Monday, December 20, 2010

The Potsdam City Palace, back to life

The southern part of the Alter Markt looks empty, with only the reconstructed Fortunaportal standing alone where one of the greatest Prussian palaces once stood. I'm talking about the Stadtschloss in Potsdam.

The Potsdam City Palace was built in the 17th century for Margrave Frederick William of Brandenburg, called "The Great Elector". On the picture below, you can see how the palace looked one year after the coronation of Frederick I as King in Prussia. It soon became the winter residence of the Hohenzollern monarchs.


Frederick II of Prussia had the palace rebuilt by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. The baroque became roroco, the so-called Frederician Rococo - the façades were modified, two colonnades were added, and a staircase - one of Knobelsdorff's best known works - was built in the interior. It made a unique ensemble in the Alter Markt, along with the Nikolaikirche by Schinkel and the baroque Altes Rathaus. The Stadtschloß was used as a royal residence until the fall of the German Monarchy in 1918.

As a museum, photo taken in the 1920s.

On April 14, 1945, just two weeks before the fall of Berlin, Potsdam was bombed by RAF. The attack left scars in the Alter Markt – the destroyed dome of the Nikolaikirche, and the burnt-out palace. However, it could have been restored.

But as it was typical in the DDR, the remains of the Stadtschloß were blown up in 1950, being a “symbol of Prussian militarism” on communist eyes. Other buildings in Potsdam, including the Garrison Church and the Royal Teather, suffered a similar fate. The only existing remains are some pillars from the southern wing, the Stables (now Filmmuseum Potsdam) and part of one of the Knobelsdorff colonnades, which is now in the nearby Lustgarten.

Between 2000 and 2002, the Fortuna Gate was rebuilt on its historical position - and the Palace itself is going to be rebuilt as the seat of the Landtag of Brandenburg. While the interior will be a modern one, the facades and some inner parts of historical significance (such as the Knobelsdorff staircase) are to be rebuilt following the original layout.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Back to Potsdam

And today I uploaded two more models, this time in Potsdam, core city of Brandenburg-Prussia, and its succesor state, the Kingdom of Prussia.

First, the Jägertor.

Built in 1733, the Jägertor ("Hunter's Tor") was part of the city wall that protected Potsdam by the 18th century. It was located at the northern section of the wall, where now a promenade is on its place. The section connected the Jägertor with the Nauener Tor to the East, and the (small) Brandenburg Gate to the West.

A scupture is placed at the top of the gate, showing three dogs hunting a deer as part of the typical hunting season scene.

And now, let's go with the Französische Kirche.

The French Church of Potsdam was built between 1752 and 1753 as a result of the Edict of Potsdam from about 70 years earlier. The religious freedom that the Kingdom offered to foreigners attracted a number of French Huguenots, expelled from their land. The Church was one of the last works by Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, built by order of Frederick the Great and based in the Pantheon in Rome.

Despite several renovations and changes, the church was lucky enough to escape WWII untouched, as you can see above. Currently the Französische Kirche is the oldest church in Potsdam (the Garrison Church, built between 1730 and 1735, was demolished by the Communist regime in 1968).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


21 years ago, in the afternoon of November 9, 1989, Gunter Schabowski announced the opening of all the border crossings between West and East Germany. For this occassion, I have uploaded two new models, both related to this history.

I will start with the Weinhaus Huth.

Photograph from 1912.

Located in Alte Potsdamer Straße 5 / Linkstraße 45, the Haus Huth opened in 1912 as home to the wine restaurant and cellar of William Huth, a wine merchant whose second great-grandfather was Wine Cellar Master to Frederick the Great. This building stood in the place of another building, owned by the Willy's father, Friedrich Christian Huth. The new building was constructed with a steel skeleton to resist the wine storage space, which was located in the upper floor. This feature allowed the building to remain almost unscathed 33 years later, after the attack carried by USAF in February 1945. The restaurant was reopened in June of the same year.

During the years of the Berlin Wall, that section of Potsdamer Straße was closed to car traffic - the Wall was at one end and in the other one was the construction site for the Staatsbibliothek. After the German inner border came down, the building was restored. It's now in the center of the Daimler-Chrysler complex.

