hidden europe 7

People's palaces

by Wolf Oschlies


Many central and eastern European capitals boast 'palaces' that were constructed in the socialist period. While Berlin's Palace of the Republic is being demolished, other capitals are finding more creative ways of rehabilitating their 'people's palaces'

The best ideas are often remarkably simple. Like the one now being championed by Matthias Echterhagen and Andreas Metz from a small fourth floor office in Berlin's Charlottenburg district. With the benefit of startup funding from the German Bosch Foundation, Andreas and Matthias coordinate an impressive network that gives voice and visibility to those parts of Europe that feature less frequently in the news. The admission of ten new countries to the European Union in 2004, including eight new members from central and eastern Europe, encouraged the media in western Europe to look eastward. But still there are gaps, especially in the coverage of life and events beyond the capital cities. The n-ost network draws upon a rich consortium of academics, writers and journalists, most of whom live and work in the countries about which they write. Every working day, n-ost offers a fresh perspective on the parts of Europe that feature less frequently in the media. n-ost articles are regularly published by German language newspapers and other media.

As part of our collaboration with n-ost, hidden europe is pleased to present an article by regular n-ost contributor Wolf Oschlies. He is an experienced reporter on central and eastern European affairs. The text has been translated from the German original with some amendments and additional material by hidden europe

For more information on n-ost, visit them online at www.n-ost.de.

Death to the hovels! Peace to the palaces!

The bulldozers are moving in on the Palace of the Republic in the very heart of Berlin. It is a building that Berliners either love or hate. The onetime East German parliament building stands on a prime site on Unter den Linden, the main processional boulevard that links the Brandenburg Gate with Alexanderplatz.

Related article

Editorial hidden europe 66

In hidden europe 66 we explore the Drin Valley in Albania, the Vipava Valley in Slovenia, reflect on sustainable tourism and check out the boats in Port Grimaud. We also celebrate a special anniversary with a an article on fifty years of Interrail.