Club potsdamer platz
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Club Potsdamer Platz VideoRobert Pattinson, Sienna Miller and Charlie Hunnam in Dining Club at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin
This was a connecting line opened in October and running around the city just inside the customs wall, crossing numerous streets and squares at street level, and whose purpose was to allow goods to be transported between the various Berlin stations, thus creating a hated traffic obstruction that lasted for twenty years.
Half a dozen or more times a day, Potsdamer Platz ground to a halt while a train of 60 to wagons trundled through at walking pace preceded by a railway official ringing a bell.
The U-Bahn arrived first, from the south; begun on 10 September , it opened on 18 February , with a new and better sited station being provided on 29 September , and the line itself being extended north and east on 1 October By the second half of the 19th century, Berlin had been growing at a tremendous rate for some time, but its growth accelerated even faster after the city became the capital of the new German Empire on 18 January Potsdamer Platz and neighbouring Leipziger Platz really started coming into their own from this time on.
Now firmly in the centre of a metropolis whose population eventually reached 4. Some of these places became internationally known. Next door, the Herrenhaus, or Prussian House of Lords the Upper House of the Prussian State Parliament , occupied a former porcelain factory for a while, before moving to an impressive new building erected on the site of the former Mendelssohn family home in — by Friedrich Schulze Colditz — The heyday of Potsdamer Platz was in the s and s.
It was a key location that helped to symbolise Berlin; it was known worldwide, and a legend grew up around it. It represented the geographical centre of the city, the meeting place of five of its busiest streets in a star-shaped intersection deemed the transport hub of the entire continent.
It also contained a summer garden, winter garden and roof garden, an enormous restaurant and several smaller eating areas, its own laundry , a theatre and concert booking office, its own bank , whose strongrooms were underground at the eastern end of the building and generated their own history decades later , and a large fleet of private delivery vehicles.
In the run-up to Christmas Wertheim was transformed into a fairytale kingdom, and was well known to children from all over Germany and far beyond.
However, in —8 the architect and entrepreneur Carl Stahl-Urach — transformed the whole building into a gastronomic fantasy land, financed and further elaborated upon by new owners the Kempinski organisation.
It reopened on 31 August as the Haus Vaterland, offering "The World in One House," and could now hold up to 8, guests at a time.
The rest of the building had been turned into a large number of theme restaurants, all served from a central kitchen containing the largest gas-fuelled cooking plant in Europe.
Up to eight orchestras and dance bands regularly performed in different parts of the building, plus a host of singers, dancers and other entertainers.
Among the major hotels at or near Potsdamer Platz were two designed by the same architect, Otto Rehnig — , and opened in the same year, Two other hotels which shared the same architect, in this case Ludwig Heim — , were the room Hotel Bellevue sometimes known as the "Grand Hotel Bellevue" , built , and the room Palast Hotel , built on the site of an earlier hotel.
The Bellevue was well known for its Winter Garden. It was thus given a strong steel skeleton, which would stand the building in very good stead some three decades after its completion.
Famous for its fine claret, numerous members of European society were made welcome there as guests. A total of 15 chefs were employed there, and Alois Hitler , the stepbrother of the future Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler , was a waiter there in the s, before he opened his own restaurant and hotel at Wittenbergplatz , in the western part of the city.
It had occupied various locations including from till , a site in front of the Berlin City Palace , before moving to Potsdamer Platz in the latter year.
Among the many beer palaces around Potsdamer Platz were two in particular which contained an extensive range of rooms and halls covering a large area.
After closing in , it underwent a revamp before reopening in under the new name Bayernhof. Originally intended to be a concert venue until concerns were raised about increased traffic problems in the already congested streets, it was ruled that it should serve a gastronomic purpose only.
Altogether it could accommodate 4, guests at a time, 1, of these in its main hall alone. In the Vox-group had taken over the building and the following year commissioned its remodelling by Swiss architect Rudolf Otto Salvisberg — , and then erected two transmitting antennae.
By the early s there were so many diplomats living and working in the area that it came to be redesignated the "Diplomatic Quarter".
