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Bucureşti, Київ, Praha, София, Warszawa

Admired, hated, ridiculed and missed–cultural and folk palaces played and still play an important role in Eastern Europe. They are and were state-controlled symbols of power and, at the same time, they offered a certain degree of freedom. As places of entertainment and politics in the capitals, they shaped the political and cultural self-image during the period of state socialism. How much utopia is still contained in these monumental buildings? With the Palace of the Republic, such a palace of culture also stood in Berlin–on the site of today’s Humboldt Forum. On this weekend, artists and researchers from Bucharest, Kyiv, Prague, Sofia and Warsaw will focus on the palaces of their cities. What role did these buildings play in the 1980s and 1990s, and what do theyrepresent today? One thing is certain: the way in which the architectural and cultural heritage of the palaces is dealt with is as diverse as the societies of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

Discover fascinating documentary films, and enjoy literature and video art created especially for this weekend. Listen to indie pop from Bulgaria and electro beats from the Ukraine, take part in round-table discussions and exciting debates.


From the center of Berlin, the theme weekend draws attention to transformation processes and major events of the political movement that took place in and around the Palace of the Republic in 1989/90 and beyond. In a variety of formats, it broadens the view beyond Berlin and German-German issues and shows connections to comparable politically charged places of transformation in cities in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe.

Using the examples of Berlin, Bucharest, Kyiv, Prague, Sofia and Warsaw, we will trace processes of social upheaval this weekend with a view to the symbolic site of the Palace of Culture. At the same time, we will ask about the significance of these places for the present. The route marked out for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe along the 5 cities will be extended by side trips to Minsk in Belarus and Belgrade in Serbia.

Various formats are on offer during the theme weekend: readings, round table discussions, concerts, panel discussions and installations. People from the respective countries come into contact with each other and with the audience. In the events, we invite scholars from various disciplines and artists to exchange ideas about the spaces of socialism in the context of the political and social developments of 1989/90 and beyond.

The thematic weekend “Post/Socialist Palaces – Bucuresti, Київ, Praha, София, Warszawa” is part of the Humboldt Forum Foundation’s program focus “The Palace of the Republic is Present”. The program is based on the cooperation of the different actors at the Humboldt Forum, the exchange with experts, interviews with contemporary witnesses, research and a planned special exhibition in 2024.

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Programme Saturday

Programme Sunday

© Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss

Series “Palaces for the People. Palaces of Culture in Eastern Europe Before and After 1989”

The series “Palaces for the People. Palaces of Culture in Eastern Europe Before and After 1989” is curated by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung.

Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung

A project funded by the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED Diktatur (The Federal Foundation for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Eastern Germany)

Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung

More partners

ukrainian institute
Tschechisches Zentrum Berlin
Part of
The Palace of the Republic is Present
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