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Old June 14th, 2013, 06:54 PM   #61
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Not only do the current domes look insufficient, that modern-designed cross based at the top looks more like something that should hold up a revolving billboard selling condoms.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 08:19 PM   #62
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Ah, how nice to find an English-language thread about the reconstruction of Berlin's Königliche Schloß. The German-language thread can be a bit difficult to follow sometimes, if one's German is still at the rudimentary stage.

Here's a thread on another forum that features many views of the Berliner Schloß, both from the exterior (from every angle, a full 360-degree view) and of the gorgeous interiors.

http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board...ead.php?t=2560

It will break your heart to consider that none of those stunning rooms are going to be rebuilt.

Oh, and as for the appearance of the rebuild, I think the dome is absolutely necessary. The palace would look incomplete without it. But the modernist Spree front is a tragedy, especially since the original Spree facade was the most historic and visually interesting part of the palace.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 10:01 PM   #63
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Oh, and as for the appearance of the rebuild, I think the dome is absolutely necessary. The palace would look incomplete without it. But the modernist Spree front is a tragedy, especially since the original Spree facade was the most historic and visually interesting part of the palace.
Agreed. I cannot really understand why, after going to the sheer effort of reconstructing the other facades, the Spree front is going to be Modern. I can only think that it's to give the project a faux whiff of progressiveness. Rather than saying 'we're just rebuilding the old castle exactly as it was and tough **** if you don't like it' they can say 'oh look, it's not just a backward glance to the past as there's a bit that's Modernist as well'. I wonder if it was designed to shut up the Modernists. It has all the appearance of a botched job, satisfying neither Modernists or those who wanted the castle rebuilt.

Maybe I'm just being unrealistic but perhaps such reconstructions, when attempted, ought to be on an 'all or nothing' basis. The Braunschweig Schloss was rebuilt externally but inside it's just a shopping mall. I'm not sure such things are that helpful to the reconstructionist movement. These places should be reconstructed as historical monuments and not just because they look pretty. In my eyes that means adhering as closely to the original as possible and, where practical, restoring the most important interiors, even it's done gradually over 30 or 40 years. Throwing up a building that bears a passing resemblance to the original isn't particulary satisfying, IMO. I think posterity will look back at the reconstruction of the Berlin City Palace as a missed opportunity.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 01:03 AM   #64
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I asked the director of the humbolt forum exhibit why it was agreed to construct the east side of the complex in modern design, and his response was that 'Berlin is a blend of histories and styles and the modern river side is a statement that Berlin evolves and changes yet keep an eye on former times'. He was very casual about my inquiries and my impression was that he had a huge 'it's no big deal' attitude that the east side will be non historical.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 02:08 AM   #65
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I asked the director of the humbolt forum exhibit why it was agreed to construct the east side of the complex in modern design, and his response was that 'Berlin is a blend of histories and styles and the modern river side is a statement that Berlin evolves and changes yet keep an eye on former times'. He was very casual about my inquiries and my impression was that he had a huge 'it's no big deal' attitude that the east side will be non historical.
In which case they should've scrapped the dome and replaced it with a giant hammer and sickle. IMO such an attitude diminishes the building itself. As I said previously, I think it should've perhaps been done properly or not at all. There was absolutely no reason why the river facade had to be modern. I'd love to know what discussions/fights went on in the committee because only a commitee could've come up with such a dumb idea.

I'd rather one building was reconstructed authentically than one hundred thrown up without any thought or sensitivity to the original structure.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 02:36 AM   #66
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The planned 'Freiheits- und Einheitsdenkmal' in front of it also sucks pretty badly. I really wish they would reconstruct the original Wilhelm I monument as well.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 04:24 AM   #67
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The planned 'Freiheits- und Einheitsdenkmal' in front of it also sucks pretty badly. I really wish they would reconstruct the original Wilhelm I monument as well.
The colossal figures sprawled on the steps were astonishing. It was as if they'd sat down after a hard day's work!



