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Villa Elisabeth Berlin
Villa Elisabeth in Berlin © Villa Elisabeth, Foto: Stefan Melchior

Villa Elisabeth

Cultural space

The Villa Elisabeth is an impressively sized listed building with great historic charm. Through the expansive foyer and a generous staircase with wrought-iron railings, you enter the gallery hall with its magnificent arcades, whose stuccoed columns and arches bear a circular gallery. The parquet floor as well as the wooden wall panels and the heavy, double-wing wooden doors all radiate warmth. In this elegant ambience the Villa Elisabeth provides the space for a wide-ranging, curated cultural programme. There is a focus on contemporary and ancient music, experimental and classical chamber music, vocal music as well as modern music/speech, and dance theatre. The Villa Elisabeth was inaugurated in 1907 as the parish hall of the neighbouring St. Elisabeth's Church. With its 1,200 seats, the Elisabeth church, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1830, was the largest of the four suburban churches in Berlin. It was badly damaged in World War II. It was a ruin for decades but has been undergoing renovation since the 1990s. The church played an important role in the protests against the GDR regime. It provided a space for the “Kirche von unten” (“Church from below”) movement to reveal fraud in the local elections in 1989. The oppositional and even illegal Social Democratic Party also met here in the days of the GDR.