ready for the public’s admiration by 2019.


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