Rotes Rathaus

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The Rotes Rathaus

The Red City Hall (German: Rotes Rathaus) is the town hall of Berlin, in the Mitte borough on Rathausstraße near Alexanderplatz. It is the home to the governing mayor and the government (the Senate of Berlin) of the Federal state of Berlin. The landmark building got its name from the red clinker bricks with which it is covered.

History[change | edit source]

View from the Fernsehturm

The Rathaus was built between 1861 and 1869 in the style of the north Italian High Renaissance by Hermann Friedrich Waesemann. It was modelled on the Old Town Hall of Toruń, now in Poland, while the architecture of the tower is reminiscent of the cathedral tower of Notre-Dame of Laon in France. It replaced several individual buildings dating from the Middle Ages and now fills an entire city block.

The building was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in World War II and rebuilt to the original plans between 1951 and 1956. The Neues Stadthaus, which survived the bombing and had been the head office of the Berlin city fire insurance company German: Feuersozietät in Parochialstraße was the temporary city hall for the post-war city government for all four sectors of Berlin until September 1948. Following that time, it housed only those of the Soviet sector. The reconstructed Rotes Rathaus, then in the Soviet sector, served as the town hall of East Berlin, while the Rathaus Schöneberg in Schöneberg borough was seat of the West Berlin Senate. After German reunification, the administration of reunified Berlin officially moved into the Rotes Rathaus on 1 October 1991.

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Coordinates: 52°31′07″N 13°24′30″E / 52.51861°N 13.40833°E / 52.51861; 13.40833