Foundations of a republic - the hole where the Palast was

Berlin is a city built on shifting sands. The foundations of the Palast der Republik stand like a rift in the city's very fabric, a place where time has started to go backwards and forwards at the same time...


A couple peers over the edge of the Palast der Republik's foundations, the Berliner Dom behind them


It's strange to come back here at this time of year and see the spot so empty. There used to be a Christmas market on Schloßplatz before it became a lawn, the Palast der Republik's increasingly skeletal presence looming over it. It always did have a rather deserted feel though, even with the crowds of people and the flashing and spinning fairground rides.
I have the impression that the Palast der Republik was somewhere where there was always something happening. It was no doubt not universally loved, but it seems that many East Germans valued it as a place to go for a day out. Pictures from its heyday seem to always show it full of life and, while they may have been cherrypicked so as to present it to the world as the great socialist triumph the government wanted it to be seen as, it's hard not to mentally compare those scenes to that of the graffiti-covered concrete and deserted lawns which mark the spot now.


Graffiti on the Palast der Republik's foundation walls



The graffiti here says "Wir fördern Bürgerkrieg gegen die korrupten Beamten" - we're supporting the civil war against the corrupt officials. Political graffiti is very common in Berlin, as are things which are clearly intended to make people stop and think.

See the black and beige blobs all along the bottom of the wall there? Those definitely fall into the 'stop and think' category...


Animal shapes on the Palast's foundations


They're silhouettes of sheep, cut from the synthetic fleece lining of clothes. The one on the right still has the arms on it; some of them have pockets. Polyester sheep grazing amidst the brick and concrete artifice of the city...most intriguing.

S-Bahn: 
Hackescher Markt (S3, S5, S7, S75)
Location: 
Foundations of the Palast der Republik
Schloßplatz
10178 Berlin

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