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Karl Friedrich Schinkel Edit Profile

Architect , decorator , painter

One of the most prolific German architects of the first half of the 19th century, Karl Friedrich Schinkel created more than 150 buildings in Germany and Poland, most of which are still to be seen today—churches and museums, palaces and monuments, bridges, schools, theaters and castles. He was also a accomplished painter, stage set designer, and interior decorator.


After returning to Berlin from his first trip to Italy in 1805, he started to earn his living as a painter. When he saw Caspar David Friedrich's painting Wanderer above the Sea of Fog at the 1810 Berlin art exhibition he decided that he would never reach such mastery of painting and turned to architecture.

After Napoleon's defeat, Schinkel oversaw the Prussian Building Commission. He was responsible for reshaping Berlin into a representative capital for Prussia and oversaw projects in the expanded Prussian territories from the Rhineland in the west to Königsberg in the east, such as New Altstadt Church.

From 1808 to 1817 Schinkel renovated and reconstructed Schloss Rosenau, Coburg, in the Gothic Revival style.

His most famous buildings include Neue Wache (1816–1818), National Monument for the Liberation Wars (1818–1821), the Schauspielhaus (1819–1821) at the Gendarmenmarkt, which replaced the earlier theatre that was destroyed by fire in 1817, and the Altes Museum ('old museum') on Museum Island (1823–1830). He also carried out improvements to the Crown Prince's Palace.


  • 1818-1821 Schauspielhaus (theater) at the Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

    1821 Church of St Nicholas. Magde- burg-Neustadt

    1822-1825 Academic Museum of Art (formerly of Anatomy), Hof- garten, Bonn

    1823- 1829 Old Museum, Lustgarten. Berlin

    1824- 1830 Fnedrichswverder Church, Berlin

    1825 Work begins on the Academy of Building (destroyed), lighthouse, Kap Arkona, Rugen

    1826-1829 Schloss Charlottenhof m Sanssouci Park, Potsdarn

    1830-1837 Church of St Nicholas, Potsdam

    1838-1865 Schloss Kamen/, Silesia


Quotations: "In architecture everything must be true, all mask¬ing or disguising of the structure is a fault.”