Location: Mitte, 10178 Berlin
The history of the Stadtschloss – the Royal Residence – is a telling example of the city's eventful past, and of how the people of Berlin are dealing with their history today. The site has always been a symbol of the power and significance of the city and its respective rulers. From the 18th century onwards, the residence symbolised the supremacy of the Prussian state.
After the destructions during World War II, the East German government erected a palace for the socialist republic on the same site, which was to symbolise the power of working classes.
After the reunification, however, a prolonged debate about the future of this site in the German parliament ended with a compromise: the Royal Residence is to be partially recreated in order to retain the old 'face' of the original building. This reflects the ongoing dispute amongst Berliners over whether it is better to guard the heritage of their city through re-building, or to foster new architecture. The actual site is currently a piece of grass land waiting to be re-used.
[Image: Allie_Caulfield on flickr]