Berlin Monument Authority  


World Heritage / Museumsinsel

Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)

Alte Nationalgalerie 1867-76 nach Entwürfen August Stülers durch Heinrich Strack errichtet; Photo: Wolfgang Bittner, Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (Berlin Monument Authority)
Photo: Wolfgang Bittner, LDA
Alte Nationalgalerie 1867-76, Kuppelsaal; Photo: Wolfgang Reuss, Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (Berlin Monument Authority)
 Photo: Wolfgang Reuss, LDA

Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)
Bodestraße 3, Mitte; 1866-76 according to designs by Friedrich August Stüler, constructed by Johann Heinrich Strack, Equestrian Statue of Friedrich Wilhelm IV, 1886 by Alexander Calandrelli

East of the Neues Museum rises the temple-like structure of the Alte Nationalgalerie. Its imposing size and open esplanade bordered by colonnades grant it a privileged position among the Museumsinsel buildings in terms of urban planning design. The generous space and surface arrangement as well as the staggering ceiling height from over the stairway and the equestrian statue to the upper structure is remarkable. The structure consists of an ashlar block-like base with embedded, high rectangular windows, on which a type of anta temple in form of a Corinthian pseudodipteros is set with an open hall of pillars before it. High on a pedestal on the middle landing of the stairway is the equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the museum's founder and originator of the fundamental idea for the Alte Nationalgalerie as part of a "sanctuary for art and science".

A transverse gallery leads to the lower exhibition rooms whose dark marble columns and deep-yellow, red-veined stucco marble walls with wax paintings of the Nibelungen saga by Ernst Ewald survive to this day. A stucco frieze of figures by Karl Geyer depicting German cultural history from the battle in the Teutoburger Wald to the coronation of Kaiser Wilhelm I subdivides the staircase to the left of the vestibule at mid-level. Sky-lit halls in the upper story adjoin the staircase. The first of these, the dome hall, is largely preserved in its original condition, whereas the adjacent "Cornelius halls" were modernized in 1935.