Today it gets historical folks.
As you have probably seen the big construction side on „Unter den Linden“, on the opposite site of the Berlin cathedral, you also might have asked yourself wt* is happening there. Berlin gets it City Palace back!
The history of the „Berliner Schloss“, destroyed in the hail of bombs during the last days of the 2nd world war, actually begins in 1443, at a time, where Berlin didn’t even exist as a city yet, but started together with Cölln as another settlement to develop economically and politically. So hard, that the elector prince Friedrich II. (I had to translate this from the german word „Kurfürst“. If you’re confused, if this means that a prince got elected: Nope. But this helps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince-elector ) decided to move his residency down to the Spree river, where also trade routes were easier to control.
Unfortunately it is unknown, how the medivial palace looked like. During the 16th century Prince-elector Joachim II. let it mostly tear down and constructed a Renaissance building, which got nearly destroyed during the long years of the Thirty Years War and was again rebuilt under Friedrich Wilhelm, the Great Elector Prince.
It probably looked like this, illustrated by an unknown artist in the year 1685.
It seemed to be a lot of building, rebuilding, tearing down, inventing new, construction side here, construction side there. Everything we love about our city until today. It’s one big construction side. Anyways, Friedrich III., who should become King Friedrich the First decided in 1701 to change the palace to his permanent fancy high-end royal residence, with a new Baroque facade, new private and representational/above stairs chambers with ceiling paintings and a castle square (where the March revolution of 1848/49 broke ground!)
This form of the place last until the last days of World War II with just slight changes and a dome, constructed between 1845 to 1853.
The City Palace around 1904.
On Feburary 3rd 1945, the day of the hardest air strikes in Berlin, the palace burnt down completely from the inside, beside the Northwest wing and just left the foundation walls with all the plastic decorations (which got destroyed in 1949 during the shooting of the Soviet movie „The Battle of Berlin“!). In 1950 also these remainings got blown up by the GDR govermnent. Today when you walk through the Volkspark Friedrichshain, up on the hill in the middle of the park, you actually walk on the rubbles of this extraordinary royal palace.
Since 2011 the palace grows and grows back again to finally be completed in 2019 as the Baroque Palace in its last form. There’s tons of information out there, if you’re interested in the developing of the project. You can also go to that big cube on Unter den Linden, the “Humboldt Box”, which provides the plans, models and the history of Berlin’s oldest palace.
Have a look here:
And now let’s all run for kings and queens and election princes!
(all pics Wikipedia)