http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi...naldenkmal.jpg
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Old June 15th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #68
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It will break your heart to consider that none of those stunning rooms are going to be rebuilt.
No one ever said that. Practically, reconstructions of interiors will definitely be possible. It's just that they're not initially financed, so they can be added as donations flock in and within the years. Actually I like that.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 02:29 PM   #69
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Visualization of the Castle / Humboldt-Forum including the urban space next to it, the subway station entrances (U-Bahn) and the Cathedral in its historical appearance with imperial lanterns and the old cupola!
Are there any real plans to restore the pre-war appearance of the Cathedral? Or is it just wishful thinking of the visualization authors?
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Old June 15th, 2013, 03:07 PM   #70
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^ More of the latter Currently there's no plans to do so. But it might well be possible after the completion of the Royal Palace; to complete the imperial ensemble.


Btw - Please remember that this is supposed to be the main thread for updates, discussion etc. (while this is a reference thread here): BERLIN | City Palace Reconstruction - "Humboldt-Forum" @ General Urban Developments Forum
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Old June 15th, 2013, 03:59 PM   #71
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For those who are interested in the Königliche Schloß, I highly recommend the following DVD:



http://www.amazon.de/Das-Berliner-Sc...dp/3980633160/

I purchased it recently and loved it. It offers what I kept hoping to find in books about the Schloß, but never could: a room-by-room guide of the interior rooms of the palace, with a palace floorplan showing where each of the rooms was originally situated.

It doesn't quite show every room of the palace (I wish it did), but it does show many of the most famous ones. It also offers exterior views of the palace from every angle, along with a history of the Schloß, and more.

The narrator speaks slowly and clearly, so even those of us whose German isn't perfect can still understand what he's saying.

Also, apparently, purchasing the video leads to a small automatic donation for the palace reconstruction.

Highly recommended. It's as close as anyone can get to stepping back in time and actually touring the Schloß.

NOTE: It's a PAL video, so your DVD player has to be able to accommodate that region code.

Here's a preview video:

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Old June 15th, 2013, 04:03 PM   #72
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No one ever said that. Practically, reconstructions of interiors will definitely be possible. It's just that they're not initially financed, so they can be added as donations flock in and within the years. Actually I like that.
Is that so? That's wonderful to hear.

The only trouble is, as the above video demonstrates, many of the most beautiful and historic portions of the Schloß, like the Erasmuskapelle, were originally located in the Spree-facing section of the palace, so rebuilding them will be more difficult, owing to the fact that that part of the Schloß exterior is not going to be reconstructed.

Still, a number of rooms could be rebuilt in the current configuration, like the Weisser Saal, the Thronsaal, the Rittersaal, and the chapel under the dome, all of which were located in the Baroque portions of the Schloß.

The ideal would be if enough donations poured in that they could someday tear down the Stella Spree wing and rebuild that portion of the palace correctly.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 11:05 PM   #73
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The news of the Reconstruction, of the Berlin city Palace has reached Norway

Berlin's old palace reborn
http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/verden/1.11081347




http://gfx.nrk.no/jW3o3cFzq8nYzwXL2K...CWDqLS6BPA.jpg
Today it is just a huge construction site, but in a few years the Berlin Castle will again characterize the townscape.

It was the residence of the electors, kings and emperors for half a millennium, and it was one of the largest and most beautiful buildings in northern Europe.

The old royal palace is Berlin's history in a nutshell - full of grandeur and splendor, but also of tragedy and destruction. The building was bombed during the war, razed to the ground by the East German communist regime, and replaced with the GDR's new parliament.

But this week the foundation stone was laid for a new royal palace - where culture and knowledge will be in focus.

- We want a vibrant meeting place for the world's cultures, said the German President Joachim Gauck when he laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the Berlin city palace, which is scheduled to be completed in six years and that will cost the tidy sum of half a billion Norwegian kroners.

Greetings from USA
It was a special experience to participate in the ceremony here in Berlin last Wednesday. In the middle of a huge building lot in the heart of eastern Berlin had hundreds of people gathered to mark the final start of construction of the reconstruction of the royal palace.