By , 37 out of 52 embassies and legations in Berlin, and 28 out of 29 consulates, were situated here. Although a contraption at Stephansplatz in Hamburg is now thought to have predated them by two years, it has often been stated that the first traffic lights in Continental Europe were erected at Potsdamer Platz on 20 October , in an attempt to control the sheer volume of traffic passing through.
This traffic had grown to extraordinary levels. Even in , more than , people, 20, cars, horse-drawn vehicles and handcarts, plus many thousands of bicycles, passed through the platz daily.
By the s the number of cars had soared to 60, The trams added greatly to this. The first four lines had appeared in , rising to 13 by , all horse-drawn, but after electrification between and the number of lines had soared to 35 by and ultimately reached 40, carrying between them trams every hour, day and night.
Up to 11 policemen at a time had tried to control all this traffic, many of them standing on small wooden platforms positioned in key locations around the platz, but with varying success.
The traffic lights, again from Siemens, were mounted on a five-sided 8. A solitary policeman sat in a small cabin at the top of the tower and switched the lights around manually, until they were eventually automated in Yet some officers still remained on the ground in case people did not pay any attention to the lights.
The tower remained until c. The replica was moved again on 29 September , to the place where it stands today.
The traffic problems that had blighted Potsdamer Platz for decades continued to be a big headache, despite the new lights, and these led to a strong desire to solve them once and for all.
By now Berlin was a major centre of innovation in many different fields including architecture. On the cards was an almost total redevelopment of the area.
One design submitted by Wagner himself comprised an array of gleaming new buildings arranged around a vast multi-level system of fly-overs and underpasses, with a huge glass-roofed circular car-park in the middle.
Unfortunately the worldwide Great Depression of the time, triggered by the Wall Street Crash of , meant that most of the plans remained on the drawing board.
Undaunted, the architect, Erich Mendelsohn — , erected vast advertising boards around the perimeter of the site, and the revenue generated by these enabled him to proceed with the development anyway.
However, despite a Woolworths store on its ground floor, a major travel company housed on the floor above, and a restaurant offering fine views over the city from the top floor, the economic situation of the time meant that it would not be followed by more buildings in that vein: Nevertheless, its exact position showed that the platz was starting to be opened out: Columbushaus was completed and opened in January , the same month that the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler — came to power.
Hitler had big plans for Berlin, to transform it into the Welthauptstadt World Capital Germania , to be realised by his architect friend Albert Speer — Under these plans the immediate vicinity of Potsdamer Platz would have got off fairly lightly, although the Potsdamer Bahnhof and the Anhalter Bahnhof a short distance away would have lost their function.
The new North-South Axis , the linchpin of the scheme, would have severed their approach tracks, leaving both termini stranded on the wrong side of it.
This was in addition to the S-Bahn North-South Link beneath Potsdamer Platz itself, which went forward to completion, opening in stages in Meanwhile, the Nazi influence was no less evident at Potsdamer Platz than anywhere else in Berlin.
As well as swastika flags and propaganda everywhere, Nazi-affiliated concerns occupied a great many buildings in the area, especially Columbushaus, where they took over most of the upper floors.
As if to emphasise their presence, they used the building to advertise their own weekly publication: Sunday Newspaper , the N.
On an even darker note, those Nazi concerns included the Gestapo , who set up a secret prison in an upper part of the building, complete with interrogation and torture rooms.
Meanwhile, in another part of the building, the Information Office of the Olympic Games Organising Committee was housed. Here much of the planning of the Berlin Summer Olympic Games took place.
As was the case in most of central Berlin,  almost all of the buildings around Potsdamer Platz were turned to rubble by air raids and heavy artillery bombardment during the last years of World War II.
The three most destructive raids out of that the city suffered ,  occurred on 23 November , and 3 February and 26 February Once the bombing and shelling had largely ceased, the ground invasion began as Soviet forces stormed the centre of Berlin street by street, building by building, aiming to capture the Reich Chancellery and other key symbols of the Nazi government.
When the city was divided into sectors by the occupying Allies at the end of the war, the square found itself on the boundary between the American, British and Soviet sectors.
