The Rotes Rathaus or the Red City Hall is an operating administrative building in Berlin: the official place of the City Mayor and the Senate of Berlin.
Style and Appearance of the City Hall
Initially, the Red City Hall was built in the style of Italian Renaissance – the most luxurious period that predominated in Italy in the first third of the 15th century. It was designed in the image of the Old Town Hall of Toruń in Poland. The main tower of the Rotes Rathaus resembles a tower of the Laon Cathedral in France. The tower has a clock set above the entrance to the Rathaus. On the ground floor, there is a chronicle (special reliefs made of terracotta) telling the history of Berlin. This border was set in 1979.
There is the Heraldic Hall in the Rathaus. Two statues in front of the building, “Trümmerfrau” and “Aufbauhelfer”, are one of the symbols of Berlin encapsulating the revival of the Rathaus.
The History of the Rotes Rathaus
Once, there were several old buildings in the place of the City Hall but today the red house with all its sizes occupies the whole quarter. It is situated on the street of the same name Rathausstrasse that is very close to another sight of Berlin, namely Alexanderplatz that is in the Mitte district.
The Red City Hall has become the 17th in Berlin, it was designed by Hermann Waesemann and built in the period from 1861 to 1869. The first stone was laid in June 1861 during the ceremony where the king Wilhelm I was present. Notwithstanding the construction was completed only by 1869, the city authorities hold their first meeting in the Rotes Rathaus as early as in 1865. Perhaps, it was associated with the purpose of the city authority to demonstrate their right to take part in resolutions of the city issues even being under the German Empire. The Rathaus safely stood until 1945 when it was seriously damaged during the bombing.
«Second Life» of the Rotes Rathaus
It was decided to reconstruct the City Hall in 1951, what was done by the end of the 1950s. By the way, it is that very place where the Soviet authorities of “Red” East Berlin were settling down. That is why it was often called “the red house” meaning the place of the Soviet Red Army at that time. The city authority of West Berlin was in the Rathaus Schöneberg in the district of Tempelhof-Schöneberg. But after the Berlin Wall came down, the hall housed the office of the city Mayor and the state senate.
To the point, such a historical monument as the Brandenburg Gate is also closely connected to the history of the destruction of the Berlin Wall.
Information for Tourists
Address: Rathausstraße 15, 10178 Berlin, Germany
- Monday to Friday – from 9 am to 6 pm;
- Saturday and Sunday – closed.
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