The Hotel Roter Adler (the Red Eagle Hotel) is a terminator-style building located at the corner of Schützenstraße and Charlottenstraße, only one block away from the (in)famous Checkpoint Charlie tourist deathtrap.
Why do I say terminator-style? Well, you know those scenes in the Terminator movies where the cyborgs catch on fire and their human skin starts melting and you can start to see the killer robot features?
Tell me if this building reminds you of that:
No? Is it really just me? Ok, my point is that this building’s history is easily recognizable just by looking at the facade.
Much of the facade is carved with intricate, fancy motifs. There’s also a section that’s a slightly different color and completely devoid of carvings.
The Hotel is a good example of Art Nouveau architecture, which is highlighted by looping lines and intricately carved facades. In German, it’s referred to as Jugendstil.
The hotel was built (originally as a department store) by the architect Otto Michaelsen in 1903-1904. Its facade features figures and scenes from German history. The Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck has a spot there, as do Frederick the Great and the first German Emperor, William I. Frederick and William, of course, lived just a kilometer or two away in the Berliner Schloss.
Like many other buildings in Berlin’s city center, including the Quartier Schützenstraße around the corner, this one was damaged during World War II. After the war, it was partially rebuilt and housed government offices. In 2001, it was fully refurbished at a cost of around 40 million euros.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Art Nouveau, it’s super cool to see such a stark example of Berlin wearing its history on its architectural sleeve.