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Sinkende Mauer, Invalidenstraße / BMWi | by Secret Pilgrim
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Sinkende Mauer, Invalidenstraße / BMWi

The sculpture fountain “Sinkende Mauer” was installed in 1997 when Invalidenpark was restored to its former status as a public park. As the centerpiece of the square, it recalls not only the Church of Mercy torn down in 1967, but also the “disappearance” of the walls that bordered on West Berlin. The sculpture fountain was designed by Christophe Girot.


The Invalid House and its park were built, outside the gates of Berlin, in 1748 to house the wounded from the Prussian wars. Both house and park were damaged in the Second World War. A competition to redesign the park was held in 1992 and won by the French landscape architect Christophe Girot. The dominant feature is a great basin of water (50m x 62m) in which stands a sculptural wall and waterfall. Like most modern urban water features, it does not function all the time. When dry, it could be mistaken for a work of military architecture (eg a ramp for launching rockets). The scultpure runs across the basin at a fashionably postmodern angle.


The Invalidenhaus is one of the oldest buildings taken over to form the new home of the federal government in Berlin. As a part of a historical complex of buildings which was already in need of renovation, it was restored from the ground up for its new use by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology; with care and respect for the building’s more than 250-year history. To be exact, everything started in 1705 with an idea: King Frederick William I of Prussia wanted to create accommodation for soldiers disabled in war. However, this plan was not brought to fruition until 1747, when Frederick II of Prussia had the cornerstone laid for the Invalidenhaus outside the city walls. The location was adjacent to the Charité Hospital, where “the view of the country-side regenerated spirit and soul”. Designed in a U-shape, the building included an inner courtyard, which was presumably landscaped in 1822, the plans of which are attributed to the renowned landscape gardener Peter Josef Lenné. After a cannon had been installed in the courtyard in 1844, the park was named “Kanonenhof” (cannon courtyard), and later “Ehrenhof” (court of honour). In addition to several utility buildings, Protestant and Catholic churches were built according to plans by Isaac Jakob Petri. When the Invalidenhaus was consecrated in 1748, 522 disabled war veterans were given a new roof over their heads.,pr...


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Taken on July 24, 2008