Ephraim-Palais | Friends of BBS

One of Berlin’s more attractive exhibition spaces belongs to the City Museum: the Ephraim-Palais.

Ephraim-Palais, 1830
1830

Veitel Heine Ephraim was Frederick the Great’s court jeweller and – as Münzmeister (Director of Mints) – he helped finance the Seven Years’ War that established Prussia as a European power. In the 1760s, he commissioned a lavish residence in the Rococo style.

Ephraim-Palais, 1936
1936

 

Because the street in front was to be widened, the Ephraim-Palais was torn down in 1936. The façade was put into storage in what – after the War – was to become West Berlin. Although the palace had originally stood in what was now East Berlin, plans were developed for its reconstruction and use as a Jewish museum at a new location in the West.

 

 

Ephraim-Palais today
Today

Those plans could not be realised, however – it would have been expensive and the palace blueprints were still in the East. In the 1980s, when the East German government came up with plans to develop the quarter around the historic St. Nicholas Church to evoke the destroyed old town – the Nikolaiviertel project – West Berlin’s mayor (and later West German president) Richard von Weizsäcker ensured that the façade be given to the East as part of an exchange. The Ephraim-Palais was reconstructed in the Nikolaiviertel twelve meters from its original location.

 

A Rococo residence reconstructed a short distance from where it once stood – and boasting the original façade?

In Berlin that qualifies as pretty damn authentic.

The Ephraim-Palais is one of our valued partners.

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