Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin Guide: Art, History & Must-See

Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) is one of the most famous museums in Berlin, Germany. Along with Altes Museum, Bode Museum, Neues Museum, and Pergamon Museum, it forms Berlin’s famous Museum Island.

In this travel guide, you’ll find useful information about Alte Nationalgalerie, and tips to make the most of your trip there.

About Alte Nationalgalerie

Built between 1866 and 1876, Alte Nationalgalerie is home to one of Germany’s most significant collections of 19th-century art. It was restored in neoclassical style and finally reopened in 2001.

Ticket prices

The entrance ticket to Alte Nationalgalerie is €12 per person. You can book your tickets online to skip the line.

Opening hours & Address

  • Opening hours: Alte Nationalgalerie opens from 10 am to 6 pm on Tuesday to Sunday. It closes on Monday.
  • Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany.
Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Germany.

History of Alte Nationalgalerie

The museum not only has artwork on exhibit, but it also has a fascinating past for you to explore.

With the death of a banker named Joachim Heinrich William Wagener in 1861, his collection of paintings to the Prussian state in his will for the enjoyment of all art enthusiasts remains.

Friedrich August Stüler quickly begins work on constructing a suitable location for Wagener’s precious treasures. Johann Heinrich Strack then gets control and finishes the building.

In 1876, the museum began welcoming visitors. However, it didn’t remain open due to World War II bombs landing on the building.

The gallery was renovated, but its previous grandeur was not immediately returned.

Due to the partition of Germany, the exhibitions were spread out throughout numerous locations in West Berlin and the GDR and didn’t return until 1990, when Germany was reunited.

The museum was once more repaired by the city in the 1990s with a new version of Caspar David Friedrich hall. In 2001, the Alte Nationalgalerie reopened and has welcomed guests since then.

Things to see at Alte Nationalgalerie

The architecture

Don’t rush. Before entering the Alte Nationalgalerie, pause for a moment. Observe the impressive neoclassical structure.

The upper section’s pillars are all designed to resemble those in an old temple.

King Frederick William IV of Prussia is the author of the concept. His theories impact Berlin’s 19th-century architecture, as shown in the design of the Alte Nationalgalerie, a classicist temple structure.

Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Germany.
Artwork from Johann Gottfried Schadow.

The artwork

As you walk into the museum, you’ll be surrounded by Prussian classicism. In the foyer and on the first level, there are statues and artwork from this era.

On the second floor are the Impressionist paintings. Here, you will see well-known pieces by Monet, Renoir, and Manet.

Don’t forget to make time to appreciate classic works of art like Renoir’s “In Summer.”

The third floor displays romantic works from the Goethe era. The Hall is where you can see Caspar David Friedrich’s works. “Monk by the Sea” is one of the highlight artworks that you can’t miss here.

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