Berlin – Palast der Republik

The Palast der Republik was built between 1973 and 1976 and was the power center of the East German government (Socialistiche Einheits Partei, SED). The members of parliament gathered in the magnificent Volkskammer (Peopl’s Chamber) for political decisions and self-glorification of their own party. But the Palast der Republik was not just a political seat. In addition to the folk chamber, there were other large venues for concerts, theater and other events. Usually with a political character. The Palast der Republik was a symbol of the grandeur of East Germany and was a hyper-modern facility and usually showed for international guests.

After the fall of East Germany in 1990, one couldn’t decide what to do with the Palast. Despite the history and previous purpose of the building, many believed it should be preserved as a historical monument of East Germany. Others saw this as a reason to get rid of the building. Others considered it part of Berlin’s cultural heritage. Then there were those who looked at the practical importance of the building where all the premises could be used for various occasions. In 2003, however, the German parliament decided that the building would be demolished and leave room for the Berlin City Castle. The demolition began in 2006 and was finished in 2008.

Current status: Demolished (2006).

Address: Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin.

Get there: Metro to Hakescher markt or Alexanderplatz Station.

My comment:

There is a very interesting museum about DDR nearby. The museum has received criticism because the focus is not on the DDR dictatorship but on everyday life in the GDR. Although East Germany was a dictatorship, there is still something nostalgic and romantic about the country that Germany in a way embrace. It is especially noticeable in the souvenir shops that sell lots of DDR stuff.

Follow up in books: Fulbrook; Mary: The people’s state: East German society from Hitler to Hoenecker (2008).