The lower floors of a few buildings were patched up enough to allow business of a sort to resume. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn were partially operational again from 2 June , fully from 16 November although repairs were not completed until May and trams by Part of the Haus Vaterland reopened in in a much simplified form.
The new East German state-owned retail business H. Out on the streets, even the flower-sellers, for whom the area had once been renowned, were doing brisk business again.
The area around Potsdamer Platz had also become a focus for black market trading. Since the American, British and Soviet Occupation Zones converged there, people theoretically only had to walk a few paces across sector boundaries to avoid the respective police officials.
Meanwhile, friction between the Western Allies and Soviets was steadily rising. The Soviets even took to marking out their border by stationing armed soldiers along it at intervals of a few metres, day and night, in all weathers.
Since there was not, as yet, a fixed marker, the borders were prone to abuse, which eventually resulted in August , in white lines in luminous paint appearing across roads and even through ruined buildings to try to deter the Soviets from making unauthorised incursions into the American and British zones.
These measures were only partially successful: Remembering the effective use of propaganda in the leadup to the second World War , the opposing camps later began berating one another with enormous signs displaying loud political slogans, facing each other across the border zone.
That on the western side was erected first, in direct response to the ban on sales of Western newspapers in East Berlin, and comprised an illuminated display board 30 m wide and 1.
Important messages were spelt out on the display board using up to 2, bulbs. The sign was switched on for the first time on 10 October , watched by a large crowd.
A month later, on 18 November, the Communist authorities in the east ordered its destruction using a catapult made from a compressed air hose loaded with pebbles and small pieces of metal.
However, the order was not executed and the sign lasted until , an eventual victim of its own high maintenance costs. Not to be outdone, East Berlin had meanwhile erected a sign of its own.
This was up and running by 25 November , less than seven weeks after its western counterpart, albeit for a much shorter time period. It was demolished on 29 January More significantly, living and working conditions in East Germany were rapidly worsening under Communist rule.
There are 55 known victims,  but other estimates state at least It was also claimed that 17 or 18 Soviet soldiers were executed for refusing to shoot demonstrating workers,  but this remains unconfirmed by post research.
Columbushaus, with its H. This time, they were not rehabilitated. As Cold War tensions rose still further during the s, restrictions were placed on travel between the Soviet sector East Berlin and the western sectors West Berlin.
For the second time in its history, the Potsdam Gate or what remained of it , was like a dividing line between two different worlds. Lying on this invisible frontier, Potsdamer Platz was no longer an important destination for Berliners.
Similarly, neither East Berlin nor West Berlin regarded their half as a priority area for redevelopment, seeking instead to distance themselves from the traditional heart of the city and develop two new centres for themselves, well away from the troubled border zone.
Potsdamer Platz, meanwhile, was more or less left to rot, as one by one the ruined buildings were cleared away, neither side having the will to repair or replace them.
With the construction of the Berlin Wall on 13 August , along the intracity frontier, Potsdamer Platz now found itself physically divided in two.
What had once been a busy intersection had become totally desolate. With the clearance of most of the remaining bomb-damaged buildings on both sides on the eastern side, this was done chiefly to give border guards a clear view of would-be escapees and an uninterrupted line of fire , little was left in an area of dozens of hectares.
Further demolitions occurred up until when the Haus Vaterland finally disappeared. A short distance away stood portions of the former Hotel Esplanade , including the Kaisersaal , used at various times as a much scaled-down hotel, cinema, nightclub and occasional film-set scenes from Cabaret were shot there.
Apart from these, no other buildings remained. Below ground, the U-Bahn section through Potsdamer Platz had closed entirely; although the S-Bahn line itself remained open, it suffered from a quirk of geography in that it briefly passed through East German territory en route from one part of West Berlin to another.
Consequently, Potsdamer Platz S-Bahn station became the most infamous of several Geisterbahnhofe ghost stations , through which trains ran without stopping, its previously bustling platforms now decrepit, sealed off from the outside world, and patrolled by armed guards.
During its 28 years in limbo, Potsdamer Platz exuded a strange fascination towards many people on the western side, especially tourists and also visiting politicians and heads of state.
