Demonstration against the Stadtschloss in Berlin

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at Berlin is not a city that people generally visit to see beautiful palaces or castles, they come to see a city that wears its history on its sleeve and the history they are generally interested in is WWII and GDR not Prussian. To me this all reeks of being too revisionist.

 

What a crap. Are you talking about your fellow citizens who visit Berlin?

 

Every time I´ve been in Berlin I was interested in cultural buildings which are Prussian only. I give a shit about the un-culture of the GDR.

Oh and do you know not all Berlin was part of the GDR :D

 

In my opinion those "protesters" are the same who were in favour of keeping "Erichs Lampenladen" (Palast der Republik), ex-communists and other left wingers.

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I love (what is left of) the Prussian buildings in Berlin, and I think it is a travesty that so many were destroyed. Have you seen pics of the Wilhelmstrasse before the war? And what is even sadder is that in the 1950's, the east Germans said that most of the villas cum ministerial buildings were viable and should be repaired for cultural reasons. Then they decided in the 1960's to tear them down because they represented the aristocratic history of Prussia. Even the West Berliners bought into that 1960's 'if we tear down history, the history goes away' mentality.

 

I think rebuilding the palace is correcting a terrible mistake. The palace never should have been blown up in the first place. But then communism has no room for any culture other than its own. It's abysmal. And the buildings they built in the 60's onward are eyesores. (well- I personally don't like molded cement and bronze glass, but that's me) Now I would call the Wilhelmstrasse one of the ungliest streets in Berlin. If only the next project would be to tear down the plattenbau horrors and return it to its former glory.

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Don't forget all the churches and monuments that were blown up by the DDR as 'socialist cities do not need gothic churches'. Weg mit das Ding!

 

http://www.kirchensprengung.de/Berlin.htm

 

Not that the West was much better.

 

I remember seeing the Gorlitzer Bahnhof standing in for some Communist ruin in the film 'Funeral in Berlin' - fine station, rebuildable, knocked for no real reason in 1965. Or the Anhalter Bahnhof, one of the finest stations in Europe, which was still intact except for it's roof until randomly demolished in 1961... 'Well, you know, who cares, we don't need imperialist architecture in modern cities'...

 

1950's:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_B_145_Bild-P054491,_Berlin,_Ruine_des_Anhalter_Bahnhofes.jpg

 

Now:

800px-Anhalter_Bahnhof_2005.jpg

 

Interestingly, much of the Altbau's in XBerg and around were preserved because of strong citizen activism by alternative types in the 70's and 80's, everywhere would look like Mehring-Platz otherwise. But you know, I'm sure random concrete office blocks and autobahns are so much more 'dynamic', 'progressive', 'provokative', 'modern', etc.

 

I accept partially that spending 500-700 million would be better spent on the city schools, infrastructure, etc., but this is funding from the federal government, not the city, and should in theory include some millions in private donations. It was also a democratic decision taken by the Bundestag, (2:1 majority a few years ago), and originally put forward by a civil society organisation, so it's actually much more democratic than most architecture which is 'investor wants an office block, wants everything on the cheap, who cares what the people think'.

 

In terms of spatial structure, the evil 'Prussian' city plans were far more livable than modern rubbish, with much better public transport, nice squares, harmonious architecture and more natural materials... Proof of the pudding is in the eating, which is why every alternative/creative type going in Berlin lives exclusively in an Altbau in a nice 'Kiez'. High ceilings, for example, have an interesting psychological effect which makes people more creative:

 

http://www1.umn.edu/urelate/national/stories/ceilings.php

 

They're also rebuilding the Stadtschloss in Potsdam, which seemed to have slipped underneath everyone's radar and is due to start next year? No protests against that yet, guess it's too far out.

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Rebuilding an old Prussian castle reeks of nationalism and historical revisionism.

 

It would be a legitimate historical recreation, if it were to be completely and authentically reconstructed. But that's not how they are going to do it - they'll throw up a few facades that sort-of look like the original, while on the inside it will be a modern construction. As the New York Times article said, it's a "schloss shaped mall".

 

The jobs that it does create will be mostly for builders, and from what I understand many of them will have to be trucked in from outside the city. So it will do almost nothing for the unemployed people who live here. The jobs won't be sustainable. Investing in sustainable long-term industries makes much more sense.

