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Old November 5th, 2016, 03:11 AM   #481
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Astonishing! Berlins old architecture looks amazing, Prussian styled buildings are beautiful. Hopefully more rebuilds/restoration will be done, especially if the statschloss will be a major attraction.
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Old November 6th, 2016, 03:15 AM   #482
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How amazing! Thanks for the wonderful images!
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Old November 7th, 2016, 06:52 AM   #483
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Hello guys, question. How much of Berlin was completely destroyed during World War 2?
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Old November 7th, 2016, 11:19 AM   #484
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Hello guys, question. How much of Berlin was completely destroyed during World War 2?
Not that much actually, about 30%. The very center was hit pretty badly but the vast 19th century outer ring fared pretty well. After all Berlin was one of the biggest cities of the world back then.
Unfortunately destruction didn't stop with the end of the war. The majority of 19th century facades were "entstuckt" as we say in German. Meaning: They broke of the stucco ornamentations from the facades to give the houses a more modern look. A terrible barbarity. Here an example of original and entstuckte facades:



Had they not done this, Berlin today would have just as vast and beautiful 19th century quarters as Vienna, Budapest or Prague. The Entstuckung had completely stopped only by the 90s and is now being reverted in many places. More and more house owners and investors realize that beautiful 19th century facades sell better than ugly ducklings. It took them a while to realize that though...
Apart from that, the construction of the Wall cost the city a lot of historical substance and over in the East they were for the first couple of post-war decades very keen to erase historical signs, especially if they had to do with "evil" Prussia or with transforming Berlin into a modern, socialist capital. Fortunately they had a change of heart later and they even reconstructed buildings that they had demolished earlier.

So it is hard to say how much of old Berlin was destroyed. But it was a lot and not just during WWII.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 12:37 PM   #485
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Thank you for that enlightening reply. It's interesting because my city Manila shares the same fate as Berlin. While both cities have essentially "survived" the war, they suffered further under the hands of human fickleness.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 02:57 PM   #486
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Berlin most assuredly did not "essentially survive" the war.

The 30% estimate Tiaren refers to is a hedge used (most often by the Allies) to downplay the massive destruction of the bombing campaign and takes in to account every aspect of the city scape including far outlying areas that one might easily label as not so relevant. Fact is, the city core and main commercial, industrial, residential and government areas from Alexander Platz through Mitte, Potsammer and Leipziger Platz, and parts further west, south, and north were essentially wiped out with destroyed and/or uninhabitable buildings up near the 70-80% level. All one has to do is look at the aerial and ground photos from May 1945 of section after section to see the mass destruction of the historic and important areas that, arguabley defined the city then and define the city now.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 06:13 PM   #487
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In lots of places in Berlin today you can see modern housing along the boulevards and old ones in the side streets (this both in eastern and western Berlin). Did the bombers use the wide boulevards as direction?
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Old November 7th, 2016, 06:20 PM   #488
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Not really. The main streets were aside from normal bombing mostly destroyed by ground fighting with the soviets and b) during rebuilding and later on up to the 60s and 70s when streets were widened to be more "car friendly".
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Old November 8th, 2016, 11:32 AM   #489
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keepthepast View Post


Berlin most assuredly did not "essentially survive" the war.

The 30% estimate Tiaren refers to is a hedge used (most often by the Allies) to downplay the massive destruction of the bombing campaign and takes in to account every aspect of the city scape including far outlying areas that one might easily label as not so relevant. Fact is, the city core and main commercial, industrial, residential and government areas from Alexander Platz through Mitte, Potsammer and Leipziger Platz, and parts further west, south, and north were essentially wiped out with destroyed and/or uninhabitable buildings up near the 70-80% level. All one has to do is look at the aerial and ground photos from May 1945 of section after section to see the mass destruction of the historic and important areas that, arguabley defined the city then and define the city now.
Sorry for the lack of clarity, by saying "essentially survive", I meant that Berlin is still alive today as a living, breathing metropolis in spite of the utter destruction it went through.

I read of the case of a French town called Oradour-sur-Glane which was obliterated in WW2 and now remains a ghost town. Although technically it would be nearly impossible to do that to a city as large as Berlin.
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Old November 11th, 2016, 03:28 AM   #490
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Quote:
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Sorry for the lack of clarity, by saying "essentially survive", I meant that Berlin is still alive today as a living, breathing metropolis in spite of the utter destruction it went through.

