New Guardhouse

The New Guardhouse, located at Unter den Linden boulevard in the Mitte district, is the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Dictatorship.

The Neue Wache or New Guardhouse is a memorial to the victims of war and tyranny. Käthe Kollwitz's famous Pietà sculpture "Mother and her Dead Son" can be admired here.

It is located between the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German History Museum) or former Armoury and Humboldt University. This was Karl Friedrich Schinkel's first important building commission in Berlin and is now part of his classical architectural legacy to Berlin. Erected in 1818 as a monument to the victims of the anti-Napoleonic wars it has been the reunited Federal Republic of Germany's main monument for the commemoration of the victims of war and tyranny since 1993.

New Guardhouse

History of the New Guardhouse

It served as a monument in three distinctive phases of German history. Until 1918 it was a memorial to the Wars of Liberation. From 1931, under Reichspresident Paul von Hindenburg, Heinrich Tessenow converted the monument into a memorial for the victims of the First World War by covering up an inner courtyard which only let through a slither of light. The task of transforming the monument fell into the hands of architect Heinrich Tessenow who produced a black granite block structure with a gold and silver Eichenlaubkranz. In the period following the end of the Second World War and the memorial's destruction the GDR leadership turned it into the monument for the victims of Fascism and militarism. An eternal flame was placed in a cube above the ashes of an unknown concentration camp prisoner and an unknown fallen soldier.

Käthe Kollwitz's Pietà

German reunification found a suitable symbol for the memorial in Käthe Kollwitz's wrenching sculpture also known as Pietà "Mother and her Dead Son" to express the perpetual tragedy of the loss of life caused by war and tyranny. Today the underground room includes the remains of an unknown soldier, a resistance fighter and soil from battlefields and concentration camps.

The classical elements include the cubic form reminiscent of a roman Castrum with a sandstone vestibule. The columns are decorated with metal Victorias in place of the classical triglyph and metope frieze.

New Guardhouse Information

Address: New Guardhouse
Unter den Linden 4
10117 Berlin
Admission Fee: free
Architect: Karl Friedrich Schinkel
Style: neo-classicism

Public transportation


Attractions and Sights A-Z

From Alexanderplatz to Zoo: the most important attractions and sights in Berlin from A to Z. more »
Source: | All texts, photographs and graphics on this site are protected by copyright. They may not be copied, reproduced, translated or used otherwise.
Last edited: 19. November 2015

max 3°C
min 1°C
Overcast with snow Extended Forecast »

Over 27 Accor hotels in Berlin

Accor Hotels in Berlin
Accor welcomes you to over 27 modern and unique hotels in Berlin. Enjoy the special ambience and hospitality for a small price e.g. at Mercure, Novotel, ibis... more »

Find Hotels in Berlin

Hotel in Berlin
Find and book your ideal hotel in Berlin more »

Search & Book Guided Tours in Berlin

Book Guided Tours in Berlin
Search, find and book a guided tour in Berlin through our partner rent-a-guide. more »

Events & Festivals in Berlin

Classic Open Air in Berlin
Things to do in Berlin: Highlights of the Berlin culture programme, tips for theater, opera, concerts, movies, trade fairs and more »

The Berlin tourist pass

Berlin Welcome Card - VisitBerlin
Explore Berlin and take advantage of the Berlin WelcomeCard! Unlimited travel and savings of up to 50%. more »

Attractions & Sights

Brandenburg Tor
Berlin’s top attractions, palaces and monuments with address, photos, public transport details and more »

Ticket Search in English

Find & buy tickets online for concerts, events and more »

Markets & Flea Markets

flea markets in berlin
Berlin's most popular flea markets and antique markets with adresses, opening hours, public transport and map. more »

Berlin Photo Galleries in German

Pictures of sights, monuments, places of interest and more »
(Bilder: dpa; Accorhotels 2012; VisitBerlin; BerlinOnline/argus/flashpics/; Antje Kraschinski)