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.

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