An observation platform had been erected, primarily for military personnel and police but used increasingly by members of the public, so that they could gaze over the Wall at the wilderness beyond.
Meanwhile, among the many V. Charles, Prince of Wales 3 November , U. President Jimmy Carter 15 July , and U. Vice President later President George H.
Bush George Bush Senior 1 February Wings of Desire were filmed on the old, almost entirely void Potsdamer Platz before the Berlin Wall fell.
In one scene an old man named Homer, played by actor Curt Bois , searches in vain for Potsdamer Platz, but finds only rubble, weeds and the graffiti -covered Berlin Wall.
The movie thus gives a good impression of the surroundings at the time, which are completely unlike what can be seen today. After the initial opening of the Berlin Wall on 9 November , Potsdamer Platz became one of the earliest locations where the Wall was "breached" to create a new border crossing between East and West Berlin.
The crossing began operating on 11 November , earlier than the iconic Brandenburg Gate crossing which opened more than a month later.
A temporary road, lined with barriers, was created across this zone and checkpoints were set up just inside East German territory.
Proper dismantling of the entire wall began on 15 May and all border checks were abolished on 1 July as East Germany joined West Germany in a currency union.
In the background stands the Beisheim Centre. On the left side is the Bahn-Tower and on the right side the Kollhoff-Tower.
Entrance hall one of two of the new underground regional train station Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz in It also gives access to the S-Bahn and the basement level food floor of the Arkaden shopping mall.
After , the square became the focus of attention again, as a large some 60 hectares , attractive location which had suddenly become available in the centre of a major European city.
It was widely seen as one of the hottest, most exciting building sites in Europe, and the subject of much debate amongst architects and planners.
If Berlin needed to re-establish itself on the world stage, then Potsdamer Platz was one of the key areas where the city had an opportunity to express itself.
More than just a building site, Potsdamer Platz was a statement of intent. In particular, due to its location straddling the erstwhile border between east and west, it was widely perceived as a "linking element," reconnecting the two halves of the city in a way that was symbolic as well as physical, helping to heal the historical wounds by providing an exciting new mecca attracting Berliners from both sides of the former divide.
Whether fairly or unfairly, a great deal was riding on the project, and expectations were high. The Berlin Senate city government organised a design competition for the redevelopment of Potsdamer Platz and much of the surrounding area.
They had to fight off some stiff competition though, including a last-minute entry by British architect Richard Rogers. During the building phase Potsdamer Platz was the largest building site in Europe.
While the resulting development is impressive in its scale and confidence, the quality of its architecture has been praised and criticised in almost equal measure.
One of these was Richard Rogers, who played a part in the development after all his great British rival, Norman Foster , was putting the new dome on the Reichstag at about the same time.
The first spade at the start of the Daimler-Benz development was turned by the Mayor of Berlin , Eberhard Diepgen , on 11 October , and the finished complex was officially opened by the Federal President of Germany , Roman Herzog , on 2 October , in a glittering ceremony featuring large-scale celebrations and musical performances.
Its storey, metre-high "Bahn Tower" is so named because it houses the corporate headquarters of Deutsche Bahn AG , the German state railway system.
Surviving parts of the former Hotel Esplanade have been incorporated into the north side of the Sony development, including the Kaisersaal which, in a complex and costly operation in March , was moved in one piece all 1, tonnes of it , some 75 metres from its former location, to the spot that it occupies today it even had to make two right-angled turns during the journey, while maintaining its own orientation.
This, like the Kaisersaal, had to be relocated, but here the room was dismantled into some pieces to be reassembled where it stands now. The fourth part is the Park Kolonnaden , a range of buildings running down the east side of the Potsdamer Bahnhof site, parallelling Daimler-Benz.
This complex occupies the site of the former Haus Vaterland, and its principal building, which for a few years was the headquarters of the large German trade union ver.
Other developments, more piecemeal in nature, have recreated the octagonal layout of neighbouring Leipziger Platz immediately to the east. For this reason, we have the Holmes Place Comfort Guarantee, which will help you to complete your membership online with a clear conscience.
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