 

Sure it's nice to have pretty buildings - but at a cost of 500M while the city is bankrupt? Yes the money comes from the federal government, but there are still better things to spend it on.

 

Impress tourists with a fake castle? How about impressing them with a working public transport system! If they want to see fake castles, they'll go to Disneyland. People come to Berlin to see how it is today, scars and all.

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People come to Berlin to see how it is today, scars and all.

Well said!

Berlin is considered by many to be the current center of the European (and maybe the World) contemporary art world and the reason is not because of its Prussian palaces. With Potsdam just out the road filled with historic palaces does berlin need to try to play that game too and with a fake reconstruction.

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I'm starting an online petition to get the full version of Das Lied der Deutschen back. It's stupid that they reduced it to the 3rd verse only. It's a carbuncle of it's former self now.

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I am amazed at how much support the Stadtschloss project seems to have on this forum. I don't mind seeing them invest money into building something beautiful, as it will create employment and, if done well, there is a great potential to make a huge long term return on this investment but my issue is that Berlin is not a city that people generally visit to see beautiful palaces or castles, they come to see a city that wears its history on its sleeve and the history they are generally interested in is WWII and GDR not Prussian. To me this all reeks of being too revisionist. Ok I know it will be a modern take on it but surely in a city such as this a completely new building could be conceived which doesn't erase any of the history but combines all of it with a contemporary edge that would make the world sit up and notice. The Stadtschloss for me is the equivalent of being invited to tea and cakes at your granny's house and what should be happening is the creation of an contemporary iconic landmark.

 

Are you playing buzzword bingo?

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I would say that one of Berlin's charms is precisely its eclectic mix of architecture, so rebuilding a historical building perhaps isn't as necessary as in a city where anything modern would be out of place. After all, no-one looking at the Stadtschloss in 20 years' time will think they're suddenly in Paris when you have the TV tower and Park Inn hotel towering above it.

 

That said, this isn't any old building they're rebuilding – it was the royal palace of the Prussian kings and German emperors: Germany's equivalent of Buckingham Palace or Versailles. The idea of building a modern structure in a historical style has a long tradition; even in the immediate vicinity, the Rotes Rathaus is neo-Rennaissance and the Altes Museum is neo-Classical.

 

I can't help thinking that demolishing the Palast der Republik compounded the previous mistake of demolishing the Stadtschloss, but now that the site is currently nothing more than grass, I would prefer to see the Stadtschloss there – at least from the perspective of a tourist.

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Another place to stand outside in the rain and eat currywurst is fine by me. Hopefully it will be done by January. *fingers crossed*

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Perdido: Well, if you mean January 2016, then maybe.

 

Actually, I have a lot of sympathy for the Left (Rot-Rose-Grun) but I find it interesting that people are willing to call protests about this, but there has been no organised response to the 480 Billion and counting cost of cleaning up useless banks that should be left go. No understanding of finance and monetary theory? Preference given to adolesecent and out of date counter-cultural cliches? 'Wir sind gegen die Preussiche Kulissen', 'kein Disneyland', etc.

 

Also, Deutsche Bahn's privatization preparations are to blame for the S-Bahn Chaos, not Berlin's debt.

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I made my first trip to Warsaw in the Autumn of 1979 and was mightily impressed. The Old Town, destroyed by the Nazis after the Warsaw Uprising, had been meticulously restored, brick by brick, stone by stone. Old paintings and architectural plans had been consulted in detail - the Phoenix had risen from the ashes. The only thing that gave the game away is that there wasn't enough bird-shit and moss on the roofs to make it authentically old. No matter - the restored city centre got UNESCO world heritage site status - and in my opinion deservedly so. I got off the train all those years ago and was in Wonderland.

 

Then there's the city of Bath in the UK. In the 1930s, this Palladian town decided it needed a cinema and a new post office. They got them - built in the Palladian neo-classical style and in a way which complemented the historical buildings which surrounded them. However, in the 1960s, many Palladian buildings (especially the smaller ones which had belonged to the artisans) were demolished by a zealous, "reformist" city council, leaving the Palladian set-pieces of the inner city but creating (in the words of Adam Fergusson and Tim Mowl: The Sack of Bath - And After)"...mountains without foothills, ...Old Masters without frames."

