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The Humboldtforum (Berlin Palace)


A photo of the front of the Humboldtforum in Berlin

The Berlin Palace - today the Humboldtforum - located in the heart of Berlin, Germany, is a somewhat historic building that has undergone significant changes. Originally constructed in the 15th century,- and destroyed after World War Two - the palace has served as a royal residence, a museum, and now, as a cultural center.


The Early History of the Berlin Palace


The Berlin Palace was first built in the 15th century as the residence of the Electors of Brandenburg. The palace was a modest structure at the time, consisting of a single story and a pitched roof. In the 16th century, under the reign of Elector Joachim II, the palace was expanded and transformed into a grand Renaissance-style residence, complete with a courtyard and towers.


The 18th Century: The Era of the Prussian Kings


In the 18th century, the Berlin Palace underwent another major transformation when it became the royal residence of the Prussian kings. The palace was expanded and redesigned in the Baroque style under the direction of architect Andreas Schlüter. During this time, the palace became a symbol of Prussian power and grandeur, and it was used for royal ceremonies, state banquets, and official receptions.


The 20th Century: The Berlin Palace as a Museum and then Nothing


After World War I, the monarchy in Germany was abolished, and the Berlin Palace was repurposed as a museum. The palace had various collections and eventually suffered extensive damage from bombing raids and was partially destroyed. Falling into what became the center of communist East Berlin, the new government decided to make a ideological gesture and blow up the remains of the palace. Fascism at its heart in German history was to be no part of the new (East) German future. The then empty site was filled with a parking lot and eventually the Palace of the Republic (East German Parliament)


The Modern Era: The Reconstruction of the Berlin Palace


After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, plans were made to rebuild the Berlin Palace. In 2013, construction began on a new building, which is a reconstruction of the original palace, but with modern additions. The new building, known as the Humboldt Forum, is a cultural center that houses museums, exhibition spaces, and a library.


The palace's original Gothic architecture can still be seen in the lower levels of the building, while the Baroque additions from the 18th century can be seen in the upper levels. The reconstruction of the palace includes modern additions, such as a glass dome and a rooftop terrace, which provide visitors with stunning views of the city.


Conclusion


The Berlin Palace is a historic building that has played an important role in the history of Berlin and Germany. From its origins as the residence of the Electors of Brandenburg to its current use as a cultural center, the palace has undergone many transformations throughout its existence. Today, the Berlin Palace stands as a symbol of the city's rich history and vibrant culture, and it is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Berlin.

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