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Imperial Castle

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Type: Monument
Location: city centre

Address: ul. Sw.Marcin 80/82

Opening hours: 1 - 1

The monumental Imperial Castle full of towers and spires, dating from 1904 - 1910, was built for German Emperor Wilhelm II as his residence. The designer was Franz Schwechten, one of the most famous German architects at that time. It is the youngest castle in Europe. The Palace was meant as part of the complex of buildings known as the ''Imperial District''. To reflect the glory of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, the neo-Romanesque style was favoured by Wilhelm as the most appropriate for the building. The 74-metre-high tower dominates over the whole structure. The most imposing parts of the interior include a chapel, modelled on the world-known Capella Palatina in Palermo, and a lovely throne chamber used by the Emperor during his stays in the Palace. In the mid-war period the Castle became the Polish President's residence. During World War II the Castle underwent rebuilding works to become Hitler's official residence. However, the Castle suffered severely in the 1945 wartime fights. It was in such a terrible condition that some thought of putting it down. Finally, it was restored but not all the architectural details have been preserved. The lion fountain, modelled on one in the Alhambra Palace in Grenada, in the Rose Courtyard is also worth seeing. It is a venue for summer concerts and film shows. It has been registered as a national historical monument since 1979. For some time the building served as a seat of the municipal authorities, thus, it used to be called ''New Town Hall''. Nowadays, due to a lack of funds only part of the Castle is home to such cultural institutions as the cinema (the Throne Chamber) and the Animation Theatre.
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