The former Staatsratsgebäude can be found in the historical center of Berlin, right behind where the Berlin City Palace used to stand before it was demolished after the Second World War. This building tells the history of the city in every possible way since it shares pieces of architecture from Prussian times, East Germany, and the unified city that we know today.
This three-story high building is a testimony to the post-war architecture of Germany and Berlin. It was built between 1962 and 1964 as the State Council building and as an expression of East German-style architecture.
But the particular baroque portal dates from even before. Initially, it was designed back in 1713 by Johann Friedrich Eosander von Göthe as one of the portals to the Berlin City Palace. After the original building was demolished, it was integrated where you can see it today. According to the legend, this piece of history was saved because this is where Karl Liebknecht declared the Free Socialist Republic of Germany in 1918.
More of the history of the Staatsratsgebäude in Berlin
The Staatsratsgebäude, known in English as the State Council building, was built between 1962 and 1964, and it was the first representative building from the GDR built after the Berlin Wall. One of the main features of the building is the Portal IV that used to stand in the Berlin City Palace before it was blown up in 1950. As we said before, this Portal was inserted into the Staatsratsgebäude due to its historical importance. Since it was from there that Karl Liebknecht proclaimed the Free Socialist Republic of Germany back on November 9, 1918.
The architect Roland Korn was responsible for the building planning, the facade was designed by Josef Kaiser, and the interior design was done by Hans-Erich Bogatzky and Bruno Hess. They put a lot of effort into the individual rooms and the details of the building, including the furniture of the Staatsratsgebäude.
One of the highlights of the building is the magnificent glass mural that follows the staircase. Called “Depictions from the history of the German workers’ movement,” it was designed by Walter Womacka, and it shows the history of Germany with a strong focus on the workers’ movement. Another exciting element of the building is the massive national emblem of East Germany that is on one of the walls. Nowadays, it stands in one of the classrooms of this management school.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, the former Staatsratsgebäude was used as the seat of the Federal Chancellery under Gerhard Schröder. Between 2003 and 2005, the historical building went trough renovation extensively so that the European School of Management Berlin could take over it, they opened their doors in January 2006.
Today the building is used by ESMT, and, from time to time, they also host events. Also, there are exclusive tours through the former State Council building, and you have to click here to book one. The one I did was in German, for free and it was more than worth it.
A Visit to Staatsratsgebäude, the State Council building in Berlin
ESMT Berlin in the former Staatsratsgebäude