Berlin Monument Authority  


Unter den Linden

Palais Prinz Heinrich, Humboldt-Universität

Palais Prinz Heinrich, Humboldt-Universität

Palais Prinz Heinrich (Prince Heinrich Palace), Humboldt-Universität (Humboldt University), Unter den Linden 6, Mitte;
1748-65 by Johann Boumann the Elder, extension 1913-20 by Ludwig Hoffmann

The open courtyard across from the Opera is the honor court of the broad three-winged structure of the Humboldt University. The palace was built in 1748-53 as a city residence for the brother of Friedrich II, Prince Friedrich Heinrich Ludwig of Prussia. The architect was Johann Boumann the Elder; the first preliminary drafts were presumably produced by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. In 1809 Friedrich Wilhelm III transferred ownership of the palace to the newly founded Berlin University, where it continues to serve as the main building today.<

In 1913-20 city architectural commissioner Ludwig Hoffmann added on lateral and rear extensions to the university. "Consideration for the historical structure and the entire vicinity demanded strict adherence to the graceful and dignified architecture of the palace for all extending structures" was his elucidation of the design. In 1943-44 the central building was destroyed down to its external walls, the eastern wing was gutted all but completely, and the western wing suffered partial destruction. Reconstruction was undertaken in two phases in the years 1947-54 and 1958-62. The representative decor of the rooms in the central wing with neo-Classical wall and ceiling modeling is one of the highest quality examples of the architecture of the 1950s in the GDR. The university was of particular importance to the official GDR as it was here that Karl Marx studied under the philosopher Hegel. This also explains the quotation of Marxist thesis of Feuerbach, "Philosophers only interpreted the world differently; the point is to change it" in golden letters in the main stairway.