The Society of Ancient Berlin supports the maintaining of all ancient architecture in the city. We even recommend the reconstruction of buildings which no longer exist.
Our special focus is the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), the only preserved ensemble of historical buildings in the city. We are vehemently against the falsification of these buildings by adding modernistic renovations which have already happened or are planned for the future. Today, Berlin is predominantly composed of modern architecture. But the few worth preserving, which sybolizes the non-reversible identity of this city, has to be maintained and completed.
Please refer to the New Year's address of our president Dr. Bernd Wendland presented on January 13th, 2009 under the headline:
About our methods, the present situation and the future goals of the activities of the Society of Ancient Berlin.
Our projects in detail:
- On the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), we support the unaltered reconstruction of the Neues Museum (New Museum) as well as the reconstruction and completion of the Pergamon Museum.
- We are against the construction of a new building, the so-called central entrance building located at the Kupfergraben which would go beyond the scope of the whole ensemble.
- Furthermore we demand the reconstruction of the Kurfürstenbrücke to complete the planned reconstruction of the whole ensemble of the Berliner Schloss (City Palace) instead of a modernistic insignificance (the so-called Rathausbrücke).
- We are against the reconstruction plans regarding to the Staatsoper (State Opera House).
Awareness for the ancient Berlin:
In order to revive and sharpen the awareness for the historical substance of our city we give lectures to the general public.
There is no entrance fee for these lectures.
About our methods, the present situation and the future goals of the activities of the Society of Ancient Berlin
Bernd Wendland's New Year's address, presented on January 13th, 2009:
The turnaround in 1989/90, the end of the GDR and the peaceful reunification of both parts of Germany which had formed the rest of the German Reich brought about new opportunities for the city of Berlin which were completely impossible to imagine before. Berlin had suffered so much from World War II. Now there was the chance to regain by means of a city-repairing of the „old" middle of the city, to reconstruct lost important buildings and urban space, like Pariser Platz. Berliner Schloss and Museumsinsel...
The Society of Ancient Berlin is a non-profit society acting across parties which is supported by citizens of Berlin and those in other parts of Germany. Our ideas have become increasingly respected by segments of the population, by politicians and the media.
We are pleading for a revitalisation of traditional European architecture in our city. We are raising our voices in favor of first-class aesthetic architecture in Berlin and against the disintegration of the cityscape.
We are aiming towards a beautiful city which is pleasant to live in. We support architects and city planners who are rethinking about the historical center of the city. At this place we refuse both architectural provocations and office blocks with uninspired raster facades made of glass, steel and concrete.
We expect the design to be made according to Berlin's traditions and the original city ground plan by which Berlin's history becomes recognizable.
Among the architectural witnesses of Berlin's history we can find the most important building of the city, at least until it was blasted: the Berliner Schloss (Berlin Palace). To reconstruct it, along with other outstanding buildings would be the basis for a return to our urban culture and bring about a new identity.
Our achievements thus far
In the last few years we have succeeded in influencing construction projects in Berlin by gathering signatures, organizing demonstations, talks, panel discussions, numerous debates with politicians, architects and investors and, last but not least, our exhibitions.
Among our achievements is the new construction of the Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden) in the spirit of Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the return of monuments of Schinkel, Beuth and Thaer to the former Schinkelplatz and those of the generals von Bülow and von Scharnhorst which you can find now opposite of their original place, right and left of the Neue Wache (New Guardhouse).
We were able to exercise considerable influence on the plans for the houses of Liebermann and Sommer next to the Brandenburg Gate which had been constructed according to their original design and on the installation of historical candelabras on the street Unter den Linden.
What can you do?
Look at our website and let us know what ideas you have. If you are interested in supporting our goals, recommend us to others or be actively involved. Our workgroups meet at our office (Am Zirkus 6, 10117 Berlin) to discuss new ideas and to prepare activities. For more information about about our meetings, please call our office (030 - 2045 4746).
Society work does have some costs. We are financed privately without public investment. As a member of the Society Ancient Berlin (50 € annual fee) or as a donator you can help support our activities.
How you can become a member?
Here and now! Please print out our application form for a membership [Aufnahmeantrag-GHB.pdf - a pdf-form will open up in a new window], fill it in and send it to our office. Don't forget to put the date and your signature.