German Chancellery
The German Chancellery is a federal agency
Federal agency (Germany)
Federal agencies in Germany are established to assist the country's executive branch on the federal level according to of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany...

 serving the executive office of the Chancellor
Chancellor of Germany
The Chancellor of Germany is, under the German 1949 constitution, the head of government of Germany...

, the head of the German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 federal government. The chief of the Chancellery (Chef des Bundeskanzleramtes) holds the rank of either a Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government....

 (Staatssekretär) or a Federal Minister (Bundesminister). The agency's primary function is to assist the Chancellor in coordinating the activities of the Federal Government. The current chief of the Chancellery is Minister Ronald Pofalla
Ronald Pofalla
Ronald Pofalla is a German politician, currently serving as the Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery and a Federal Minister for Special Affairs in the Second Cabinet Merkel....


Bundeskanzleramt is also the name of the building in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 that houses the personal offices of the Chancellor and the Chancellery staff.


  • Berlin 1871-1945. The Chancellery was established in 1871 as the Reichskanzlei
    Reich Chancellery
    The Reich Chancellery was the traditional name of the office of the Chancellor of Germany in the period of the German Reich from 1871 to 1945...

    (Imperial Chancellery) of the German Empire
    German Empire
    The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

     and originally had its seat in the Radziwiłł Palace (also known as Reichskanzlerpalais), originally built by Prince Antoni Radziwiłł on Wilhelmstraße 77 in Berlin. In 1938–39, the Neue Reichskanzlei (New Imperial Chancellery), designed by Albert Speer
    Albert Speer
    Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office...

    , was built; its main entrance was located at Voßstraße 6, while the building occupied the entire northern side of the street. It was damaged during World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

     and later demolished by Soviet
    Soviet Army
    The Soviet Army is the name given to the main part of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1992. Previously, it had been known as the Red Army. Informally, Армия referred to all the MOD armed forces, except, in some cases, the Soviet Navy.This article covers the Soviet Ground...

     occupation forces.

  • Bonn 1949-1999. After the war, Bonn
    Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

     became seat of the West German
    West Germany
    West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

     government and the Chancellery (now known as the Bundeskanzleramt — Chancellor's Office) moved into Palais Schaumburg
    Palais Schaumburg
    The Palais Schaumburg is a castle-like building in Bonn which has housed parts of the German Federal Chancellery since 1949 and from 1976 to reunification was the first official residence and office of the Chancellor...

    until a new Chancellery building was completed in 1976. The new West German Chancellery building was a black structure completed in the International Style
    International style (architecture)
    The International style is a major architectural style that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s, the formative decades of Modern architecture. The term originated from the name of a book by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, The International Style...

    , in an unassuming example of modernism. A separate building Kanzlerbungalow in Bonn served as a private apartment/residence of the Chancellor and his family 1964-1999.

  • Berlin 1999-2001. In the summer of 1999, as part of the German government's move to Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

    , the Chancellery was temporarily housed in the former GDR State Council building (Staatsratsgebäude) as the new Chancellery building was not yet finished at the time.

Berlin 2001: the new Chancellery building

The current Chancellery building (opened in the spring of 2001) was designed by Charlotte Frank and Axel Schultes and was built by a joint venture of Royal BAM Group's subsidiary Wayss & Freytag and the Spanish Acciona
Acciona, S.A., is a Spanish conglomerate group dedicated to civil engineering, construction and infrastructure.The company was founded in 1997 through the merger of Entrecanales y Tavora and Cubiertas y MZOV. The company's headquarters is in Alcobendas, Community of Madrid, Spain. The company's U.S...

 from concrete and glass in an essentially postmodern
Postmodern architecture
Postmodern architecture began as an international style the first examples of which are generally cited as being from the 1950s, but did not become a movement until the late 1970s and continues to influence present-day architecture...

 style, though some elements of modernist
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

 style are evident. Occupying 12,000 square meters (129,166 square feet), it is also one of the largest government headquarters buildings in the world. By comparison, the new Chancellery building is eight times the size of the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. A semi official Chancellor apartment is located on the top floor of the building. The 200 square meters two-room flat was only occupied by Gerhard Schröder. Mrs. Merkel uses her private apartment in Berlin.
Because of its distinctive but controversial architecture, journalists, tourist guides and some locals refer to the buildings as Kohllosseum (as a mix of collosseum and former chancellor Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

 under whom it was built), Bundeswaschmaschine (federal laundry machine; because of the round-shaped windows and its cubic form), or Elefantenklo (elephant loo).


