History in a Baroque building
The Armoury is the oldest surviving building located on Unter den Linden and it is also the most important large Baroque structure in the capital. Initially built as an armoury, since 2006 it has been home to the Museum of German History.
The Armoury was built in 1706 It was Nering, the builder of the Charlottenburg Palace, who initially oversaw the construction work. After his death, however, Grünberg took over the actual construction work while Schlüter supervised the entire project. The building with four wings, each having a length of about 90 metres, was built around a courtyard (Schlüterhof). The architecture of the Armoury is characterized by the harmony between its strictly classical facade and its ornate, Baroque sculpture reliefs.
In 1875, the Armoury was converted into a "Hall of Fame for the Prussian Army," which was basically a museum about the history of warfare. After being severely damaged during the war, the interior of the building was completely restored between 1949 and 1965. Starting in 1952, it became home to the Museum of German History (since 1990 the German Historical Museum), After a long period of being closed while undergoing expensive restoration work, it now hosts the Museum of German History`s permanent exhibition "German History in Images and Documents."
In May 2003, the extension building was opened, which was designed by the Chinese-American star architect IM Pei, who also designed the glass pyramid for the Louvre. In the elegant building consisting of sandstone and glass, which harmoniously fits in with the historic buildings found in the centre of Berlin, the temporary exhibitions of the Museum of German History can be seen.
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