Browsing articles tagged with " Museums"

Sachsenhausen: from KZ to No. 1

Berlin, April 2015

A stroll along Unter den Linden or the East Side Gallery, a visit to the Jewish Museum, the Holocaust Memorial or the lonely tower of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church… it all helps grasp some of the European history of the 20th century, which in big part took place on German soil. Nonetheless, a stay in Berlin will definitely not be a complete one without visiting one of the hundreds of concentration and extermination camps, where millions of human beings were tortured and killed with incredible coldness. Sachsenhausen is located in Oranienburg, some 35 kilometers (21 miles) from downtown Berlin, and accompanies you, and informs you, on your visit.

Memorial and museum

The present Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen has gone through different phases during its existence. In 1933, the nazis used an old factory as a prison where their political opponents where confined. In 1936, the KZ Sachsenhausen starts its deplorable activity (KZ standing for concentration camp, in German): jews, gypsies and homosexuals, amongst other “undesirable”, will be tortured and killed until the last days of the war. Thousands of people starved to death, or died due to illness and forced labour, or were victims of the systematic operations of extermination carried out by the SS.

Freed by the soviet and polish troops in April 1945, Sachsenhausen would then become “Special Camp No. 7”, in August of that year. The authorities of the Soviet Union kept there above all former nazi military men, who would now occupy the same barracks where their victims had been humiliated and tortured until short before. In 1948, the camp was renamed “No. 1”.

(c) photo: Olga R. Trujillo

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An art bunker

Berlin, March 2015

Anything is possible in Berlin, no matter what. For example, that a bunker becomes the most “protected” art gallery in the world…

A 5-storey building with a surface area of 1.000 m², the nazis had the Reichsbahnbunker Friedrichstraße built during the war. It was bound to give shelter to the neighbouring civilians, threatened by the bombings. After the war, the soviets used it as a prison until the government of the GDR gave it a new use, in 1949: first as a warehouse for textile, later to store food (for this reason it was named “Bananenbunker” by the neighbours).

After the Wall fell in 1989, the bunker became a space for culture and leisure: theather performances, exhibits, … In the early ’90, its convertion into the “Ex-Kreuz-Club” made the place famous in all of Europe, until it was shut down in 1996. Finally, the Polish businessman and art collector Christian Boros bought the building, where the “Boros Collection” was opened in 2008. It displays some 500 pieces of art, an exhibition that can be visited on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (with previous registration, here).

The essential “touch of glam” is brought by the impressive penthouse where Boros and his family live.

Interviews with Christian Boros:

in English, at
in German, at and

Reviews about the Boros Collection:

in English, at

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Dresden State Art Collections

Berlin, January 2015

The digitalization of the contents of the Dresden State Art Collections (in German, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), currently in progress, allows since early August 2011 a virtual stroll, in 3D, through the halls of the Old Masters Picture Gallery (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister), some of the Green vault (Grünes Gewölbe) and the Porcelain Collection (Porzellansammlung), amongst others. Let yourself impress, even before arriving in the wonderful Saxon capital city.

Click here and enjoy!

The Dresden State Art Collections

Spread through a number of museums, the Dresden State Art Collections are the second of the so-called 23 “Cultural lighthouses” in Eastern Germany. Born in the 16<sup>th</sup> century with the “Art Chamber” (Kunstkammer), the Collections were promoted under the reign of Augustus the Strong (1670-1733) and son Augustus III (1696-1763). The Collections are currently in these museums to be seen:

the Green Vault (Grüne Gewölbe)
the Collection of Prints, Drawings and Photographs (Kupferstich-Kabinett)
the Coin Cabinet (Münzkabinett)
the Armoury (Rüstkammer)
the Ethnographical Museum (Museum für Völkerkunde)
the Porcelain Collection (Porzellansammlung)
the Mathematisch-Physikalischen Salon
the Old Masters Painting Gallery (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister)
the Sculpture Collection (Skulpturensammlung)
the New Masters Gallery (Galerie Neue Meister)
the Saxon Folk Art Museum and Puppet Theatre Collection (Puppentheatersammlung) and
the Museum of Decorative Arts (Kunstgewerbemuseum)

Here you can see the piece of news (in German) about the setting up of this marvellous virtual exhibition!

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A round trip palace

Berlin, 1 July 2014

It burnt to the ground on February 3rd 1945, it was demolished starting September 7th 1950, and it began its way back on June 12th 2013, when the foundation stone of its reconstruction was laid.

One year later, the reincarnation of the “City palace” (Stadtschloß, in German) keeps taking shape, in order to reopen in 2019. Last June 1st it was open doors day, and was there, of course 🙂

Actually, when it reopens it will become a new name: no more “City palace” but “Humboldt-Forum”. It will be a centre of culture, art and science in downtown Berlin, although it will have the same Baroque-look of its ancestor (except for the façade on the river, a modern one according to the plans of the Italian architect Franco Stella). Several museums, a 600-seat auditorium, a book store and a library, the “Humboldt-Forum” will gather various facilities currently spread out in the city.

* Check some pics of the building under construction, here:
* Feel like taking a glance of the construction site, right now, live? click here:

* Website of the “City palace Association”:

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Palace under construction

Berlin, 21 June 2013

It was one of Berlin’s treasures until the war, the Second one, wounded it fatally. The government of the German Democratic Republic finished it off from September 1950 on, when its demolition started. The building, partially preserved according to graphic witnesses, unveiled too many imperialist reminiscences, so good bye Prussia, good bye for ever…

… or not really, since the City Palace (Stadtschloß, in German) will revive at the same site where it fell over 60 years ago. Actually, the palace can already be seen, although only as a mockup at the study of the Italian architect Franco Stella,  who won the contest to re/build it. The building is scheduled to be finished in 2018 (photo gallery of the area, nowadays:

The old Stadtschloß will now be the “Humboldt Forum”, a huge space devoted to knowledge. One of its stars will be the treasures of the non-European cultures, now to be seen at the Ethnological Museum in the neighbourhood of Dahlem. Also the “Humboldt Laboratorium” and the Berlin Central Library, as well as rooms for temporary exhibits and cultural activities… The project has been objected by those who consider unjustifiable the investment of almost 600 million Euros, but in any case the work is underway and it will mean an enormous change in the look of the part of the Mitte district.

Learn more about another mega project in Berlin, currently underway:

(More or less) live picture from the site:
Web Association Berlin Palace:

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