The second model is, of course, the Brandenburg Gate.

Before 1788, this gate, part of the Berlin excise wall (Gr. Akzisemauer), consisted in two simple guardhouses dating from circa 1735.

The current structure was built between 1788 and 1791 by architect Carl Gotthart Langhans and the Quadriga sculpted by J. G. Schadow. Several events in German history have been related directly to the Gate. Napoleon I of France took the sculpture in 1906 after the Prussian defeat at Jena. The Quadriga was retrieved from Paris in 1914 and the Iron Cross was added, turning it into a symbol of Victory. The Brandenburg Gate was also place for some celebrations during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.

The Brandenburg Gate was also the beggining of the great Unter den Linden boulevard, that led to the Stadtschloss and city centre.

View from Siegessäule

The Brandenburger Tor was one of the few remaining buildings standing in Pariser Platz after WW2, (the other being the Academy of Fine Arts and the Adlon Hotel). Following the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Gate was used as a border crossing only for West Berliners, opening in August 13, 1961 - although it was closed in the next day. The crossing - the Gate - was reopened in December 1989.

During the Fall of the Wall - November 9, 1989

It's now, at the same time, the only remaining building from prewar Parisier Platz, and the only remaining gate from both city walls (Hallesches Tor was destroyed in WW2, the war damaged Potsdamer Tor was demolished in the 1950; part of the Oranienburger Tor can be found outside the Borsig-Werke).


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Unter den Linden 1 - 4

In this weekend I have uploaded two new models to the Warehouse, located both on the Unter den Linden boulevard in Mitte.

Lets start with the Alte Kommandantur.

The Kommandantenhaus was originally a baroque residential building dating back from 1653, designed by architect Johann Gregor Memhardt. It was enlarged first in 1795-99 to serve as the residence of the Berlin garrison commandant.

At some point in the late 19th century, the Alte Kommandantur lost its old roofing, and a third level was added.

As happened with other historical buildings in Berlin, the Kommandantenhaus was heavily damaged by the Allied "strategic" bombing campaign. The Communist would demolish the remains of the building to make room for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (they demolished the Bauakademie for that purpose as well).

The Ministry was demolished in 1995, and the Kommandantur was rebuilt between 1999 and 2003 to serve as Bertelsmann Berlin Headquarters.

And now, the Neue Wache.

The Royal New Guardhouse of Berlin was built by architect Schinkel following the wish of Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia, for a new guardhouse for the nearby Kronprinzenpalais. The Neue Wache would also serve as a war memorial, since the pediment sculpture was a representation of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, deciding a battle in the Befreiungskriege (German Wars of Liberation from the French Empire).

The Neue Wache circa 1897, photochrom from the Library of Congress

After the German Revolution of 1918, the Neue Wache ceased to serve as a guardhouse. In 1931, architect Tessenow converted the building into a Memorial to the Fallen in War, and added the oculus to the ceiling. The building was damaged during WW2; after restoration, it served again as a guardhouse for the East German Volkspolizei/Nationale Volksarmee, and as a Memorial to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism (by this last word, they probably refered to Imperial Germany - interesting enough that the NVA held some massive parades in Unter den Linden).

Just a changing-the-guard ceremony in front of the Neue Wache, 1989

Parade for the 25th anniversary of the GDR, 1974

In 1995, after German Reunification, the Neue Wache was rededicated as the Central Memorial for the Victims of War and Tyranny.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Can you see it?

This picture is just a pre-release render. It's unfinished, but I hope to upload it soon to the Warehouse.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kottbusser Tor

Kottbusser Tor was one of the original city gates, part of the so-called Berliner Zollmauer; the road through the gate lead to the town of Cottbus (Brandenburg). Both the U-Bahnhof and the area where it stands are named after the gate. However, that location is not where the original U- Bhf. Kottbusser Tor once stood.

U1 train type A3, leaving Kottbusser Tor on its way to Görlitzer Bahnhof.

The first station opened on February 18, 1902 as part of the U1 line. It was located near the corner of Mariannenstraße and Skalitzer Straße, and, as you can see in the picture below, shared the same shape of the U-Bhf. Oranienstraße (now Görlizter Bahnhof) .

