Rathaus Schöneberg

sights / Architecture

Rathaus Schöneberg information

Berlin , Germany
Address
Street John-F-Kennedy-Platz
Getting there
subway Rathaus Schöneberg
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Lonely Planet review

The Rathaus Schöneberg (Town Hall) was the seat of the West Berlin government from 1948 to 1990 but is really best remembered for a single day in 1963 when President John F Kennedy was in town. From the steps of the Rathaus, the silver-tongued orator flayed the forces of darkness to the east and applauded the powers of light in the west, concluding with the now famous words: ‘All free men, wherever they live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words: Ich bin ein Berliner’. The adoring crowd of half a million cheered his words all the way into the history books.

The Rathaus clock tower holds a copy of the Liberty Bell, presented to the city in 1950 by the US army commander in Berlin, General Lucius D Clay. More than seven million Americans had donated money towards this replica of the Philadelphia original.

A popular flea market, the Flohmarkt Schöneberg , takes place at weekends outside the town hall.