Berlin's Embassy District

Berlin's Embassy District

The World in Berlin

– © Scholvien

At any nation's seat of government, countries from around the world obviously maintain a diplomatic presence. Thus, with the move of the Federal Government from Bonn to Berlin, the construction or relocation of embassy buildings was imperative.

Only a few embassy buildings in West Berlin survived the Second World War and the 45 years of German division (during which Bonn was West Germany's seat of government), and for the most part the embassies in East Berlin did not correspond to the increased standards of the newly capitalist neighboring countries of the GDR. For this reason, many embassies were rebuilt in the 1990s, many of which in Berlin's so-called Embassy District, which existed even before the Second World War – in an attractive location at the edge of the Tiergarten.

Megalomaniacal plans for “Germania“

With their megalomaniacal renovation plans to turn Berlin into “World Capital Germania,“ the Nazis also provided their former Fascist allies with prestigious locations for their embassies: Austria, Italy, Spain, and Japan were permitted as the first countries to construct their contemporary-monumental embassies in the newly designed Embassy District on the southern edge of the Tiergarten.

The wasteland of the Berlin Wall

During the Second World War, the centrally located Embassy District was turned into rubble and ash. Many ruins of the embassies stood for decades in the no-man's-land next to the Berlin Wall.

Modern and yet traditional architecture

After the relocation of the Federal Government, diplomatic missions to Germany not only reconstructed their former embassy buildings, but rather the entire district was expanded between Potsdamer Platz and the Zoological Garden to include many new embassy buildings, which often distinctively reflect the culture and architecture of the respective country. Prominent examples are the Oriental style of the United Arab Emirates' embassy or the collective embassy complex of the Nordic embassies, which is surrounded by a high green copper wall.