This Station was demolished in 1926 following the construction of the U8 line. The current station was built ca. 170m westwards, and is now a two level station - The U1 platform is located in the elevated structure, and the one serving U8 is below ground level.

View of underground platform for the U8 line.

I also invite you to visit this interesting site (not mine), which has information and pictures of old U-Bahn stations. The website is in German, but I'm sure you will be easily able to understand.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Für Berlin, und Deutschland

As a gift to the German people in their holiday, today October 3, I have uploaded two new models to the Warehouse.

The Wittenbergplatz U-Bahnhof is one of the oldest U-Bahn stations in Berlin, having opened in March 1902. Here is a photo showing the first entrance.

In 1913, this entrance was replaced with a large hall built by architect Alfred Grenander in the Art Nouveau style. In 1952, the London Transport Board donated a London-Underground-like sign to conmemorate the 50 anniversary of the U-Bahn system (you can see the roundel as the logo of the model in the Warehouse).

Located in Kreuzberg, U-Bahnhof Görlizer Bahnhof opened in February 1902 as "U-Bhf Oranienstraße".

In 1926 it was renamed after the nearby Görlitzer Bahnhof, a railway terminus serving the mainline link connecting Berlin to Cottbus (Brandenburg), Görlitz (Saxony), Breslau (Silesia), and Vienna (Austria). The terminus was damaged in WW2 and demolished in the 1960s; however, the U-Bahnhof is preserved almost in its original condition.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Today I have uploaded to the Warehouse another model located on Sanssouci Park: Schloss Charlottenhof.

Charlottenhof was built between 1826 and 1829 by Prussian architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel with the help of his student Ludwig Persius, by order of Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm (later Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, "the Romantic in the Throne"); the Kronprinz had created some designs for the project. The Palace is located on the site of a former farm house, and was built as a neoclassical villa for the Crown Prince, who used it as his summer residence.

View in Google Earth

The furniture inside the palace was largely designed by Schinkel himself. The most dinstictive room is fashioned after a Roman Caesar's tent, decorated with blue and white patterns.

Stained glass in Charlottenhof - detail

The Palace is maintained by the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Well, this post is a request to the Berliners (and maybe a clue for what I'm doing now). I need a clear picture of the façade of the Hotel Esplanade in Bellevuestraße (the preserved one, behind the glass), with reflection as least as possible. Could someone please take some photos? You may upload the images to your favorite host-site (Imageshack, Photobucket, Flickr, etc) and post the link here as a comment. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Coming surprise

You may want to know why I have not uploaded more models to the Warehouse recently. Well, I'm a little busy this last month. I have a surprise, but, I must say, you have to wait.

PD. Does anyone has a photo showing the entire Alte Postdamer Strasse façade of the Weinhaus Rheingold?

Monday, August 30, 2010

And finally, I found it.

I still had the picture of the Justizpalast on my mind. I wanted to do it.
I was searching in the web, and decided to look at an article about one of the search results, "JVA Moabit". I got the coordinates and went to Google Earth. I saw this:
And, using archive from 1943/45 and then 1953.

In the first picture, Justizpalast would have been located in the lower right, southeast from the star-shaped building. The facility in the upper left is the Kriminalgericht Moabit, built between 1902 and 1906. In the second, you can see the Justizpalast as seen from a US aircraft in 1943/45 (the pictures are combined in the 1945 archive), before the respective bombings, and 1953. Although the quality in the 1943 photo is not good, you can notice both the Justizpalast and the star-shaped facility. In the picture from 1945 (upper right), you can see a slighty bomb-damaged building.
In the 1953 photograph, you can see the empty space where the Justizpalast once stood. The star-shaped building survived both bombings.
I must say that the 3d building size may not be accurate, however, I have tried to keep the building in the right proportions.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Königsberg Castle

Place of coronation of two Prussian Kings (Frederick I as King in Prussia and Wilhelm I, future German Emperor), by 1861 the Königsberg Castle was more than the walls and towers of the once Teutonic fortress. When Wilhelm I was coronated, the castle had incorporated the old defensive walls dating back from the Teutonic period (15th century), the Brick Gothic church (Schlosskirche) from 1594, the "Blood Court" (Blutgericht), a wine cellar built in the late 14th century, and some recent structures from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Konigsberg Castle: Brick gothic church and tower (middle), Blutgericht (right)

The Haberturm was the oldest tower (built ca. 1255) of the castle. It was the northeastern tower of the Schloss and a distinctive part of it, being visible from the other bank of the Schlossteich (Castle pond).

