BERLIN: Berlin Palace

Time to read:

2 minutes

Berlin is getting its palace back. During the war, the palace in the center of the city was badly damaged, and in 1950, it was demolished. After the Wall came down, parliament agreed to reconstruction of the palace.


The original palace, main residence of the Electors of Brandenburg, the Kings of Prussia and the German Emperors from 1443 to 1918.

The reconstructed palace now is seat of the Humboldt Forum, a museum for world culture. The Forum has been described as the German equivalent of the British Museum, but that claim has to be seen to be believed. In the photo, the beautifully reconstructed baroque facade of the palace (left) meets the modern face of the Humboldt Forum.

So much of the building was under construction that it was difficult to get a clear picture of what should emerge.

The exterior was nearly entirely scaffolding.

It’s hard being a tourist. It’s anybody’s guess what this is going to look like when the “bandages” are unwrapped.

Meanwhile, the National Monument to Freedom and Unity, in front of the palace, has been a bitterly contested model of disunity for a decade. Critics would prefer the memorial in front of parliament, where reunification was formalized. The design is for a 50-yard-wide crescent that can be walked on and moved by visitors. The design has been mocked as a seesaw, a banana peel and a golden bowl.


An illustration of the memorial. Engraved on it is the chant of the East German freedom protests: “We are the people. We are one people.” The memorial was designed to go out front, below the palace dome.

The papers warned that time was running out to get building permits and meet construction timetables for an unveiling November 9, 2019 — the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.

Photo: Ernstol (converted to B&W) via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s what it looked like at the end.


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