Cologne Cathedral

The architecture of especially Germany has a long, rich and diverse history. Every major European style from Roman to Postmodern is represented here, including renowned examples of Carolingian, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Modern and International Style architecture.

Centuries of fragmentation of Germany into principalities and kingdoms obviously caused a great regional diversity and favoured vernacular architecture. This made for a heterogeneous and diverse architectural style, with architecture differing from town to town. While this diversity may still be witnessed in small towns, the devastation of architectural heritage in the larger cities during World War II resulted in extensive rebuilding characterized by simple modernist architecture. In this context, however, it must be emphasized that many German cities had already changed their face in the course of industrialization in the 19th and 20th centuries. Cities like Munich or Berlin had already developed from very small municipalities to large or larger cities. German urban culture is therefore not only urban, it is also shaped by medium-sized cities, rural small towns and large villages. From an architectural point of view, it is a generally recognized fact that the main centers are not representative of the whole country. 

One of the best known, postmodern architectural styles is Bauhaus, which has its origins in Weimar and Dessau. Impressive buildings can be visited, a latest example the completely renovated Neue Nationalgalerie, a world-renowned architectural icon, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1965 and 1968 as his last independent work and a crowning legacy of a visionary 20th century architect.