The castle contained also the Prussian Collection, with exhibits from the Prussian State Library and many art works.

All of this burnt down after the savage attack carried out by RAF in August 1944 - more than 800 airplanes bombed the city centre. Minor bombings by the Soviet air force, and later the Battle of Königsberg further damaged the castle. After the war, the Altstadt was no more than some destroyed buildings, the Königsberger Schloss and the shell of the Cathedral.

Königsberger Dom (Cathedral) as seen from the ruined Castle, 1949.

Despite all, the Castle walls remained standing. The end definetely came in 1968, when USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev decided to delete any sign of German past. The Schloss survived the first blast, - as a last showing of defiance to the Reds - that only torn down the brick gothic tower. A second explosion erased from Earth the remaining parts of this jewel (called "a symbol of Prussian fascism" by the Soviets, as other palaces like the Stadtschlösser in Berlin and Potsdam. The same they said, the same they did).

I have tried to make it the most accurate as possible, using a ground plan of the castle. The geometry work was the easy part - texturizing it was the difficult one. Although I could find many photos of the east, south and western parts, and three photocromes (Südseite, Ostseite and courtyard), I did not found pre-war photos of the northern side, for them I reviewed pictures displaying the ruined building.

Hope you like it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The 'Mosque' on the Havelbucht

Until the early 1840s, the fountains on Sanssouci Park couldn't receive water from the reservoir Frederick II designated for them. In 1942 an engine built by businessman August Borsig (the original owner of the Palais Borsig in Berlin) was used to rise the water on the Great Fountain to a height of ca. 38 m. The then Prussian King, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, ordered the construction of this pumping station. Built by architect Ludwig Persius, the "Pumpenhaus" was designed with the shape of a Turquish mosque.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Two days ago Google uploaded this video showing Stuttgart and Berlin, the capital cities of Baden-Würtenberg and Berlin/Germany respectively, in 3D. There you can see some of my models, like the Staatsoper, St. Hedwig's, the Kanzleramt, Zeughaus, Gendarmenmarkt (excepting the French Cathedral), Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten, etc. Along wih them, there are more very good models like the Reichstag, "Kommode" and Branderburger Tor by Emperor Heer, Kongresshale by Michael Riese, and JWagner's Tempelhof Airport.

Also, and although I personally dislike BM models, I must say that I have seen excellent online-modeled buildings. Some examples are the Hotel am Hauptbahnhof, the North Korean Embassy on Kaiserhofstrasse, Schinkel's Bauakademie and the Bahnhof am Alexanderplatz.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

From Berlin to Potsdam

Two days ago, I uploaded three new models to the Warehouse. Three palaces located in Sanssouci Park.

The first one is, obviously, Schloss Sanssouci.

Easily one of the most famous palaces in Germany, Sanssouci is the former summer palace of Prussian king Frederick II, "the Great". The palace was designed by Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff following plans of Frederick himself, as a private residence for the King. The palace was built between 1745 and 1747 in the so-called "Frederician Rococo".

The palace remained as a residence of the Hohenzollern Family until Wilhelm II abtidation. From then and although the building was still property of the former Imperial family, it was no longer used as a palace.

After WWII Sanssouci became mantained by the East German government, as a tourist attraction. Following German reunification, the body of King Frederick II was returned to Sanssouci, and buried in a new tomb.

The New Palace in Potsdam (Gr. Neues Palais) was built under the rule of Frederick II, King of Prussia, to conmemorate the end of the Seven Years' War. The palace was built in a baroque style, and was intended to demonstrate the glory and power of the Kingdom of Prussia after tthe war. After his death, the palace fell in disuse until 1859, when it became the summer residence of Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, later Kaiser Friedrich III. The palace was restored under the rule of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

After German Revolution, the palace was used as a museum.

