Home of Echoworld Communications

To Echo Germanica Homepage
May 2002 - Nr. 5


The Editor
Vorsicht Satire!
Antje berichtet
Hier O.K. Berlin!
K-W and Beyond
German Theatre
COC Opera Duo
Die Alte Dame
German Studies
Gone Fishing
40 Years Lein's
Wines of Austria
Sportclub 64 Toronto
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Ganghofer Treffpunkt
40 Years Beatles
Deutsche Regisseure...
Lost Film Era
Historical Centre
Der Nürburgring
Deutsche Autos in USA
To Do Business
Stained Glass Windows
Berlin History Museum
Online Village
World Cup 2006
Economic Upswing
"Hesse Year"
German Beer Day

Reconstructing Berlin’s Historical Centre as a Private Initiative?

  TWIG - Since reunification, Berlin has been crammed with cranes, scaffolding and concrete mixers. So does the German capital really need another construction project, and a historically controversial one at that? When the project in question is a building that was seen as the city’s architectural signature for more than two hundred years, answers are sharply divided. The enormous baroque Berlin Palace, designed by architect Andreas Schlueter in the 18th century, was long the seat of Prussian Hohenzollern kings and later of the German emperor. In 1950, the bombed remains of the palace were levelled by East German communist leader Walter Ulbricht.

Now a committee of architects, art historians, politicians and preservationists is working to determine whether Ulbricht should have the last word. "The rebuilding of the palace has nothing to do with politics," said Wilhelm von Boddien, an entrepreneur who is a chief advocate of rebuilding, "There was no nationalism when it was built 300 years ago. The palace was always the nucleus of this city. We need it to restore Berlin’s identity." The cost, however, would be the leveling of the bronze and glass "Palace of the Republic" built by former East German leader Erich Honecker.

While the heart of Berlin is still graced by the work of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, architect to the Prussian royal family, some feel his buildings, without the original palace, lack their natural focus. Boddien notes that the Brandenburg Gate has become the de facto symbol of the German capital, but that "it was never meant to be a national monument - it was the entrance to the palace." Like most of those campaigning for the comeback of Berlin’s central square, Boddien believes that the "Palace of the Republic," only 25 years old but already crumbling, will be torn down as nostalgia for it fades. But among the activists deciding the square’s fate, there are many who argue for replacing the old structures and ruins with a thoroughly new and unifying concept. "We need a fascinating new idea that will allow us to escape all these backward-looking proposals," says Lehmann.

To Top of Page

Send mail to webmaster@echoworld.com  with questions or comments about this web site.
For information about Echoworld Communications and its services send mail to info@echoworld.com .

Copyright ©2010 Echoworld Communications