Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin Building the Gallery Plans for the Alte Nationalgalerie can be traced back to a drawing by Wilhelm IV dated 1841. However, the credit for the design of this building, one of five on Museum Island, goes to architect Friedrich August Stüler who imagined a temple-like structure built on a pedestal of stone. Work on the gallery began in 1866 but, unfortunately, Stüler died later that year. The management of the site reverted to Johann Heinrich Strack, who oversaw the project until its completion 10 years later, in 1876. The most noticeable aspect of the museum is the massive steps outside the neo-Classical-style building. Though these were not included in Wilhelm’s sketch, Stüler thought them appropriate for a building of such stature. There’s also a marvelous sweeping staircase inside. The Alte Nationalgalerie was largely destroyed during World War II. Many of the paintings and other works of art were forever gone and some were moved to Russia. The Nazis also sold or destroyed paintings that they believed to be “degenerate,” greatly reducing the museum’s permanent collection. Despite the massive amount of destruction, the museum was partially re-opened by 1949. However, Germany was soon to be divided and with the political division of Germany came the division of the collection at the Old National Gallery. Eventually, after the wall fell, the collection was reunited. Complete restoration of the museum was completed in 2001 and the museum opened to the public once again.turkeyarena.com About the Collection Alte Nationalgalerie is most well-known for its fine collection of 19th century paintings. It’s also home to the world’s largest collection of works by the city’s native son, Adolph von Menzel (1815-1905). The museum, the first on the island to be completely restored, also owns an impressive collection of 19th century sculpture.