Famous architectural structures in Germany
These buildings are all worth a visit!
The Semperoper, Dresden
This beautiful Opera House and Concert Hall was originally built in 1841, designed by architect Gottfried Semper. Devasted by a fire, it was rebuilt in 1878 in a Neo-Renaissance design (also known as Revival Renaissance or Dresden Baroque). During the WWII Dresden bombings in 1945, the interior was completely ruined, and it was been largely rebuilt once again. It is considered one of the finest concert halls on Earth.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most-visited landmark in Germany, Cologne Cathedral is also the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. It is the tallest twin-spired building in the world and the biggest Gothic building in Northern Europe. Cologne Cathedral is a fine example of German Gothic architecture.
This public library was only built in 2011 but demonstrates Stuttgart’s continued commitment to modernity, clean lines, and functionalism. Designed by Yi Architects, this 45 x 45 meter cube has perfectly geometric patterned windows on each façade. The interior is white, light, and truly meditative. This public library is a great example of modern German architecture.
Duchess Anna Amalia Library, Weimar
The home of Duchess Anna Amalia (1739–1807) was established as a library during her lifetime. Today, this UNESCO-protected building is a public library and is still home to the Duchess’ own collection of Shakespeare and one of the best collections of German Literature in the country. Located in the so-called Green Castle, the library has a stunning oval-shaped Rococo Hall at its heart.
Hohenzollern Castle, Baden-Württemberg
This imposing castle is a memorial to the two former castles that enjoyed the same hilltop position. The first was built in the 11th century for the House of Hohenzollern. The current, and third, castle was built as a memorial in the mid-1800s. It was inspired by both the English Gothic Revival movement and the French Chateaux of the Loire Valley.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria
Quite probably the most photographed castle on Earth, and the very castle on which the Disney logo is based, this is one of the most famous structures in Germany. It has a classic fairy-tale design and was built in the Romanesque Revival style in 1869. Only a castle in name, it was actually a palace for King Ludwig II in honor of Richard Wagner.
This Lutheran Church is an excellent example of Baroque architecture. It was built in the 18th century to replace a church that had been in the location previously, and at that time, it had one of the biggest domes in Europe. Built as a testament to the strength of German Protestantism, it sadly suffered in the Dresden bombing of WWII. In recent years it has been rebuilt to its former glory.
The home of the German parliament (Bundestag), the imposing Reichstag Building is, for some, the heart of Berlin. Completed in 1894 in a Neo-Renaissance style, the building was later ravaged by both fire and war and has been renovated a number of times. Most notably, it had a glass dome viewing area added in 1999, designed by Norman Foster as a testament to the original cupola of the building.
One of the world’s newest and most-talked-about concert halls, the Elbphilharmonie is so-named because it was constructed on the banks of the River Elbe. The main body is a glass construction, designed to look like a sail or wave, that sits atop an old warehouse. Referred to by locals as the ‘Elphi’, it is home to the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.
The Gendarmenmarkt Square in Berlin is home to a stunning ensemble of famous German architecture. This includes the 18th century ‘French Church’, the rebuilt ‘German Church’ and the modern Konzerthaus (Concert Hall). In December, the square hosts one of Berlin’s most famous Christmas markets.