Karlplatz (Berlin-Mitte)

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The Rudolf Virchow Monument at Karlplatz

Karlplatz is an urban square in Berlin’s Mitte district between Charitéstraße, Luisenstraße and Reinhardtstraße. It was named after Prince Carl of Prussia, a brother of Emperor Wilhelm I, General of the Infantry and first Master of the Order of St. John, which was restored in 1852 and resided in his palace on Berlin’s Wilhelmplatz and in Glienicke Palace, which he had commissioned Karl Friedrich Schinkel to develop.


The square was laid out when the Outer Frederick William City was laid out and built upon in the first half of the 19th century, as it has been since then. It was first mentioned postally (with residents) in 1897,[1] In 1906 it is also registered in the Berlin city map.[2] Directly on the square is a listed monument to Rudolf Virchow, created by the sculptor Fritz Klimsch in 1906-1910.[3] A building erected as a hotel in 1893 (house number 7) is also on the list of monuments.[4] A residential building north of the square dating from 1830 (Luisenstraße 14/15 at the corner of Schumannstraße 3) served as the embassy of the People’s Republic of Poland in the GDR between 1949 and 1964, before the latter moved into a new building on Unter den Linden.

The square gained fame beyond Berlin through Bertolt Brecht’s 1950 poem Die Pappel vom Karl(s) Platz: “A poplar tree stands on Karlsplatz in the middle of the rubble city of Berlin, and when people walk across Karlsplatz, they see its friendly green …”. Brecht’s verses helped prevent the tree from being cut down in the winter of 1946. A stainless steel commemorative plaque, embedded in the ground behind the Virchow Monument, is dedicated to this event.[5]

Web links

Commons: Karlplatz– Collection of images, videos and audio files

  • Karlplatz. In: Straßennamenlexikon des Luisenstädtischen Bildungsvereins (at Kaupert)

Individual references

  1. Karlplatz. In: Straßennamenlexikon des Luisenstädtischen Bildungsvereins (at Kaupert)
  2. Location of Karlplatz on the 1906 Berlin city map(Memento of 19 July 2012 in the Web
  3. Monument Rudolf Virchow on the Karlplatz
  4. Architectural monument Hotel Karlplatz
  5. Brecht poem on the memorial plaque at Karlplatz on

Coordinates 52° 31′ 22.4″ N, 13° 22′ 45.9″ E