Architecture in Berlin

Berlin’s history has left the city with an eclectic assortment of architecture. The city’s appearance in the 21st century has been shaped by the key role the city played in Germany’s 20th-century history. Each of the governments based in Berlin—the Kingdom of Prussia, the 1871 German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, East Germany and the reunified Federal Republic of Germany—initiated ambitious construction programs, with each adding its distinct flavour to the city’s architecture.

Berlin’s architecture combines elements from almost all periods and all styles. Emblematic of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate is a renowned landmark in the city. There the world-famous boulevard Unter den Linden begins. Walking along and making small detours from this avenue one can catch a glimpse of the State Opera House, admire the Hedwig’s Cathedral or take a closer look at the collections of the Old Museum, which reveal a microcosm of cultural excellence. Berlin landmarks, such as the Gendarmenmarkt and the French and German Cathedral (including the Schauspielhaus), are the highest examples of the city’s Classicist architecture.

The list of significant structures goes further with the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, where one can find the famous terraces designed by Knobelsdorff, as well as the Neues Palais and Orangerie. From among the numerous monuments of Berlin, one of the most famous is the Schiller statue, which reminds the visitors of the city’s powerful literary tradition.

Important collections of art can be found at the monumental Pergamon Museum, whose building resembles an ancient temple. Since the reunification of 1989, you can get there by a boat-ride on the Spree River (which passes by the Reichstagsgebäude – government buildings) or on foot, strolling through the historic inner city. Although much of the great art collections of former Berlin suffered the consequences of World War II, many paintings were saved stored in salt mines.

Some pieces of art were preserved in the eastern part of the country, including a collection of ancient treasures discovered by 19th- and early 20th-century German archaeologists, and later were distributed among Berlin’s numerous museums. The Charlottenburg Palace, set west of Tiergarten, offers enormous museum collections and royal apartments, while the Schlossgarten Charlottenburg is an example of truly beautiful landscape architecture. Another landmark is the Mausoleum with the tombs of Friedrich Wilhelm II and Queen Louise, which serves as an important memorial to the history of the Royal Family of Prussia.

Recent history of Berlin is reflected in the New Wall: a partial reconstruction of 70 metres of the Berlin Wall in Bernauer Strasse and Acker Strasse. It incorporates segments of the original wall, but is mainly made of steel and has tiny holes through which visitors may take a look to the other side. Other sites commemorating the city’s dark era include the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, which occupies a vast area in central Berlin and comprises 2,711 columns symbolising gravestones. The memorial, designed by architect Peter Eisenman, is set south of the Brandenburger Gate and was erected for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Religious heritage is best represented by the 15th-century Gothic Marienkirche, which boasts a compelling image of a Danse Macabre. Industrial Art Nouveau can be seen at the building of Hackesche Hofe, a site laden with fashionable boutiques and art galleries.

The Nikolaiviertel is the place where Medieval and Baroque monuments are situated. In its centre, there is the 13th-century Nikolaikirche, Berlin’s oldest church. The building of the Kongresshalle, as well as the Philharmonie, where the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra resides were designed according to the trends of mid-20th-Century architecture. Additionally, the city is thriving with the most modern architectural designs, some of which are lacking structural logic, but nevertheless, Berlin continues to evolve as a unified world metropolis.

Berlin was heavily bombed during World War II, and many buildings which survived the war were demolished during the 1950s and 1960s. Much of this demolition was initiated by municipal programs for new residential, business and road construction.

Eastern Berlin has many Plattenbauten: reminders of Eastern Bloc planned residential areas, with shops and schools in a ratio fixed to the number of residents. The plain appearance of Plattenbau housing does not promote gentrification, and may be a factor that helps preserve social continuity for local residents and neighborhoods, according to architect David Chipperfield.

The ongoing construction makes Berlin very much a “work in progress,” even in 2015.

East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is an open-air exhibition of art painted directly on the last existing portions of the Berlin Wall. It is the largest remaining evidence of the city’s historical division, and was restored in 2008–2009.

The Fernsehturm (TV tower), at Alexanderplatz in Mitte, is among the tallest structures in the European Union at 368 meters (1,207 ft). Built in 1969, it can be seen from many of Berlin’s central districts, and the city may be viewed from its 204-metre (669 ft)-high observation floor. From here the Karl-Marx-Allee, lined with monumental residential buildings from the Stalin era, heads east. Adjacent to this area is the Rotes Rathaus (City Hall), with its distinctive red-brick architecture. In front of City Hall is the Neptunbrunnen, a fountain featuring a mythological group of Tritons (personifications of the four main Prussian rivers) under Neptune.

The Gendarmenmarkt, a neoclassical square in Berlin named for the quarters of the 18th-century Gens d’armes regiment located in the city, is bordered by two similarly-designed cathedrals: the Französischer Dom, with its observation platform, and the Deutscher Dom. The Konzerthaus (Concert Hall), home of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, stands between the two cathedrals.

