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The Knoblauchhaus is the oldest surviving house in Nikolaiviertel, which itself is the oldest surviving part of Berlin. The Knoblauchhaus was originally built between 1759 and 1761, but was reconstructed in the early 19th century. The interiors are furnished in traditional Biedermann style. The exhibition uses a collection of period items from the Knoblauch family to help document the history of Berlin from the 18th to the 20th century, a time of huge industrial development.
Ephraim-Palais is an elegant Rococo building that was built in the mid-18th Century. It was the home of Veitel Heine Ephraim, the Prussian court jeweler and coin minter. However it had to be demolished to make way for the Mühlendamm in 1935. The rounded facade, gilded balconies and sculptural decorations were saved and stored in West Berlin. It was later rebuilt between 1985 to 1987 near the banks of the River Spree. Today it is a museum with revolving exhibitions on the city's cultural and art history.
Built upon the order of Hans Georg von Ribbeck, Privy Counsellor, the Ribbeck-Haus is one of the few extant Renaissance-era structures in the city. Standing still since 1624, this building underwent several changes and renovation over the years and now houses the Zentrum für Berlin-Studien and Central and Regional Library Berlin.
Built in the begining of the 19th Century, the Altes Stadthaus or the Old Town House of Berlin was designed by Ludwig Hoffmann. A major part of the building was destroyed during the World War II but it was later painstakingly conserved and rebuilt. After the construction of a New Town house, the Altes Stadthaus was less frequented by the city's residents as it could not accommodate the Berlin's growing population but it still stands proudly as an eminent attraction.
Built during the 17th Century, the Parochialkirche is a reformed church which is one of the oldest protestant organizations in the city. The famous bell tower of the church was completely destroyed during World War II. The interior of the church was also heavily damaged. Used in the intermediate years as a warehouse for furniture, the church was restored in 1991 and was gradually returned to its former Baroque grandeur.
The DDR Museum is located on Karl-Liebknecht-Straße. Set up by a private firm, this museum will take you back in time to the days of how locals lived during the Communist Regime of East Germany. Visitors to this museum can explore the 15,000 odd objects like maps, artifacts, instruments, clothes, radio equipment, kitchenware and images by opening doors, cabinets and secret compartments within the museum. The museum is a must visit for all historians, culture lovers and art enthusiasts. Do not forget to visit the replica room inside the museum to get a more specific idea on life during the East Germany Era. The DDR Museum tends to get a big crowded, so getting there early is highly recommended. For more information on group booking, upcoming events and more, call ahead or check their website.
This old baroque palace has an eventful history and has changed many hands and roles. Truly it deserves to be one of the most respected buildings in Berlin. Replete with grandeur and sophistication it today stands as the epitome of culture in the city. A part of the Kulturprojekte Berlin, it is known for its musical, theater and other cultural events. A prolific location for art and culture, that is what Podewil is now for Berliners.
Ehemaliges Staatsratsgebäude am Schlossplatz or the Former Council of State building on Schloßplatz was one of the first buildings to be constructed in Berlin after the end of World War II. It was then used for various political events and diplomatic receptions. Today, the building is the address of the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) but still carries the beautiful stained art work of Womacka and the mosaic of the GDR state emblem.