Berlin’s great revue tradition

Photo: Bernd Brundert - Friedrichstadtpalast The Palast is known for its unique programme and theatre size. Here, Berlin’s great revue tradition lives on, today bringing viewers state-of-the-art shows. The theatre is unequalled in size: on the world’s largest theatre stage, the Palast is home to the biggest long-running revue shows in the world.

A legendary theatre, the eventful history of the Palast dates back to 1919 when Max Reinhardt opened the Great Theatre, which has been called Friedrichstadt-Palast since 1 November 1947. Since 1984 it has been housed in a gigantic new building at 107 Friedrichstraße in Berlin’s Mitte district in the heart of the East End Theatre District.

When you first see the building from Friedrichstraße, it doesn’t look that big. But appearances can be deceiving. The building is 80 metres wide, 110 metres long, and encloses a space of 195,000 cubic metres. The enormous building is the last historic landmark building that was built in the GDR. Inaugurated on 27 April 1984, it represents a special architectural contemporary witness to the inner German division in the past.

After the fall of the Wall, the Palast established itself as the first address in reunified Germany for extravagant and spectacular show entertainment. Following extensive investments into the millions, the Palast continues to be Europe’s biggest and most modern show palace. Exclusive seats for the most discriminating guests can be found in the Wall Sky Lounge. It is the world’s first Sky Lounge in a theatre and gives six people the opportunity to watch the show from above in their own separate lounge area with their own bar.

The colourful history of the Palast and the theatre district in the Friedrichstraße area is also the subject of a permanent exhibition in the foyer. Moreover, the exhibition features a giant contemporary aerial photo that pinpoints the locations of the entertainment venues from the much-discussed “Golden Twenties”. Annually, including guest performances and festivals, almost 700,000 people attend performances at Germany’s most visited theatre.

As the last prestigious building to be erected before the political transformation, the Friedrichstadt-Palast represents both the apogee and the end point of the age of "palaces" in the GDR. Due to its historical and artistic significance and its special place in the city's landscape, the Berlin State Office for the Preservation of Historic Monuments, the "Landesdenkmalamt", added the building to the list of protected monuments on 3 March 2020.