Museum Island
Museum Island, in the River Spree, houses five museums built between 1830 and 1930 and was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. Restoration and construction of a main entrance to all of the city’s museums and the reconstruction of the Stadtschloss on the island has cost over two billion euros since Germany’s reunification.

Adjacent to the Lustgarten and palace on the island is Berlin Cathedral, emperor William II’s ambitious attempt to create a Protestant counterpart to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. A large crypt houses the remains of some of the early Prussian royal family. The church is now owned by the Protestant umbrella Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK). Like many other buildings, it suffered extensive damage during the Second World War and required restoration. Berlin’s best-preserved church, the medieval Church of St. Mary’s, is the first preaching venue—Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is the second—of the Bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (EKBO, a Protestant regional church body). St. Hedwig’s Cathedral is Berlin’s Roman Catholic cathedral.

Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden is a tree-lined east–west avenue from the Brandenburg Gate to the site of the former Berliner Stadtschloss, and was Berlin’s premier promenade. Many classical buildings line the street, and part of Humboldt University is located there. Friedrichstraße was Berlin’s legendary street during the Roaring Twenties, and combines 20th-century tradition with modern Berlin architecture.

Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is an iconic landmark of Berlin and Germany which appears on Germany’s euro coins (10-cent, 20-cent and 50-cent). The Reichstag building is the traditional seat of the German Parliament, which was renovated during the 1950s after severe World War II damage. The building was again remodeled by British architect Norman Foster during the 1990s and features a glass dome over the session area, which allows free public access to parliamentary proceedings and a view of the city.

Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz is a quarter built after 1995, following the demolition of the Berlin Wall. To the west is the Kulturforum, housing the Gemäldegalerie and flanked by the Neue Nationalgalerie and the Berliner Philharmonie. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a Holocaust memorial, is to the north.

Hackescher Markt
The area around Hackescher Markt is a fashion and cultural base with clothing outlets, clubs, bars and galleries. It includes the Hackesche Höfe, a collection of buildings around courtyards which was rebuilt around 1996. Oranienburger Straße and the nearby New Synagogue were centers of Jewish culture before 1933. Although the New Synagogue is still an anchor for Jewish history and culture, Oranienburger straße and its surrounding area are better known for shopping and nightlife.

The Straße des 17. Juni, connecting the Brandenburg Gate and Ernst-Reuter-Platz, serves as a central east-west axis. Its name commemorates the uprisings in East Berlin of 17 June 1953. About halfway from the Brandenburg Gate is the Großer Stern, a circular traffic island on which the Siegessäule (Victory Column) is situated. This monument, built to commemorate Prussia’s victories, was relocated in 1938–1939 from its previous position in front of the Reichstag.

The Kurfürstendamm is home to some of Berlin’s luxurious stores, with the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at its eastern end on Breitscheidplatz. The church was destroyed during World War II, and left in ruins. Nearby on Tauentzienstraße is KaDeWe, continental Europe’s largest department store. The Rathaus Schöneberg, where John F. Kennedy made his “Ich bin ein Berliner!” speech, is located in Tempelhof-Schöneberg.

Schloss Bellevue
West of the city centre, Schloss Bellevue is the residence of the German president. Schloss Charlottenburg was largely destroyed by fire during World War II, and was rebuilt as the largest surviving historical palace in Berlin.

Funkturm Berlin
The Funkturm Berlin is a 150-metre (490 ft)-tall lattice radio tower built between 1924 and 1926. Standing on insulators, it contains a restaurant 55 m (180 ft) and an observation deck 126 m (413 ft) above ground, accessible by a windowed elevator.


Brandenburg Gate
Berlin TV Tower (Fernsehturm)
Reichstag building
Reichstag dome (inside)
Stadion An der Alten Försterei
Regierungsviertel (Government area)
Berlin Cathedral (Dom)
St. Hedwig’s Cathedral
Şehitlik mosque
Bode Museum on Museum Island
Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall)
New Synagogue
museum on Unter den Linden boulevard
Potsdamer Platz
Sony Center
Leipziger Platz
Pariser Platz with Brandenburg Gate
Berlin Victory Column in the Tiergarten
Straße des 17. Juni
Großer Tiergarten
Soviet War Memorial
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Charlottenburg Palace
Bellevue Palace
Berlin Zoo
Olympic Stadium
Kurfürstendamm (shopping street)
Oberbaum Bridge
Cold War Berlin Wall
The Kaufhaus des Westens department store
Berliner Philharmonie
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Pergamon Museum
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Alte Nationalgalerie
Humboldt Box
Neue Wache
Hackesche Höfe
Nikolaiviertel (Nicholas’ Quarter)
View over Europacity quarter (under construction) with Berlin Hauptbahnhof at center
Berlin City Palace, demolished in 1950, three façades scheduled for reconstruction
Charlottenburg Gate
Former Prussian Landtag, Niederkirchnerstr. 5, Berlin, Germany
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Berlin Modernism Housing Estates

Source From Wikipedia