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Martin-Gropius-Bau (building)

A piece of art history in Renaissance style

Just around the corner, only 100 meters from Potsdamer Platz, is the unmistakable Martin-Gropius buildings. The building, which was conceived as the royal art museum, was erected between 1877 and 1881 by the architects Martin Gropius and Heino Schmieden. The top of the façade of the square building is elaborately decorated with mosaics and terracotta reliefs showing various coat of arms of German states. After the First World War it became the Museum for Prehistory and Early History as well as the East Asian Art Collection.

Being a museum, then the Gestapo headquarters and then back again a museum

During the Second World War the Martin-Gropius building served as the headquarters of the Gestapo with its own prison. It was also severely damaged during the war and plans were raised to demolish the building. Walter Gropius, a descendant of the former architects Martin Gropius raised awareness and made sure that the building became in 1966 a national listed building. The team of architects, Winnetou Kampmann and Ute Weström, devoted themselves in 1978 to the detailed reconstruction of the once beautiful building. In 1981, the Martin-Gropius-Bau was opened with the great exhibition “Schinkel Works”.

The Martin-Gropius building today

In 2014 in memory of the darkest chapters of Germany an exhibition was opened outside the museum: the "Topography of Terror". Inside the museum more than ten changing exhibitions inspire annually more than thousands of visitors around topics such as photography, art, culture and history.

Berlin is well worth a visit. Enjoy this museum and many more. Come and discover …

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Our team at the relexa hotel will be happy to assist you with any questions about directions, prices and much more. Please call +49 (0) 30 - 264830 or by email

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