A new palace for Potsdam

Planned reconstruction of Potsdam Stadtschloss

Planned reconstruction of Potsdam Stadtschloss

IT TAKES ONLY MINUTES to destroy a building. Sometimes it takes whole generations to build it back up again. Today it looks as if the Potsdam Stadtschloss is finally going to get its second chance.

After sixty-four years, it was high time somebody filled the ugly gap in the very heart of one of Germany’s most beautiful cities. On August 21 Rainer Speer, finance minister of the eastern German state of Brandenburg, unveiled plans to rebuild the Stadtschloss or city palace, which had been damaged in an Allied bombing raid in 1945 and was later demolished by East Germany’s communist government. The plan calls for a reconstruction of the building’s original façade around an entirely new building that will serve as the new state parliament, containing a legislative chamber and nearly four hundred offices and meeting rooms. However, there will be some significant changes. The two wings will be widened to provide more space and the internal courtyard will therefore be reduced by around twenty percent. The new building will also include an underground parking garage and an extra office floor under the roof. It is scheduled to be completed by late 2012 and will cost around 120 million Euros.

The original Stadtschloss was built on the site of a Slavic fort located in the settlement of Poztupimi on the Havel river. German settlers took over this simple stockade  in the twelfth century and replaced it with a royal residence in the 1600s. It was then given a thorough makeover by the architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff in the eighteenth century. While it is just one of several royal and imperial residences in and around Potsdam, the Stadtschloss was the town’s chief landmark until the Royal Air Force bombed it on the night of April 14, 1945, just days before the end of the Second World War…



One Comment to “A new palace for Potsdam”

  1. It is too bad the main rooms will not be reconstructed. But it is better than nothing. At least the exterior will be seen again. I hope that the ugly hotel built on the site will be demolished.

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