Friday, 27 June 2014
Potsdamer Stadtschloss - Ceci n'est pas une châteaux
The State Parliament of Brandenburg (Landtag Brandenburg) now has a new home in the reconstructed, rose-pink, neo-classical, Potsdamer Stadtschloss. The original Stadtschloss (town castle) had stood on the old market square in Potsdam for centuries, being originally a Winter palace for the margraves and electors of Brandenburg and then used by successive Hohenzollern kings of Prussia until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II when it became something of a tourist attraction, though a far second to Schloss Sanssouci.
Potsdam city centre was pretty much destroyed by an air-raid on the night of 14th April, 1945, but though the outer walls of the Stadtschloss were badly burnt, a building survey showed that 83 per cent of the building was still viable. Never-the-less, the East German ruling SED Party had the remains of the Schloss demolished in 1960, amidst much protesting from the citizens of Potsdam.
That sounds then a similar fate to the Berliner Stadtschloss, and like that former relic of an imperial past, post-reunification there were plans to rebuild the Potsdamer Stadtschloss. Unlike the Berlin castle though, the former Potsdam royal palace was to have a clear purpose as the parliament of the State of Brandenburg, which since its re-establishment in 1990 had been meeting in the former Military School building in the Brauhausberg, Potsdam.
Also unlike the Berliner Schloss, work has progressed pretty quickly on its rebuilding, and the State Parliament of Brandenburg is now in residence. Here are a few photos of the new building, though it must be emphasised, it is a functional parliament building and not a palace: Ceci n'est pas une châteaux! (though René Magritte may beg to differ).
Unfortunately there have been delays demolishing the ugly DDR-era Fachhochschule Potsdam next to the rebuilt Stadtschloss (the yellow monstrosity on the left in this photo). The plan is it will be demolished in early 2018.