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Old January 18th, 2006, 05:17 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Berlin - Goodbye Palace of the Republic

For the Stadtschloss reconstruction project, go to this thread:

BERLIN | City Palace Reconstruction - "Humboldt-Forum"

Berliners rally for communist-era 'palace'

BERLIN, Jan 16, 2006 (AFP) - One of communist East Germany's ugliest but best loved buildings has a date with a wrecking ball in the coming weeks, sparking an outpouring of nostalgia for still cherished aspects of life in the shadow of the Berlin Wall.

The Palace of the Republic, a Socialist Realist monstrosity of bronze mirrored windows and steel girders, once housed both the rubber-stamp parliament and an entertainment complex that was unparalleled behind the Iron Curtain.

Easterners, who were bussed in from across the country, have fond memories of a giant dance floor on hydraulic lifts, bowling allies, a wine bar, a theater, cafes and an international list of concert headliners including Harry Belafonte and Carlos Santana.

But Berlin's current aspirations to spruce up its city center, a confused landscape scarred by a tumultuous history, have led to plans to tear down the now gutted Palace and rebuild an imperial Castle in its place.

Many easterners have blasted the decision, taken by the federal parliament after a decade-long debate, as insensitive and pointless.

The chairwoman of a group dedicated to saving the Palace, Liselotte Schulz, believes that old Cold War battles are still being fought over this piece of prime real estate in the heart of the reunited city.

"They want to destroy any trace of the GDR," she said in an interview outside the Palace, using the acronym for communist East Germany's official name.

"And 20 percent unemployment and disappearing companies is what they have to show for it. It is outrageous that they're wasting working people's money without a clue what they want to do now."

Schulz, like many easterners, said she does not mourn the Stalinist state but misses the security and sense of solidarity under communism, which gave way to waves of layoffs and bankruptcies in the post-unification years.

"People had support with their worries and fears and not even the Church manages to do that today," she said.

Many have projected that ambivalence about the new Germany onto the condemned Palace.

The building's cavernous halls, now stripped of asbestos, have also captured the imagination of a younger generation in recent years with a series of art installations, some of which attracted huge crowds to the hip "new" venue.

But the city-state of Berlin and the federal government are banking on the construction of a more "aesthetic" cultural center on the site, behind replicas of the facade of the Hohenzollern Castle, the former residence of the kaisers.

In 1950, the communists ripped down the sumptuous Baroque building -- which had sustained heavy damage from Allied bombing in World War II -- in a blow to a symbol of Prussian pomp and militarism.

The city fathers now dream of restoring the elegant continuity of the grand Unter den Linden boulevard, which once culminated in the Castle and the matching, and still standing, Protestant cathedral.

A leader of the local chapter of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, Frank Henkel, calls the Palace a "Socialist eyesore".

"There is still a gaping wound in the heart of Berlin. That is why the city needs the Castle," he said.

But although the plans are in motion, thousands of easterners say they will not let the Palace go without a fight and have staged a series of protests.

"It would be complete nonsense to build a castle here, you might as well bring back the kaiser," fumed Schulz, who worked as an electrical technician in East Germany.

"Both the Castle ruins and now the ruins made of the Palace are about an ideology that seeks to eliminate the traces of what came before," said cabaret artist Peter Ensikat. "What started with the Kaiser's Castle is continuing with the Palace as a farce."

The only vague plans for the new Castle and all but non-existent financing for what could be a 780-million-euro (947-million-dollar) project have compounded the anger.

City authorities have earmarked 12 million euros for the destruction of the Palace alone, but acknowledge the tab could run to 20 million euros by the time they have finished early next year.

The gaping hole in the ground will be filled with sand and water, then topped with planted grass.

The chief city development official, Ingeborg Junge-Reyer, assured there would be other recreational uses until building finally begins on the Castle, as well as sections reserved for archeological digs and information panels on the future of the site.

"We know it is not enough to put in a lawn," she told reporters.

For Schulz, the fraught debate reflects Germany's enduring difficulty in dealing with its history.

