Alte Nationalgalerie

Alte Nationalgalerie, the old gallery of Berlin.

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a city rich in culture. In it it is possible to find a great variety of galleries and museums, which are part of the artistic heritage of the metropolis. Among the most famous art galleries in Berlin is the Alte Nationalgalerie, one of the oldest in the country.

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What is the history of the Alte Nationalgalerie?

In the mid-19th century, Germany was experiencing tremendous population growth, as its cities expanded and its industries became more prosperous. As might be expected, this development influenced the progress of the arts. 

The Alte Nationalgalerie, was born during this same period. This gallery was founded thanks to the banker Joachim Wagener, who was an art collector, and decided to donate more than 200 pictures, paintings and portraits to the Berlin Academy of Arts.

However, the academy building was too small to display such a large collection, so planning began to build a new museum. The then Prussian king, William Frederick IV, was very interested in the project and even drew up some plans for the future gallery.

This was inaugurated in 1876, becoming one of the first exhibition centers located in the Spree, a small islet in the Esprea River, which is currently known as Museum Island.

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What to see at the Alte Nationalgalerie?

The old gallery of Berlin is considered one of the most valuable museums in the region, its wide variety of works of art is surprising and in it we can find copies created by the most prominent European artists.


Among its exhibits, we find works by Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Carl Blechen, Caspar David Friedrich, Adolph von Menzel, and Karl Friedrich Schinkel.


In addition, the Alte Nationalgalerie has large spaces dedicated to the movements of romanticism and classicism. Similarly, this museum houses important statues and sculptures created by prominent German sculptors, such as Johann Gottfried Schadow and Ludwig Schwanthaler.


Despite this, the headquarters of this fantastic museum has had to go through moments of enormous difficulty, since it was one of the main objectives during the bombings that occurred on Berlin, when the Second World War was at its height.


These attacks caused great damage to the structure of the building, for which it had to go through an extensive period of renovations that lasted for the rest of the 20th century. Today, the Alte Nationalgalerie stands out for its extraordinary neoclassical architecture, reminiscent of the most majestic temples of Ancient Greece.

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How and when to visit the Alte Nationalgalerie?

Museum Island, where this and many other galleries are located, is one of the most visited areas of Berlin. So if you want to discover one of the treasures of the German capital, this will be your ideal place.


Keep in mind that the Alte Nationalgalerie is open from Tuesday to Sunday, so you can visit it on any of those days. Similarly, this museum is open almost all year round.


Likewise, the entrance to the Alte Nationalgalerie is not free, with it you can visit all the spaces of this unique gallery.

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