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Gottfried Semper

Before he decided to study mathematics, Gottfried Semper chose a career as a professional army officer. Even when he finally attended the Munich academy of architecture, his enthusiasm for it was still muted. Yet he was to have a profound impact on German architecture.


  • 1838-41 The Hoftheater, Dresden (demolished)

    1840 Synagogue. Dresden (demolished)

    1847-55Gemaldegalene. Dresden

    1848 Palais Oppenheim. Diesden (demolished)

    1850 Moves to London

    1855 Moves to Zurich

    1858-63 The Polytechnikum. Zurich (today ETH)

    1860-63 Works on his book Style

    1862 Observatonum, Zurich

    1869 Moves to Vienna

    1870-78 Rebuilding of the Dresden Hoftheater (also demolished)

    1874 Work begins on the Vienna Burgtheater

Major achievements

  • Gottfried Semper designed and built the Semper Opera House in Dresden between 1838 and 1841.

    Semper wrote extensively about the origins of architecture (The Four Elements of Architecture, 1851).

    He was one of the major figures in the controversy surrounding the polychrome architectural style of ancient Greece. Semper designed works at all scales, from a baton for Richard Wagner to major urban interventions like the re-design of the Ringstraße in Vienna.


  • Preliminary Remarks (1834)
Gottfried Semper
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Born November 29, 1803
Died May 15, 1879
(aged 75)
  • 1834
    professor of architecture, Dresden Academy


Anastasiya Karnaukh last changed 27/11/2014 view changes
  • Career
    • Dresden Academy
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