Built on the site of the city’s only natural salt spring, Berlin’s Admiralpalast opened its doors in 1910, after expanding the original Admiralsgartenbad’s wellness offerings by adding a cafe, cinema, ice rink and luxury spa. The new Vergnügungstempel—Temple of Pleasure— was a hit with decadent Berlin night-owls, becoming a centerpiece of Friedrichstraße’s cabaret culture, with its patrons’ Weimar-era extravagances becoming legend in Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin.
The complex survived WWII with minimal damage and, to the joy of war weary Berliners, opened just six months later with the Staatsoper’s production of Krenek’s “Orpheus and Eurydice”. Not every performance was as welcome however—in 1955 the same stage would witness the forced marriage of East Germany’s Communist and Social Democrat Parties to form the SED.
Since reopening in 2006 after a €14 million facelift, the Admiralspalast has hosted more than a million visitors and has once again become a hotspot for all Berlin’s hedonistic theatre-lovers.