Berliner Schloss | South side
We look at the south façade of the Berlin City Palace with Portal I and Portal II along the Schlossplatz. Today, the Berlin Palace is a reconstruction of the years 2013 to 2021. It originated from the Elector’s Palace of the Elector of Brandenburg, built in 1451, who moved his residence to Berlin at that time. In the early 18th century, the palace was redesigned by Andreas Schlüter and Johann Friedrich Eosander and has since been regarded as the major work of North German Baroque architecture. Over the years it has been known as the Stadtschloss (City Palace), the Hohenzollern Palace, the Königliche Schloss (Royal Palace) and internationally as the Berlin Palace. At the end of World War 2, the Berlin Palace was badly damaged, blown up by the GDR and a demonstration square was built in its place and the Palast der Republik (Palace of the Republic) was erected instead (pictured on the right along the bank of the Spree).
The palace is located on the Spree Island between the River Spree and the Spree Canal. Originally, this southern side was the main showroom side of the palace and accordingly the historic palace square (Schlossplatz) is located on this side. It was not until 1853 that the architect Friedrich August Stüler added the large dome to the Eosander portal on the west side, which from then on formed the main front of the palace. The dome can be seen in the background on the left. In the background on the right, the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) can be seen on the banks of the Spree a little further north.
In 2002, the German Bundestag decided to reconstruct the Berlin Palace. An international competition followed in which the Italian architect Franco Stella was chosen to plan the reconstruction. The original facades of the palace were reconstructed on three sides, as well as three sides of the Schlüterhof, the large dome and parts of the interior portals. The east façade facing the Spree with the historic castle complex was not reconstructed; here a modern concrete wall with large, simple windows was created. This can be seen in the panorama as the right-hand end of the building.
The reconstructed palace is now housing the Humboldt Forum and thus becomes part of Berlin’s Museum Island (Museumsinsel). The Humboldt Forum is designed as a cultural forum with several museum facilities. For example, the collections of non-European art of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation were moved here from the Dahlem Museum Centre and the Stadtmuseum Berlin realised a new, internationally oriented, Berlin exhibition in the building. The Schlosskeller houses an exhibition on the historic wall remains of the Berlin Palace and the history of the site.