Alte Nationalgalerie

Berlin, Germany

Alte Nationalgalerie


The Alte Nationalgalerie (lit. Old National Gallery) is a listed building on the Museum Island in the historic centre of Berlin and part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It was built from 1862 to 1876 by order of King Frederick William IV of Prussia according to plans by Friedrich August St├╝ler and Johann Heinrich Strack in Neoclassical and Renaissance Revival styles. The building's outside stair features a memorial to Frederick William IV. Currently, the Alte Nationalgalerie is home to paintings and sculptures of the 19th century and hosts a variety of tourist buses daily.

The first impetus to founding a national gallery came in 1815. The idea gained momentum during the 1830s, but without an actual building. In 1841 the first real plans were created. These plans never made it out of the planning stages, but finally in 1861 the National Gallery was founded, after banker Johann Heinrich Wagener donated 262 paintings by both German and foreign artists. This donation formed the basis of the current collection. The collection was first known as Wagenersche und Nationalgalerie (Wagener and National Gallery) and was housed in the buildings of the Akademie der K├╝nste. The current building, shaped like a Roman temple with an appended apse, was designed by Friedrich August St├╝ler and after his death, realised in detail under Carl Busse.

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