Monday, 2 July 2012

Germania - a virtual tour


Normally I only include one or two pictures with each blog entry. However, when I was researching Germania I came across so many striking images that I thought I’d share some of them here, starting with this artist’s impression of the approach to the Volkshalle or Great Hall:


This monstrosity was so huge that it would have been the biggest structure in the world if it had ever been built. Rising more than 1000 ft it had a capacity of 180 000 people. One of the unpredicted consequences of having so many people in a single space is that their breath would have risen into the dome, condensed, then fallen as rain, making it the only building even to generate its own climate. To get a sense of its sheer size here’s a model with the Brandenburg Gate in the foreground to show the scale:


The Great Hall stood at the end of the Avenue of Victory. The following two images show its position within the city:



Another of Germania’s landmarks would have been the Arch of Triumph. Once again, it was planned to be on a gargantuan scale and have a cubic capacity 49 times larger than the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. One wonders why they didn’t go the whole hog and make it 50 times. Rather presumptively, Hitler had drawn a sketch of it as early as 1924. Here’s his original:



If you’d like a virtual tour of Germania, I recommend this video:


14 comments:

  1. Nazi breath as spitty rain. Nice (not). LOL!

    The comments under this clip in YouTube are beyond scary. LOL! Oh dear. Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kitty - this blog does not endorse crazy comments on youtube! ;o) x

      Delete
  2. This is your best blog entry so far, and a double! Really interesting and I enjoyed the video tour. I think it was a shrewd idea not to repeat Robert Harris and have scenes set in Berlin/Germania, it's such an obvious location to use; it's what makes Afrika Reich different.

    Best regards, Ron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron - thanks and glad you enjoyed the Germania blogs

      Delete
  3. Hitler also made drawings of the Great Hall in 1925 and was inspired by the Pantheon (at least according to Griesler's autbiography. Btw, I liked the way he designed the Bridge across the Kongo in your book!).

    There's a more detailed Wikipedia entry on the Hall here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkshalle#cite_ref-1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume you mean Giesler, Monsterbau (great name by the way!). Very informative link too. I certainly learnt some new facts about the Great Hall.

      I'm beginning to disagree with you (and myself!), Guy, maybe there is more to be said about Germanaia. Could you set a scene inside the Hall?

      Delete
    2. Monsterbau - thanks for your comment and link

      Ron - like I said in 'G is for...' there's a scene set in Germania in TAR2; I might not be able to set it actually in the hall, but it might feature in the background. In fact, isn't there a joke in FATHERLAND about the only way NOT to see it in Berlin is to be inside the building?

      Delete
  4. I added a PS to my comment yesterday but for some reason it didn't post. I was just saying that having walked down UdL and through the B.burg Gate seeing the size of the Great Hall in comparison is a jaw-dropper! No wonder they never could have built it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are aware the building such a city was a fantasy from the start. It would have been impossible to build such huge buildings on the ground of Berlin because it's boggy. To build such structures you need a granite foundatin - such as in Manhattan (hence why it has so many skyscrapers.) People always overlook this fact when talking about germania - including Speer himself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GD - Thanks for your comment. See post 'G is for Germania' above!

      Delete
  6. Great pics. I hope we're going to see more of Germania in Book 2!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andy - thanks for your recent comments. Yes, Germania will have a cameo appearance in Book 2. Have replied to your other question below...

      Delete