Friday 22 January 2016

Field trip to the Humboldt Forum

Insider guides got a sneak preview into the bowels of Berlin's 'new city palace (Stadtschloss) this week. Our indomitable guide, Christian, was at pains to explain that this is indeed no new palace, but instead 'The Humbolt Forum'. Unwilling to rebuild an icon of the monarchy, the German state would pay only for something else, to use for matters of state and visiting dignitaries/delegations. The Prussian trappings would have to be funded by the City of Berlin and private donations.
This has led to the project being a sum of compromises between government functionality and the visions of those harking of days gone by. Still, it is getting done, not like our new airport. Oddly enough the results to date are quite striking. The traditional and the modern blend nicely. There are huge rooms for receptions, even a small concert hall, and enough space for Dahlem's fantastic Ethnological museum to move there in 2019. There will of course also be some shops.
The views from the Forum over the historical centre are outstanding. One thinks that despite some Berliners reservations about this new building it might just indeed become a roaring success.

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