Ephraim-Palais

Ephraim-Palais

The Ephraim-Palais in the Mitte district is considered one of the most impressive bourgeois residences in Berlin. Today it houses a museum with exhibitions focused on the history and culture of Berlin.

Ephraim-Palais

© Stadtmuseum Berlin | Foto: Straube

The Ephraim Palais was the rococo residential home of the wealthy banker and coin merchant Veitel Heine Ephraim. Located in the Nikolai quarter, it was built between 1762-66 by Friedrich Wilhelm Diterichs on the corner of Molkenmarkt, formerly a central square. It was regarded as the "most beautiful corner in Berlin" and is amongst the most impressive bourgeois residences in the city. What we see today is a replica of the original building which was torn down in 1935 when Mühlendamm was widened.

Ephraim-Palais construction

Ephraim was a Jew but as a financier of Frederick the Great he was able to purchase land on Mühlendamm, a patrician domain since the Middle Ages, and build on it. In 1762 he acquired the building at Poststraße 16 and had it completely redesigned and given a new facade by Friedrich Wilhelm Diterichs, who previously designed the palace church in Buch and the Princesses palace at Unter den Linden boulevard.

The task was particularly challenging from an architectural point of view, especially because of the oblique angle at which the two wings of the building met. Diterichs solved the problem in the interior by creating two oval rooms, one behind the other. On the outside he underlined the corner by the double columns, which extend upwards in the form of projecting elements.

Oval staircase and magnificently ornate ceiling

Amongst the exquisitely refined elements to look out for are an ornate façade complete with cherubs, Tuscan columns, a balustrade with vases and gold plated balconies. Highlights in the interior include the oval staircase and the Schlüterdecke – a magnificently ornate ceiling - on the first floor. The balcony, where the three windows meet can be reached through large French doors and has gold-plated balcony rails and sculptures.

Ephraim-Palais today: Museum and venue for exhibitions

In 1936 the palace became a victim of rapid urbanisation and was torn because of road-widening work. After a local protest the façade was removed brick by brick to be preserved and was stored in the West Berlin district of Wedding until it was returned in 1983. The palace was completely restored in preparation for the 750th anniversary festivities of Berlin, in 1987, under architect Franz Klinger who tried to remain as faithful to the original as possible. The building is today only twelve metres away from its original location.

The house can be visited as a museum and is a venue for art and cultural history exhibitions.

Ephraim-Palais Information

Karte

Address
Poststraße 16
10178 Berlin
Phone
+49 (0)30 24002162
Internet
www.en.stadtmuseum.de
Opening Hours
Tue-Sun 10-18, Wed 12-20
Please note: Times may vary on holidays.
Admission Fee
6 Euro, reduced 4 Euro; free entry for under 18s
Admission is free every first Wednesday of the month
Architect
Friedrich Wilhelm Diterichs
Style
Baroque

Public transportation

Underground
Bus

Nearby

Ein Mann fotografiert bei sonnigen Wetter das Brandenburger Tor
© dpa

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| Last edited: 19. November 2015