The Franziskaner-Klosterkirche was founded in 1250 in the early Gothic style as a monastery church for a Franciscan house. It was a fieldstone church, 52 metres long and 16 metres wide. Its remains can be found in the north wall of the present ruins. This was replaced with a three-aisled brick basilica church, begun at the end of the 13th century and completed in the first half of the 14th century, whose ruins still survive. In 1365 Louis II, Elector of Brandenburg was buried there. Around 1500 it was renovated.
The monastery was closed due to the Protestant Reformation's arrival in Berlin in 1539. None of the monastic buildings survive, though some of them housed Berlin's first printing press from 1571 and the Evangelisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster from 1574. Pupils and teachers at the latter included Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, whilst Otto von Bismarck also visited the church. Leonhard Thurneysser ran the printing press and also restored the church between 1583 and 1584.
Small modifications were made in the second half of the 17th century, such as demolishing the old staircase tower, building a new timber staircase on the west side and in 1712 demolishing the rood screen separating the nave from the chancel. 1712 also saw a fire in the church's roof and in 1719 the church was restored, raising the floor level by 1 metre and bricking up two northern choir windows.
Extensive renovations were carried out in the first half of the 19th century - the gabled tower was demolished in 1826, two new towers were built on the west side in 1842, a new sacristy was built and the floor lowered again. Plans were produced for the work by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Christian Gottlieb Cantian and the former track-inspector Berger was preceded by the construction work - Berger's second design was that ultimately implemented. Work lasted until 1845, though the church was closed due to severe damp in its masonry in 1902 and in 1926 most of the 19th century changes were reversed. The church was re-consecrated on 24 May 1936.
The church was destroyed on 3rd April 1945 in the bombing of Berlin in World War II. In 1950 the debris was removed and the church ruins secured between 1959 and 1963, although the ruined monastic buildings were demolished completely to make way for a park. The ruins were restored again in 2003-2004 and are now used for exhibitions, plays and concerts.References:
Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.
Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.
In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.
During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.
In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.
The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.