Lonely Planet review for Martin-Gropius-Bau
With its mosaics, terracotta reliefs and airy atrium, this exhibit space is a high-calibre showcase for crème-de-la-crème travelling shows. No matter whether it's a Diane Arbus retrospective, a survey of art from Los Angeles since the 1950s or an ethnological exhibit on the mysteries of Angkor Wat, it's bound to be well-curated and utterly fascinating.
The 1881 three-storey cube exudes the majesty of an Italian Renaissance palace, a design that sprang from the fevered brow of Martin Gropius (Walter's great-uncle). After WWII, the pretty building stood neglected just west of the Berlin Wall (there's still a short stretch of it running east along Niederkirchner Strasse), patiently awaiting its restoration.
The Berlin state parliament convenes in the stately neo-Renaissance structure across the street.