Dating from 1816, the Neue Wache was designed by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and is a leading example of German neoclassicism. Originally built as a guardhouse for the troops of the Crown Prince of Prussia, the building has been used as a war memorial since 1931.
In 1931 the architect Heinrich Tessenow was commissioned by the state government of Prussia to redesign the building as a memorial for the German war dead. He converted the interior into a memorial hall with an oculus (circular skylight).
The Neue Wache was then known as the "Memorial for the Fallen of the War." The building was heavily damaged by bombing and artillery during the last months of World War II.
Part of the Soviez Zone of Berlin, in 1960 the repaired Neue Wache was reopened as a Memorial to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism.
After German reunification, the Neue Wache was again rededicated in 1993, as the "Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Tyranny."
The central sculpture is "Mother with her Dead Son" by Käthe Kollwitz.

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