The Orangery Palace was built between 1851 and 1854 in Sanssouci Park, Potsdam, by Friedrich August Stüler, a student of Schinkel, and L.F. Hesse according to drawings by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV.

These models are only part of a group of models I will make. The group will include:

  • New Chambers
  • Bildergalerie
  • Belvedere
  • The Communs near Neues Palais
  • Antique Temple
  • Temple of Friedship
  • Historical Windmill
  • Potsdamer Stadtschloss
  • Nikolaikirche, Potsdam
  • And finally, maybe, Schloss Charlottenhof and the Roman Baths.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


This square was laid out between 1741 and 1743, under the rule of King (König) Frederick the Great. The buildings surrounding it were largely destroyed by the Allied air raids over Berlin, and were rebuilt in the 1950s.

To the left of the picture is the Berlin State Opera (Berliner Staatsoper), first built between 1741 and 1742, and reconstructed in 1843, after a fire destoyed it. Almost 100 years later, the Allies would cause heavy damage to the building in two air raids, first in 1941 (the Staatsoper was repaired and reopened the following winter) and then in February 1945. The Opera House reopened ten years later.

At the center of the picture, you can see the St.-Hedwigs-Kathedrale.

To tle right can be seen part of Berlin Royal Library and Altes Palais.

The Berlin Royal Library (model by Emperor Heer 99) was built between 1775 and 1780 by architect Georg Christian Unger, after a design by Joseph Fischer von Erlach. After the construction of the nearby Berlin Staatsbibliothek (Unter den Linden 8). It's now part of Humboldt University.

Altes Bibliothek, Opernplatz by Emperor Heer 99.
The Altes Palais was built between 1834 and 1837 as a palace for the then Prussian prince and future Kaiser, Wilhelm, in a Neoclassical style following plans of C.F. Langhans. After Kaiser Wilhelm's death, the palace opened as a memorial. The palace continued to be property of the House of Hohenzollern after Wilhelm II abdication in 1919.
The Palais resulted damaged after the Allied bombing of Berlin, and was reconstructed first in 1963-64 and then between 2003 and 2005. Now it is used by the Humboldt University.

Friday, June 11, 2010

St. Hedwig's Cathedral

In 1747, the construction of the first post-reformation Roman Catholic church in Berlin began, under permission of King Friedrich II. The King of Prussia wanted to give a place of worship to Catholic inmigrants that arrived to Berlin. The construction was finished in 1773.

In November 1943, an Allied air raid caused a fire on the Cathedral. 

The building was repaired between 1952 and 1963, although the lantern that once stood in the upper part of the dome was not rebuilt.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Maybe I should add the Justizpalast and the Ausstellungpalast, both in Moabit, to the last post. I have found three pictures of the first one, and only two of the second.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


When I make a model, I obviously search for some photographs of the building I'm modelling, and also some info about the structure, its history, etc.

However, I have seen that some buildings have very few pictures, or no pictures of them at all.

I'll start with...

Mosse-Palais at Voßstraße

I found two or three pictures of it, all of the façade at Voss-street. I started that model three months ago, but I could not finish it, since the pictures are of poor quality, and the Palais had its main façade at Leipziger Platz. I didn't find useful pictures of that part.

Palais Pless, Wilhelmplatz

All I have found about this palace is this poor quality picture, a ground plan and a picture of Palais Borsig where a small part of its façade can be seen. All I know about the palace is that it was the residence of Hans-Heinrich von Pless, and that was demolished in 1930 for the construction of the Extension of the Reich Chancellery.

St.-Elisabeth-Kirche, Kolonnenstrasse

Only two pictures of this brick Gothic church: One in Wikimedia Commons, the other in Panoramio.

Deutsches Kolonialmuseum

The DKM was housed by the Marinepanorama, a panorama-rotonda near Lehrter Bahnhof. The rotonda had a huge painting, showing New York seen from a steam liner. 

Four pictures, two from Commons (the first one is an aerial view of Lehrter Bahnhof, the second is another view of Lehrter Bahnhof, from the Spree, see below, at the left of the picture).

