The Berlin City Palace: A must see, crazy & magical project

The Berlin City Palace, located on Museum Island next to the Berliner Dom, was the royal and imperial residence of the Kings of Prussia and German Emperors. Badly damaged during WWII, dismantled in 1950 and replaced in the 70’s by the Palast der Republic, the Berlin City Palace is now raising from its ashes and coming back to life. It’s a crazy and amazing project, a demonstration that it is still possible to built great things.

Berlin city center scale model including the City Palace and Berliner Dom

The model with the Berlin City Palace and the Berliner Dom


When visiting Berlin, a day on Museum Island is a must, and not just because it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, although that’s a good enough reason to me!!

So there we were, on Museum Island, admiring the architecture of the extraordinary ensemble. Five world-renowned museums in the same place is quite a sight. Once ready to continue our visit, we crossed the colonnade in front of the Alte National Gallery, and reached Palace square. At that point, all I wanted to see was the Berliner Dom, in hope of of a bit or warmth. It was cold in Berlin and I was unprepared for such temperatures!

But Mr A had his eye on the weird building across the street. The weird shape colorful cristal like building called the Humboldt box (as we found out later). So, a bit reluctantly I must admit, I followed him to see what was going on there.

And let me tell you… what a surprise!!

The Humboldt Box in front of the City Palace construction site - Berlin Germany

The Humboldt box is a temporary building which showcases the reconstruction site of the Berlin City Palace. Displays include an historical model of Berlin, film projections, samples of the sculptures that are being redone, historical facts and pictures, plans of the new building… It’s very interesting and informative.

You can tell that the people working on this project are passionate experts. And you will learn that everybody wasn’t convinced about this grant project. It took quite a long time, lots of efforts and research to see it come alive.

Castle - Berlin Germany - up close with Laurel festoon

Up close with Laurel festoon

Reconstruction of the southern cartouche with the initials of King Fredrich I - City Palace - Berlin - Germany

Reconstruction of the southern cartouche with the initials of King Fredrich I 

Scale model of the City Palace - Berlin - Germany

Wood scale model of the Berlin City Palace

Inside the City Palace - Berlin - Germany

The future museum 

The Humboldt Box - City Palace - Berlin - Germany

The National Museums’ Ethnological Museum and Museum for Asian Art , the Humboldt University, and the Central and Regional Library Berlin unveil their project plans in displays on the second and third floors of the Humboldt Box.

Yes, the below image is a mega giant mosquito!!  ?

A giant mosquito in the Humboldt Box - City Palace - Berlin - Germany


The best part probably comes when you reach the top of the Humboldt box and go on the terrace that over looks the construction site. You can admire first hand how it’s done, and that’s fairly rare.

View of the Berliner Dom from the The Humboldt Box - City Palace - Berlin - Germany

On one side you get a great view of the Berliner Dom 

The city Palace construction site - Berlin Germany - Feb 2016

And on the other side, you are up close to the construction site

The Humboldt Box restaurant offers great views of he City Palace construction site - Berlin Germany

The terrace is great and I wish the weather had been different!

The city Palace construction site including the dome - Berlin Germany - Feb 2016

It’s still hard to picture a Baroque style grandiose facade but I’m sure that in no time, the difference will be incredible. 


So yeah, ok I must admit, Mr A was right to drag me in there!! 😉 Just don’t tell him, please!!


What puzzel me most is that I had no clue that such a project was going on in Berlin. I did do a fair amount of research before going to Berlin to best plan our stay, but I still had no idea. And I hated it that I didn’t know of this sooner!!

But now that I know, I’m going to follow very closely because the Berlin City Palace will have it’s grand opening in 2019. It may seems far away but for such an impressive project, it looks like nothing. I hope to be able to go back before 2019 to see the progress, and if someone wants to invite me at the opening, I will gladly take you up on your offer!!

The Berlin City Palace won’t be an imperial residence anymore but rather a modern museum, a conference center and will hosts music & theater performances.



The technical bits: 


For more info, you can check the Humboldt fondation website:

The Berlin City Palace has its own gazette: The Berliner Schloss Post. Edited both in German and English, it contains lots of information on the progress of the reconstruction and great pictures. Available at:

If you can spare at least 50 euros, your name will electronically displayed onto the vaulted ceiling of the dome. For 1M euros, you can name a room of the palace! More info on

If you want to follow the construction work but can’t manage a trip to Berlin, check ou the various available webcams at Pretty cool!!



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