"The Germans have a fractured relationship with their past," she said. "Just look at our architecture and you see that."
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Old January 26th, 2006, 11:38 PM   #2
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Goodbye Palace



Welcome back Castle of Berlin


www.berliner-schloss.de
www.berliner-stadtschloss.de













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Old January 26th, 2006, 11:47 PM   #3
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Good riddance!
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Old January 26th, 2006, 11:59 PM   #4
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Watch the deconstruction live via Webcam!



http://www.dhm.de/zcam/
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Old January 27th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #5
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I can't waut to see stadtschloss rebuilt.That was an amazing palace!
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Old January 27th, 2006, 04:07 AM   #6
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Incredible!
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Old January 27th, 2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobos
I can't waut to see stadtschloss rebuilt.That was an amazing palace!
Me too, but be have to wait another 15 years to see it standing

Before:


After:


Before:


After:


Before:


After:
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Old February 1st, 2006, 07:24 PM   #8
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The deconstruction has made progress so far
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Old February 1st, 2006, 07:30 PM   #9
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Good to see it coming down. Even a lawn will be an improvement. The impulse to preserve it is deranged.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:40 PM   #10
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Disgraceful fake lie to replace the palace. Replacing a palace of the people with a palace of military oppression suggests that the country has some severe issues with itself.

I think Berlin should acknowledge its fascinating and complex history instead of blotting out uncomfortable memories. Germany needs to keep memoreies of the worst parts of its past. They cant afford to be forgotten
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Old February 9th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steppenwolf
Disgraceful fake lie to replace the palace. Replacing a palace of the people with a palace of military oppression suggests that the country has some severe issues with itself.

I think Berlin should acknowledge its fascinating and complex history instead of blotting out uncomfortable memories. Germany needs to keep memoreies of the worst parts of its past. They cant afford to be forgotten
This doesn't have anything to do with uncomfortable memories, just with aesthetic. The palace is an ugly building that doesn't fit in the historic center of Berlin. There are enought memorials, museums and buildings which remind us of the GDR. Besides there is nothing historic in the Palace anymore.
The "Stadtschloss" stood there for 400 years the palace on the other hand has a history of only 14 years.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 02:56 AM   #12
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The parts of history that involve hideous buildings should be remembered through photographs only. In any case it wasn't a "palace of the people" it was a palace of communist military tyranny.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steppenwolf
Disgraceful fake lie to replace the palace. Replacing a palace of the people with a palace of military oppression suggests that the country has some severe issues with itself.

I think Berlin should acknowledge its fascinating and complex history instead of blotting out uncomfortable memories. Germany needs to keep memoreies of the worst parts of its past. They cant afford to be forgotten
What are you smoking? We're reminded of our mistakes each and every day, besides, there are plenty of Commie buildings around, even after the "People's Palace" ( ) is torn down.

Example:

Staatsratsgebäude, right next to the "Palace".

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Old February 12th, 2006, 02:54 PM   #14
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Staatsratsgebäude is on the upper right:



Other commie gems:



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Old February 12th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steppenwolf
Replacing a palace of the people with a palace of military oppression
What else but not a military oppressive regime was the GDR in your opinion? One example for its oppressive nature: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uprisin...n_East_Germany

Last edited by Mike; February 13th, 2006 at 12:10 AM.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 03:51 PM   #16
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Just for the sake of comparison









and now (those with a heart condition should not look at the following pics)








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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #17
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Old March 6th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #18
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Wow I am so glad I saw this thread. It really is fantastic that Germany is rebuilding some of it's old gems! Hopefully more commie buildings will get the axe
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Old March 11th, 2006, 03:13 PM   #19
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Good for Berlin.
Reminds of rebuilding the Frauenkirche in Dresden.
Enough european cities have been half destroyed by "modernity", with monstrous buildings that really make you scared only by looking at them. Not only in the East.
Visit Amsterdam and look at the townhall (built ca 1984) and the surrounding neighbourhood. They destroyed several wonderful old blocks for it. Like cutting out the heart of a human and replacing an icecold stone for it.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 03:23 PM   #20
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oh wow!!!
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