Berlin - Hotel Adlon 1926/2004

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Hotel Adlon is a hotel on Unter den Linden, the main boulevard in the Berlin city centre, directly opposite the Brandenburg Gate. The first Hotel Adlon was built in 1907 by Lorenz Adlon, a successful Berlin wine merchant and restaurateur. Adlon wanted to build his hotel on the Pariser Platz, at the heart of Berlin. The Adlon was one of the most famous hotels in Europe between the two World Wars and hosted celebrities including Louise Brooks, Charlie Chaplin, Herbert Hoover, Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich. The hotel continued to operate throughout World War II, although parts were converted to a military field hospital during the final days of the Battle for Berlin. The hotel survived the war without any major damage, having avoided the bombs and shelling that had leveled the city. However, on the night of 2 May 1945 a fire, started in the hotel's wine cellar by intoxicated Soviet soldiers, left the main building in ruins. Following the war, the East German government reopened the surviving rear service wing under the Hotel Adlon name. The ruined main building and all of the other buildings on Pariser Platz were demolished.The square was left as an abandoned,grassed-over buffer with the West, with the Brandenburg Gate sitting alone by the Berlin Wall. With the reunification of Germany, the site was bought by a West German investment firm. A building loosely inspired by the original was designed and on 23 August 1997 the president of the Federal Republic of Germany opened the new Hotel Adlon, rebuilt on the same location as the original hotel.