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Archive: The Capital City of Berlin - Documentation

From Schloßplatz to the Prinzessinnengarten

Karte - Friedrichswerder und Schinkelplatz und Vom Schloßplatz zum Prinzessinnengarten

From Schinkelplatz we now cross the Spree Canal to Schloßplatz with the Palast der Republik which has been completely rebuilt. The Stadtschloss was the focal point of urban growth for the longest period of Berlin's development - the laying of the foundation stone already took place in 1443. The urban architectural centre of Berlin was lost when the Palace was detonated in 1950/51. The recommendation submitted by the international commission of experts "Historical Centre of Berlin" was an important orientation for the re-urbanisation of the historical centre. The founding of the Humboldt Forum plans a new utilisation concept for the construction of the palace area, consisting of the extra-European collections of the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Possessions, the scholarly-historical collections of Humboldt University and important stocks of the Central and Provincial Libraries. Moreover, a large event and assembly area called "The Agora" has been planned.

The Humboldt Forum is to develop its own strong identity as a complement to the Museumsinsel. The urban architectural concept forms a convincing basis, in harmony with the "Inner-City Planning" and the orientation of the new construction on the stereometry of the former Stadtschloss with the baroque facades of the north, west and south sides and the Schlüterhof, to be reconstructed in accordance with the resolution of the German Bundestag.

The Rathausbrücke to the east of Schloßplatz is in need of repair at present. It was constructed in 1953 as a long-term auxiliary bridge after the original Lange Brücke was blasted by German troops in 1945. The Rathausbrücke is to be rebuilt in accordance with a competition design by the architect Walter Noebel, Berlin whilst retaining the bridge's cross-section. This bridge will be constructed without central piers, out of consideration for inland navigation.

From the Palast der Republik we now cross over the Schloßbrücke approaching our goal, Straße Unter den Linden with the Forum Fridericianum. To the east, next the State Opera, we find the Prinzessinnengarten. With the new design of the eastern Bebelplatz between the State Opera and the Prinzessinnenpalais, an important open area in the historical centre of Berlin regained its representative beauty. A public "green salon" 7,300 square metres in area was designed here by the landscape architect Birgit Hammer. Only a few elements mark the area: a rectangular lawn, paved footpaths, old trees and the monuments of Generals Yorck, Gneisenau and Blücher. A new terrace was completed in May 2002 in front of the former Prinzessinnenpalais, today the Operncafé. The marble statues of Generals von Bülow and Scharnhorst have been erected once again.

Our stroll to the scenes of politics ends here on the Boulevard Unter den Linden. These places are the result of a long history and of 15 years of recent construction work in the heart of the new capital city. The new upgrading of the historical city area which grew over centuries is one of the most important goals of this development. This is particularly clear in the area of the Forum Fridericianum. The architectural ensemble around Bebelplatz is based on plans of Friedrich II., who wished to realise some architectural projects of his own already at the beginning of his reign. The former Opernplatz has meanwhile been reconstructed; the roadways were built back on the Straße Unter den Linden and the walkways widened. The central lane formerly used as a parking lot at the horseman statue of Friedrich now invite visitors to take a leisurely stroll.
2010 - Aerial view Schloßplatz; Photo: Dirk Laubner
2010 - Aerial view Schloßplatz
Photo: Dirk Laubner

Perspective Humboldt Forum; Source: BBR / Francesco Stella
Perspective Humboldt Forum
Source: BBR / Francesco Stella

Official opening Schinkelplatz, 2008; Frank Fechtel, DSK
Official opening Schinkelplatz, 2008
Photo: Frank Fechtel, DSK

2007 - The Prinzessinnengarten on Unter den Linden; Photo: Bernd Lampe
2007 - The Prinzessinnengarten on Unter den Linden
Photo: Bernd Lampe