 

And so to Berlin - the Stadtschloss - why not? As long as it's not a pastiche, as long as it really does complement the Dom, the Altes Museum, the Zeughaus, the Neue Wache (etc) why shouldn't it arise from the ashes of wanton destruction just as Warsaw did?

 

Nothing to do with pro/anti DDR politics here. I'd be pleased to see Marx and Engels stay where they are. I find Karl-Marx Allee (former Stalinallee) an inspiring place and it, too, fully deserves its protected monument status.

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Are the hippies worried that there will be more jobs out there and they may be offered work?

 

Seems to sum up this thread quite nicely :D

 

Don't forget the Trustafarians that will be blocking the bouncy castle.

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The point being that any validity the original cause might have had is nullified by a load of hippies, trustafarians and associated asshats tripping up 'out of solidarity' to the next social event on their calendar? Tis just another party for people pretending to be poor.

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The point being that any validity the original cause might have had is nullified by a load of hippies, trustafarians and associated asshats tripping up 'out of solidarity' to the next social event on their calendar? Tis just another party for people pretending to be poor.

have you had too much wine to drink with your supper this evening... sorry to say but you make no bloody sense.

 

You seem to be trying to turn this into an anti hippie debate but that is really over simplifying the whole matter and, I think you should be aware, it also make you seem like a complete plonker.

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If I were in charge, and one day I will be, I'd spend that 500 million on a race car track for me and my friends to blast our Ferraris around on, a load of hookers and shit loads of cocaine and have a giant party in the middle of Berlin. No hippies allowed...oh, and I might take a joy-ride into space too. Fucking hippies.

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Curious observation:

 

Most of the guys in favour of this are seem to be more anti-hippie for some reason than anti/pro anything and don't seem to come from Berlin. I'm guessing the people who plussed the comments are the same.

 

For the ones living in Berlin, the question has to be asked: why did you come to Berlin in the first place?

 

P.

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The interesting mix of Baroque, Prussian, early modern (1920-1945), modern (1945-1980) and postmodern (1980s+) city planning and architecture is one big reason. I do prefer elegance, harmony and beauty over functionalism and ugliness, as do the vast majority of people, oder? Modern stuff (after 1945) has mostly been ugly and depressing. Nevertheless, some of my favourite buildings here include the Shell-Haus, Oyster, Fernsehturm, etc... Hell, I even admire Potsdamer Platz! I am also a fan of alternative non-spiessig ways of living and organising but not a big fan of welfare state dependency, ghettoisation of minorities, or minijobs.

 

I'm generally mistrustful of self-appointed cultural avant-gardists who want to overturn democratic decisions by any means possible, which is what this protest is about at the end of the day. I think such energies would be better put to use - if these organisers are sincere - into campaigning for full referendums and local decision making power for people over their own neighbourhoods. The Stadtschloss is not the enemy, the 'Mediaspree' is.

 

And as an aside, the senate is now contemplating the Abriss of the ICC center building as well as the Deutschlandhalle. Both these buildings are modernist but have strong unique qualities and if this happens it is a scandal. Still, as long as we can bounce on some castles and deride the wishes of the people as being 'for Disneyland', who cares, right?

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I made my first trip to Warsaw in the Autumn of 1979 and was mightily impressed. The Old Town, destroyed by the Nazis after the Warsaw Uprising, had been meticulously restored, brick by brick, stone by stone. Old paintings and architectural plans had been consulted in detail - the Phoenix had risen from the ashes. The only thing that gave the game away is that there wasn't enough bird-shit and moss on the roofs to make it authentically old. No matter - the restored city centre got UNESCO world heritage site status - and in my opinion deservedly so. I got off the train all those years ago and was in Wonderland.

Yes but Keefy it is by no means authentic in any shape or form. No one ever lived in those houses they have no history. It's a fake. You don't accept fake cash being handed over to you so why fake cultural currency. Berlin has a lot of bigger issues than a tiny fake palace. The demonstrators are a waste of time, money and police resources as it has become clear. It all seems to be a distraction from the real problems I have seen in Berlin which could use the money.

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