Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Abandoned 1920s cabaret theatre discovered in Berlin

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Abandoned 1920s cabaret theatre discovered in Berlin 

Once again just as I bemoan the lack of blogworthy articles in the world along comes another humdinger of a story, this time courtesy of German magazine Der Spiegel.

It's amazing to think that in this day and age, with cities well established, historical buildings documented and preserved, and redevelopment frequently moving apace it is still possible for significant structures to lie dormant and forgotten for decades.  Berlin has seen more than its fair share of tumult in recent history, however - not least its near-destruction in the Second World War, swiftly followed by partition almost immediately afterwards which left half of the city to be rebuilt under Communist supervision - so perhaps it should not be too surprising that discoveries such as this are still being made over 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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This particular find is especially remarkable because it involves a relic from Berlin's pre-war years - an original Weimar Cabaret theatre!  Somehow it has managed to survive the vagaries of time, hidden by newer buildings, to be unearthed four years ago by a local property developer.  My goodness, if those walls could talk I bet they'd have some tales to tell!  Beautiful-looking walls they must have been too with their painted images, vaulted ceilings and stone columns.  From what little history has been pieced together it seems to have been an entertainment venue from its construction in 1905 up until the Nazi Party took power in 1933.  One can just imagine the parties and cabaret acts that must have gone on there at the height of the Weimar era:

Since its 1920s heyday it declined to the point where it was being used as an impromptu rubbish tip but now thanks to its rediscovery by an enterprising Berlin businessman it is on the verge of being given a new lease of life.  Somewhat regrettably it has become impractical for it to be returned to its entertainment roots, although currently part of it is being used to house an art exhibition and it looks like there's a chance that aspect may be able to be kept permanently.  No Max Raabe & Palast Orchester then, pity.
Nevertheless it is planned to restore many of the original features that existed and which can still be seen throughout the main part of the building, which may also be given over to [temporary] accommodation as well as a gallery.  As always it is splendid to see an important piece of (in this case Berlin's) architectural history rediscovered and given the care and treatment it needs to bring it into the 21st century while still preserving its unique qualities as a tie to its past.  Ausgezeichnet!

3 comments:

  1. Wow, thanks for sharing, that's quite incredible, finding an entire theatre!

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  2. How amazing! When I see things like this it just makes me want to go and see them! Thank you for the videos too - they make me wish I'd a) carried on learning German, and b) carried on playing the trumpet

    ReplyDelete

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