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A stunning Berlin, Charlottenburg foyer

Berlin possesses a surprising number of magnificent period buildings, but many of its architectural highlights are quite literally hidden behind closed doors.

This is especially true of the city's apartment blocks, a large proportion of which were stripped of their exterior stucco in the first couple of decades following WWII, yet often left untouched inside.

In other words, the drab and apparently characterless residential blocks that much of Berlin seems to possess in abundance could well be hiding a secret, exquisite interior.

The extraordinarily ornate entrance hall pictured here is sequestered in a building on Charlottenburg's swanky Stuttgarter Platz. Once a grand hotel, the exterior lacks its original ornamentation, but the lobby provides a beautifully preserved example of lavish, turn of the-century opulence.

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