The remains of the Grand Hotel Esplanade

Grand Hotel Esplanade
Grand Hotel Esplanade

The Grand Hotel Esplanade was once a central meeting point for Berlin society, before 90 percent of the building was destroyed during the Second World War.

During its colourful and turbulent history it went from being one of the German capital’s most luxurious and celebrated hotels to a bombed-out ruin.

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the remains of the hotel became protected under the German Landmark protection laws. The entire façade and interior were restored to their original grandeur to serve an as architectural museum.

The rooms from the Wilhelminian era include the breakfast room, which is lavishly adorned with neo rococo style and the neo baroque Kaisersaal (Emperor’s room). The 1950s style ‘Palmenhof’ (Palm Court Yard) and Silbersaal (Silver Room) represented a resurgence of Berlin social life after the war.

Construction of the Sony Centre at Potsdamer Platz began in 1996 and because of zoning plans and the subsequent widening of Potsdamer Strasse, the Breakfast Room and Kaiser Saal had to be moved in one piece. Today these historical rooms survive and are used to host special events and social gatherings.