The Stadtschloss was once a German palace for William 2 prior to WW1 it was largely destroyed during WW2 and eventually demolished during the 1950’s by the East German Government to remove traces of the former Empire. In its place the Palast der Republic was built as East Germans Parliament. Opened in 1976 it was a modern building that contained galleries, restaurants, a disco and a bowling ally. The Palast was built as a symbol of East Germany’s strength and pride and many former East Germans have fond memories of their time there. Today the Palast is slowly being demolished with work expected to finish in 2008. Much of the Palast’s interior was removed in the late 1990’s after asbestos was found in the building. The empty shell was then used as an art space for a time until it was decided to demolish the building all together. Since work began on demolition there are groups who have been pushing the idea to rebuild the former Royal Palace Stadtschloss while other groups are lamenting the loss of the Palast der Republic claiming the current government is trying to wipe out Berlins socialist past in the same way the East Germans tried to wipe out Germany’s imperial past. Some people are just glad to see the back of an ugly 1970s building and would be happy if the area is replaced with grass. The German Parliament has recently decided to rebuild most of the castle with a modern interior, work will start in 2010 and it will be known as the Humboldtforum.
For more information: http://www.stadtschloss-berlin.de/englisch.html