The Altes Museum: A Neoclassical-Style Museum in Berlin

The Altes Museum or formerly known as Königliches Museum (Royal Museum) is a Neoclassical-style museum located in Berlin, Germany. Built between 1823 and 1830, the museum was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. This museum is considered as one of the most important works of neoclassical architecture that adopts bearing masonry as its construction system.

the altes museum

It currently houses antiquities collection (Antikensammlung) of the Berlin State Museums since its restoration work around 2010 and 2011. Originally, the museum was built to house the Prussian royal family’s art collection. In 1999, the Altes Museum was given a UNESCO World Heritage Site title.

altes museum as unesco world heritage site

Schinkel decided to incorporate the then Königliches Museum into an ensemble of buildings that surround the pleasure garden or the Berliner Lustgarten (Berlin’s pleasure garden). He also put some symbolical factors in his design. For instance, the Stadtschloss in the south end was a symbol of worldly power while the Zeughaus in the west to represent military might.

the Zeughaus in the west to represent military might

There’s also the Berliner Dom in the east part of the building to symbolize the embodiment of divine authority.

north part of the garden as a space for education

To the north part of the garden, there is a space to provide education for people. The space is seen as a science and art symbol.

the berliner dome to symbolize divine authority

Aside from construction, Schinkel was also in charge of the renovation for the Berliner Dom which was known as a baroque cathedral. The renovation turned the space into a neoclassical space to harmonize and integrate the whole ensembles of the museum.