I read of the case of a French town called Oradour-sur-Glane which was obliterated in WW2 and now remains a ghost town. Although technically it would be nearly impossible to do that to a city as large as Berlin.
As far as I know the vast majority of heavily damaged cities survived in the sense as described in your previous post. As a matter of fact I can't think of any city other than Oradour-sur-Glane that'd be left in ruins as a reminder of the WW2 attrocities. I think there was a concept of leaving Warsaw in the state it found itself in 1945 and moving the Polish capital to Lodz, but if I can remember correctly the plan was quickly painted as ridiculous and ditched.
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Old November 17th, 2016, 03:27 PM   #491
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Some of Berlin's beautiful an varied 19th/early 20th century architecture:

Building by John McCabe, on Flickr

Building by John McCabe, on Flickr

Door by John McCabe, on Flickr

Goethe Gymnasium (Secondary School) by John McCabe, on Flickr

Splendid Hotel detail by John McCabe, on Flickr

Splendid Hotel detail by John McCabe, on Flickr

berlin by Özgür Cam, on Flickr

St Mary under the Cross Church by John McCabe, on Flickr

Building detail by John McCabe, on Flickr

Admiralspalast by John McCabe, on Flickr

Building detail by John McCabe, on Flickr

Berlin by Oliver Leu, on Flickr

IMG_3908 by Emerson Gibin, on Flickr
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Old November 20th, 2016, 04:28 PM   #492
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Old October 26th, 2017, 06:36 PM   #493
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While they do reconstruction in Potsdam and central Berlin, in Köpenick - the formerly independent town on the east rim of Berlin, they still like to tear the past down.

2015:


2017:


Way too bad - because I was developing a special liking of Köpenick old town after my 2015 visit.

They also build new, modern infills in the old town, something wholly avoidable, since the old town is very small and only a portion of Köpenick.
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Old October 26th, 2017, 07:39 PM   #494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELH View Post

2017:
Is Köpenick somewhat neglected? I noticed that the cream colored building to the right still has the same graffiti after two years.
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Old October 26th, 2017, 07:40 PM   #495
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For the balance; a few pics of the still not torn parts of Köpenick old town:







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Old October 26th, 2017, 07:45 PM   #496
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Is Köpenick somewhat neglected? I noticed that the cream colored building to the right still has the same graffiti after two years.
I`m not sure whether I´m the right person to answer it, as a non german and non berliner.

Köpenick layed in east Berlin. I suspect they still have less money than in the west.

The Köpenick old town is nice enough (at least it has enough potential) for a "touristic discovery", but it is small and far off - so it hasn´t really happened yet. Now they risk destroying their own touristic potential.

That with the graffiti could also simply be resignation - they`ve probably made their experiences as to what a layer of paint is worth to the taggers. The taggers show more respect to each others signatures than to property owners paying and working to keep a nice building.

Charmingly, Köpenick is most known in Germany for an 1908 incident, where a jobless man stole a captains uniform and got the help of soldiers to rob the city treasury. The soldiers thought they helped the man arrest the mayor for som criminal act. The story has been made into movies and plays.
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Old October 29th, 2017, 03:34 AM   #497
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Berlin looks really astonishing! Would like to see the entire city reconstructed! It is such a shame that many buildings lost in the WWII were not rebuilt.
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Old October 29th, 2017, 04:18 AM   #498
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Berlin looks really astonishing! Would like to see the entire city reconstructed! It is such a shame that many buildings lost in the WWII were not rebuilt.
Hmm I wish but keep dreaming !
I cant see that happening beyond a select few other landmark buildings being reconstructed, if even
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Old October 30th, 2017, 07:23 PM   #499
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Hmm I wish but keep dreaming !
I cant see that happening beyond a select few other landmark buildings being reconstructed, if even
Dreaming is allowed and should be encouraged.

If I was asked to decide, I would rebuild all waterfronts of the Spree along the southern part of the museumsinsel as a first priority. Why?

a) Berlin was a city of water, with single views remniscent of Amsterdam or Venice. The widening of the Spree where the museumsinsel comes to its southern end was the urban vortex of this "city on water" - now completely lost. It`s an unlosable, but lost, part of Berlin`s soul. Regaining it would add tremendously to the city`s magic.

b) Compared to the Alexanderplatz and the parts of the old center lying east of the museumsinsel, there are no DDR monuments "requiring" preservation. The only "sacrifice" would be some less famous residential blocks from the DDR times. Thus, if the right people would catch on the idea, it seems less unrealistic than rebuilding the central east bank of the Spree.

c) If one agrees that Berlins historical center runs from the Brandenburg gate and eastwards, the "city on water" (as I here call it) is the first area lying next to the present city center, actually as the southern part of the museumsinsel. In terms of "healing" the city center, thus, rebuilding the "city on water" is a more potent first step than rebuilding the Sprees central east bank incl. Alex (which honestly isn`t going to happen anyway).

The red-blue encircled area is that I talk about. This is a pre-war map:


Here`s a few impressions of what we talk of:


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Old November 5th, 2017, 01:19 PM   #500
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Köpenick palace (Schloss Köpenick):



Köpenick old-town with Köpenick palace encircled.
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