In addition to the German Federal President, the representatives of the government and the state of Berlin in attendance, along with numerous friends of the castle project.


http://gfx.nrk.no/uL34iPS4Tim2puUG48...jfrwdcyaiw.jpg
The old royal palace in Berlin home of princes and emperors for 500 years. Now it will be rebuilt and accommodate a library and art treasures.

The most famous and surprising "guest" was still a German born, former U.S. Secretary of State, which admittedly only participated with a video message. The legend Henry Kissinger has in fact engaged in construction of the Berlin Palace, had the following to say:

- To recover the architecture of the old Berlin is a symbol, not only of the German reunification, but also for its many friends here in the U.S.. I want to express my great respect for enthusiasts who have made it possible to bring this project forward to a happy solution, said the 90-year-old Henry Kissinger, an honorary member of the association "Friends of the Berlin Palace" - in still excellent German.

Lacking the most important
Among enthusiasts who have worked to realize the new Royal Palace, the one that occupies a special position, businessman Wilhelm von Boddie from Hamburg. For 22 years he has spent all his spare time to raise money and to convince politicians that the project is a good idea.

When I interviewed him 10 years ago it was all the uncertain, and resistance to the idea was great. When I meet him at the ceremony this week, he sits in the front row, and rays of satisfaction.

- The great buildings of the old center of Berlin is still there, but we lack the essentials: the Royal Castle with the famous Baroque façade, which was at the heart of this city for hundreds of years. When we in 5-6 years get this built, Berlin will become more beautiful and more interesting to visitors than the city has ever been, says the castle enthusiast to NRK.no.


http://gfx.nrk.no/NAs_OwIlqsC_ppT7Zj...JkX0Icg8MQ.jpg

World Culture is a key concept for the new building, which also bears the name Humbolt forum, after the famous German geographer Alexander von Humboldt.

Large collections of art from other continents will be in the building, along with Berlin's Main Library.

A bitter dispute
A cold January night in 2005, I participated with a group of Norwegian and German art friends in the unveiling of a special art installation in Berlin.

On top of the Palast der Republik, the old GDR parliament, had the Norwegian artist Lars Ramberg set up large illuminated letters forming the word "Zweifel" - in Norwegian, "doubt".

Thus did the artwork right into the bitter controversy over what should happen to the building. Today we know the result, DDR parliament was demolished and the old royal palace is to be raised again.

But even if the foundation is now laid for the new Berlin Palace Humboldt-Forum, then doubt is still present among a large part of Berlin´s population.

People shake their heads over a city on the brink of bankruptcy builds a castle for around half a billion Norwegian kroner, and others - especially in the eastern part of the city - think the old DDR Parliament could remain, and been used for new purposes in the reunited Germany.

Merkel did not take part in the ceremony
But even supporters of a new royal palace witnessed a star while this week, so this is no win case in the race of the Bundestag election later this year 2013.

For Chancellor Angela Merkel, who comes from the former DDR, the reconstruction of the former Prussian royal palace reveals no great enthusiasm.

She has indeed given her support to the project, but also marked the distance by failing to be present when the foundation stone was laid last Wednesday.

Present were, however Berlin´s Mayor Klaus Wowereit, who gave warm support the project, and said he hopes the conflict will diminish in the future:

There are still strong feelings for this project. Palace or not palace is the big question, and many had been much better if we had dropped the project. I mean it is completely wrong, and I am totally convinced that this is a building for the benefit of the whole of Berlin, including those who today are strong opponents of building the castle - the mayor said in his speech.

Culture and Knowledge
A new chapter in Berlin's history was written this week, and supporters of the new castle takes criticism with devastating calm. Project's father, Wilhelm von Boddie, puts it this way.

- We do not build a castle because we want to restore the monarchy, but because this building is an important part of our history. It is not enough that Berlin is hip - the city must also have a dignity and beauty that can please all who live here and who come here, he said.

