Piecing together a lost Potsdamer Platz gem

Bayernhof entertainment palace, old Berlin

With its seemingly endless array of lavishly decorated rooms, the huge restaurant and entertainment venue known as the Bayernhof was one of the architectural wonders of Potsdamer Platz.

Prewar Potsdamer Platz - the Bayernhof
Bayernhof Festsaal in Potsdamer Platz

Opened in 1903 as the Alt Bayern, it was renamed in 1926, and although by then considered an old-fashioned 'historic' curiosity, continued to serve food and drink until it was almost completely destroyed in World War II.

But remnants of this spectacular pleasure palace still survive in unexpected corners of Berlin.

Hindemithplatz, Charlottenburg - the St Georg-Brunnen

The Hindemithplatz in Charlottenburg is one of the district's prettiest small squares, a leafy plaza dominated by an impressively monumental fountain.

The St Georg Brunnen - a remnant of historic Potsdamer Platz
Hindemith Platz, Charlottenburg, Berlin

But the so-called St. Georg-Brunnen (St George Fountain) is - you've guessed it - a fairly recent transplant, rescued in the 1970s from the shattered remains of one of the Bayernhof's inner courtyards (below).

The 'Lion Courtyard', Bayernhof - one of the srchitectural wonders of old Potsdamer Platz

Further vestiges of the venue's former splendour can be spotted in an even less likely location: Richard-Wagner-Platz U-Bahn station.

The magnificent mosaics flanking each exit once adorned the ceiling of the Bayernhof's most opulent banqueting hall, the mediaeval-themed 'Minnesänger-Saal' (page top).

Mosaics in Richard-Wagner-Platz U-Bahn, Berlin - rescued from a legendary Potsdamer Platz entertainment venue
Mosaics in Richard-Wagner-Platz metro station, Berlin
Deail of mosaic in Mosaics in Richard-Wagner-Platz U-Bahn, Berlin

Given that almost nothing remains of pre-war Potsdamer Platz, it's nice to know that you can still get a tiny glimpse - or make that glimpses - of one of its legendary entertainment venues.

See also:
Hidden remnants of Berlin's greatest monument
A secret cafe in the Sony Centre
Public art in the Potsdamer Platz

Hindemithplatz (Mommsenstraße / Wilmersdorfer Straße), 10629 Berlin

Richard-Wagner-Platz U-Bahn (U7 line)

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