Access for the general public is only possible on particular days during the year. Since 1999, the German government has welcomed the general public for one weekend per year to visit its buildings - usually in August.

Heads of the Chancellery

Chiefs (Directors) of the Chancellery attend Cabinet meetings. They may also sit as members of the Cabinet if they are also given the position of Minister for Special Affairs
Minister without Portfolio
A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister that does not head a particular ministry...

 (Minister für besondere Aufgaben). They are often called "Kanzleramtsminister" (chancellery minister).
  • Walter Hallstein
    Walter Hallstein
    Walter Hallstein was a German politician and professor.He was one of the key figures of European integration after World War II, becoming the first President of the Commission of the European Economic Community, serving from 1958 to 1967. He famously defined his position as "a kind of Prime...

     (CDU), 1950–1951
  • Otto Lenz
    Otto Lenz
    Otto Lenz was a German politician , serving from 1951 – 1953 as Head of the Chancellery and from 1953 until his death as a member of the German Bundestag. He was also a signatory of the ....

     (CDU), 1951–1953
  • Hans Globke
    Hans Globke
    - See also :* Theodor Oberländer* Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff- Bibliography :* Tetens, T.H. The New Germany and the Old Nazis. Random House/Marzani & Munsel, New York, 1961. LCN 61-7240....

     (CDU), 1953–1963
  • Ludger Westrick, 1963–1966
  • Werner Knieper, 1966–1967
  • Karl Carstens
    Karl Carstens
    Karl Carstens was a German politician. He served as President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1979 to 1984.-Biography:...

     (CDU), 1967–1969
  • Horst Ehmke
    Horst Ehmke
    Horst Paul August Ehmke is a German lawyer, law professor and politician of the Social Democratic Party . He served as Federal Minister of Justice , Chief of Staff at the German Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Affairs and Federal Minister for Research, Technology, and Post...

     (SPD), 1969–1972
  • Horst Grabert (CDU), 1972–1974
  • Manfred Schüler
    Manfred Schüler
    Manfred Schüler is a German financial and management expert and politician .After teaching management and business studies activities at several scientific institutes and the private sector, since 1958 he has been a member of the SPD for issues of financial reform in the Bundestag.After the change...

     (SPD), 1974–1980
  • Manfred Lahnstein
    Manfred Lahnstein
    Manfred Lahnstein is a German politician . In 1982 he was German Federal Minister of Finance as well as Federal Minister of Economics and until 2004 worked for the media conglomerate Bertelsmann.- Family :...

     (SPD), 1980–1982
  • Gerhard Konow, 1982
  • Waldemar Schreckenberger (CDU), 1982–1984
  • Wolfgang Schäuble
    Wolfgang Schäuble
    Wolfgang Schäuble is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union , currently serving as the Federal Minister of Finance in the Second Cabinet Merkel....

     (CDU), 1984–1989
  • Rudolf Seiters
    Rudolf Seiters
    Rudolf Seiters is a German politician of the CDU party.From 1989-1991, he was Federal Minister for Special Affairs and the Head of the Office of the German Chancellery. From 1991-1993, he was the Minister of the Interior. From 1998-2002, he was the Vice President of the German Bundestag, or...

     (CDU) 1989–1991
  • Friedrich Bohl (CDU), 1991–1998
  • Bodo Hombach
    Bodo Hombach
    Bodo Hombach , German politician, Member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and now Publishing House Director, was also Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks in Schröder's first Cabinet from 1998 to 1999. Hombach then changed jobs and became EU Special...

     (SPD), 1998–1999
  • Frank-Walter Steinmeier
    Frank-Walter Steinmeier
    Frank-Walter Steinmeier is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany , and currently the leader of the opposition in the Bundestag. Steinmeier was a close aide of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, serving as Chief of Staff in the German Chancellery from 1999 to 2005...

     (SPD), 1999–2005
  • Thomas de Maizière
    Thomas de Maizière
    Karl Ernst Thomas de Maizière is a German politician , currently serving as the Minister of Defence in the Second Cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel....

     (CDU), 2005–2009
  • Ronald Pofalla
    Ronald Pofalla
    Ronald Pofalla is a German politician, currently serving as the Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery and a Federal Minister for Special Affairs in the Second Cabinet Merkel....

    (CDU), since 2009

External links

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