Berlin's royal palace is on the way back from history's dark. But in six years the palace in the middle of the city's historic center will not be a home for kings and emperors, but for art, culture and knowledge.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 02:14 AM   #74
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Is that so? That's wonderful to hear.

The only trouble is, as the above video demonstrates, many of the most beautiful and historic portions of the Schloß, like the Erasmuskapelle, were originally located in the Spree-facing section of the palace, so rebuilding them will be more difficult, owing to the fact that that part of the Schloß exterior is not going to be reconstructed.

Still, a number of rooms could be rebuilt in the current configuration, like the Weisser Saal, the Thronsaal, the Rittersaal, and the chapel under the dome, all of which were located in the Baroque portions of the Schloß.

The ideal would be if enough donations poured in that they could someday tear down the Stella Spree wing and rebuild that portion of the palace correctly.
It's a massive shame that the Erasmus Chapel isn't being reconstructed as it had one of the most wonderful, inventive Gothic vaults I've ever seen.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 02:15 AM   #75
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Thank you very much for translating that article from Norwegian. I very much like the comment from the project's main organizer, Wilhelm von Boddien:

Quote:
This building is an important part of our history. It is not enough that Berlin is hip - the city must also have a dignity and beauty that can please all who live here and who come here,
So true.

But it's sad to hear how even the supporters of the project feel that they have to distance themselves from the monarchy. Why? After all, the entire reason why the Königliche Schloß existed in the first place, in all of its splendour, along with all of the great museums on the Museumsinsel, not to mention Schloß Charlottenburg, the Brandenburg Gate, and so many of Berlin's greatest landmarks, is because of the Hohenzollern monarchy, who willed these glorious and culturally magnificent structures into existence.

Indeed, most of the draw for visitors to Berlin today is precisely to see things that were created neither by democracy nor by Marxists, but by the Prussian monarchy. Germany continues to benefit tremendously from its royal heritage.

So I think at the very least, on cultural matters, a bit of respect, even appreciation, for the Hohenzollern monarchy and what it gave to Prussia would be completely justified.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 09:38 AM   #76
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It's a massive shame that the Erasmus Chapel isn't being reconstructed as it had one of the most wonderful, inventive Gothic vaults I've ever seen.

http://mue-web.de/christa/ak11/berli...ss_erasmus.jpg
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Old June 16th, 2013, 12:06 PM   #77
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Maybe a bit off topic but in german it is called "Schlingrippengewölbe" (literally sth. like "loop rips vault" I guess). The chapel in the "Dresdner Schloss" had this too and it was recently reconstructed. It was very complicated because this traditional gothic technique wasn't used since the 16th century and nobody really knew how to do it. They had to learn it completely new.
site in german
http://www.sib.sachsen.de/de/referen..._entsteht_neu/
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Old June 16th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #78
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Very interesting indeed.

Of course.. now that the wheel has been reinvented, in a manner of speaking, there's nothing stopping the Berlin crew from applying this same new found knowledge to their efforts.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 12:53 PM   #79
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The planned 'Freiheits- und Einheitsdenkmal' in front of it also sucks pretty badly. I really wish they would reconstruct the original Wilhelm I monument as well.
You're not the only one.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 02:40 PM   #80
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Maybe a bit off topic but in german it is called "Schlingrippengewölbe" (literally sth. like "loop rips vault" I guess). The chapel in the "Dresdner Schloss" had this too and it was recently reconstructed. It was very complicated because this traditional gothic technique wasn't used since the 16th century and nobody really knew how to do it. They had to learn it completely new.
site in german
http://www.sib.sachsen.de/de/referen..._entsteht_neu/
Really interesting. It seems as if was a very late development of the Gothic style, a bit like how we had fan vaults in England before the Renaissance turned up. The vault of the Erasmus Chapel was so sinuous and organic it could almost have been an Art Nouveau interpretation of a Gothic vaulting from the 1890s. I love the way the ribs curved down to the floor:



http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board...ead.php?t=2560
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