II: Through the Western Part of the City: Charlottenburg

  • Dieter Hoffmann


Until 1920 the city we now call Berlin was a collection of independent towns and villages — among them Charlottenburg, which was one of the most important and was the proud sister of Berlin, Prussia’s and Germany’s capital, where the wealthy and innovative bourgeoisie lived. Werner von Siemens, Germany’s pioneer in the modern electrical industry, was a prime example of that elite. His castle-like villa was located not far from today’s Ernst-Reuter-Platz at Otto-Suhr-Allee 10–16, and important parts of his enterprise expanded into the “meadows outside of Charlottenburg” during the second half of the 19th century. It was no accident that the efforts to unite Berlin’s two colleges for trade and construction (both founded around 1800) led to the foundation of a modern Technical College in Charlottenburg in 1879, today’s Technical University of Berlin. Its magnificent main building (figure 1), which was opened in 1882 by the German Emperor, was an expression of the great self-confidence of this new institution of higher learning and of Charlottenburg’s bourgeoisie. Although large parts of the building were destroyed by bombs during World War II, you can still get an impression of its monumentality from what survived at number 135 Strasse des 17. Juni.


Kaiser Wilhelm Institute Wine Cellar Peter Debye Lead Research Center Chair Holder 
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© Birkhäuser Verlag AG 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter Hoffmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany

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