I don't even know if it was destroyed in WW2, or demolished before the war. The only info I found was in Skyscrapercity:

"Imperial Berlin had six panorama rotondas. None of them is preserved."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stettiner Bahnhof ( II )

This is the suburban railway station (Vorortbahnhof), the only remaining structure from the old Stettiner Bahnhof. The Vorortbahnhof was built in 1897 according to plans of railway inspector Armin Wegner, and served as railhead station for the suburban railway between that year and 1924, when the first S-Bahn train left from there for Bernau.

As part of the Nord-Süd-Tunnel (North-South Tunnel) for the S-Bahn system, an underground station was built in Invalidenstraße, and replaced the old Vorortbahnhof. 

The Vorortbahnhof resulted slighty damaged in WW2. It still stands in Zinnowitzer Strasse, covered with graffitis, waiting for use and a restoration. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Stettiner Bahnhof ( I )

Today I finally finished the Stettiner Bahnhof. It was a bit difficult to get textures, and the only color pictures I found were two postcards, and two photos showing a damaged, ruined station - I had to create some textures, using one photo I found in Wikimedia.

The Stettiner Bahnhof was first built at 1842, as the Berlin terminus of the railway connecting the city with the port city of Stettin and the resorts on the Baltic Sea. Because of the increasing number of passengers, the Stettiner Bahnhof was extended first in 1871 and later in 1903, when three smaller train sheds (each one with one track) were built.

The terminus was damaged by the Allied bombing of Berlin, although the structure remained in a relative good status. After Germany was stripped - again - of her eastern territories, the name of the station was changed to Nordbahnhof. The terminus closed in 1952, and was demolished ten years later.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ordenspalais (and other things)

The Ordenspalais (aka Prinz-Karl-Palais) Was a city palace in Wilhelmplatz, exactly Wilhelmplatz 9. First bult in 1737 according to plans of Carl Friedrich Richer (also the architect of the Old Reich Chancellery), it was the home of the Johanniterorden. The façade was redesigned by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1827, and an annex by Friedrich August Stüler was included. Two years later, Prinz Karl von Preußen took the palace as his residence. Later, his sons, Prinzen Friedrich Karl and Friedrich Leopold inherited the Palais.

In 1933 Dr. Goebbels took over the palace as the seat of the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightment and Propaganda. In the same year, the old Haus des Hofmarschalls (House of the Court Marshall), dating back from 1880, was annexed to the Ordenspalais. Later, the exterior of the Stüller annex was converted to a typical NS-style.

In 1938 a house in 62 Wilhelmstrasse was demolished in order to extend the old Palace, the "Schinkelschen" style remained.

In February 1945 the Ordenspalais was almost totally destroyed by the Allies, standing only some parts of the façade, and the front balcony. The ruins were removed in 1957.

However, the old Haus des Hofmarchalls and the extension by Stüler survived the war intact, and were used  by the East German Nationalfront and Volksrat. The building at Thallmannplatz 8 (now Wilhemstrasse 49)  lost the Schinkel style at some point between 1957 and 1965.

After Reunification of Germany, the complex became the seat of the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Part II of the model will include: The Ritterschafts-Direktion (Knighthood Society) at the corner of Wilhelmplatz and Kaiserhofstrasse (now Berlin Guest House, former Gästehaus des DDR), the site of former US Embassy, and the BMAS building at Kaiserfofstr.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Werderscher Markt

I like this picture. It shows the Friedrichswerder Church (by me), Neue Wache and Humboldt University by Emperor Heer, Altes Museum by 2nd Clemens, Zeughaus and Staatsoper by me, and the Alte Kommandantur by AcidGraz.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Kronprinzenpalais, Prinzessinnenpalais

Dating back from 1663, the Kronprinzenpalais was extended beween 1732 and 1733 under direction of architect  Philipp Gerlach in the late Baroque architectural style. The second floor was built 19 1856-57 by Johann Heinrich Strack. Following the abolition of the Monarchy in 1919, the Palace was used as home to the Alte Nationalgalerie Collection of Modern Art. The palace was damaged by an Allied bombing in March 1945.

