The incredibly prolific architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841) was one of the most influential German architects of the nineteenth century. Nearly every town in Brandenburg has a building that Schinkel had, at the very least, some involvement in, and a lasting testimony to his importance is the fact that even today the distinctively Neoclassical heart of Berlin is defined by his work. His first ever design, the Pomonatempel in Potsdam, was completed while he was still a 19-year-old student in Berlin, but his architectural career did not take off immediately, as he first worked as a landscape artist and theatre-set designer. Towards the end of the first decade of the nineteenth century he began submitting architectural designs for great public works, and, in 1810, he secured a job with the administration of Prussian buildings. Between 1815 and 1830 he designed some of his most renowned buildings, including the Grecian-style Neue Wache, the elegant Schauspielhaus, and the Altes Museum. Later in his career Schinkel experimented with other architectural forms, a phase marked by the Bauakademie.

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