The Act of German Reunification was signed there on August 31, 1990.

The Prinzessinnenpalais (Unter den Linden 5) was first built in 1733 under direction of Friedrich Wilhelm Diterichs. The House of Hohenzollern acquired the Palais in 1788. The connection to the Kronprinzenpalais was erected according to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The Palace received its name (Prinzessinnenpalais) after its conversion into the home of the daughters of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. The palace served as the Schinkelsche Museum from 1931 unil 1945. Now it serves as the "Opernpalais" (a complex of various dining facilities).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Leipziger Tor

The Leipziger Tor (aka Potsdamer Tor) was a city gate located in Berlin, Germany, between Potsdamer and Leipziger Platz. The first gate was built in 1734 as part of the old defensive wall (Festung Berlin). 90 years later, the "Alte Tor" was rebuilt, following the plans of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, in a neoclassical architectural style.

When the defensive wall was demolished, the Potsdamer Tor was allowed to remain. After the bombing of Berlin by Allied forces, the southern structure was almost destroyed, the northern one remaining intact. However, that part was demolished by GDR autorities, the only visible remains being the foundations. Two entrances to Potsdamer Platz U-Bahn station are located exactly in the position of the old gate.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Anhalter Bahnhof

Finally, I did it. This is the finished Anhalter Bahnhof in Berlin, Germany. By the time it was built, the Anhalter Bahnhof was the biggest railway station in continental Europe.

The air raids of November 1943 and February 1945 devastated the station. The building was demolished in 1960-61, although the central portion of the façade and the eastern part of the Güterbahnhof (goods station) were left standing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And more Bahnhöfe

Today two new models were accepted in Google Earth 3D Layer.

First, the Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

The Berlin Central Station (Hauptbahnhof, or simply Hbf) is the main railway station in Germany and the largest crossing station in Europe. It was built between 2001 and 2006 on the site of the Lehrter Bahnhof/Stadtbahnhof. The Hbf has served as the Central Station of Berlin since 26 May, 2006. Before that, a part of the in-work building was used as S-Bahnhof ("Hauptbahnhof - Lehrter Bahnhof").

Well, this model is not so new - I made (and uploaded it) on April 3th evening. The difficult part of it was the S-Bahn route, since it's made of about 20 arches, as you can see. In this model, I made only one arch, and then copied and resized it according to the width of that part.

New Mosse-Palais

The Mosse-Palais ("Mossepalais, "Mosse Palais" or "Palais Mosse") was a building located in Voßstraße, first property of Rudolf Mosse. The façade at Voßstraße was made of Sliesian sandstone, and the front at Leipziger Platz was provided with a relief of scluptor Max Klein (called "The Survey of German Genius", Die Erhebung des deutschen Genius). The old Mosse-Palais was destroyed (along other historical buildings) in November 1943 by a massive air raid.

I'm already working on the old Mosse-Palais (actually, I first started it), but since there are no more than three useful pictures, it will be difficult to get it textured soon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bahnhöfe / Railway Stations

In the last two weeks I was working on three Berlin railway stations (all gone). Two of the models are finished (I will finish Anhalter Bahnhof this week).

Lerther Bahnhof

The Lehrter Bahnhof was built in 1871, in a French neo-Renaissance style, unlike other train stations (which were made with brick façades). It served as the terminus of the Berlin-Hannover railway via Lehrte. The train shed was 188 meters long and 38 meters wide. The Bahnhof took over the functions of the nearly Hamburger Bahnhof in 1888.

Damaged in the Second World War (1943 bombing of Berlin), the Bahnhof was partially repaired. However, after West Berlin became a West German enclave, the Lehrter Bahnhof was demolished between 1957 and 1959.

Lehrter Stadtbahnhof

The Lehrter Stadtbahnhof opened in 1882. It was located at the northern end of Lehrter Bahnhof, ant was part of the Stadtbahn system, and became an S-Bahnhof in 1930. The building survived WW2 almost intact, and became a listed building in 1987, however, it was demolished in 2002.

It was difficult to get textures for this model, since there are few of them, most of low-quality.