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Zeughaus

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Zeughaus

Zeughaus, the main building of the German Historical Museum
Facade of the Zeughaus, the Museum's main building

The Zeughaus (old Arsenal) in Berlin, Germany is the oldest structure at Unter den Linden. It was built by the Brandenburg Elector Frederick III between 1695 and 1730 in the baroque style, to be used as an artillery arsenal for the display of cannons from Brandenburg and Prussia. The first building master was Johann Arnold Nering. After his death in 1695, he was followed by Martin Grünberg, then Andreas Schlüter and finally Jean de Bodt. Andreas Schlüter designed the keystones above the round-arch windows in the form of heads of giants. Georg Friedrich Hitzig (1811-1881) constructed the monumental flight of steps to the upper floor of the north wing and also a roof over the courtyard.

The building was converted into a military museum in 1875.

In March 1943, Rudolf von Gersdorff tried, but failed to assassinate by suicide bombing Adolf Hitler, during the opening of an exhibition in this museum.

From 1949-65 the Zeughaus was restored after heavy war losses, the interior being completely redesigned. In 1952, the government of the German Democratic Republic opened the Museum of German History (Museum für Deutsche Geschichte) in the Zeughaus, which presented the history of Germany, especially in the modern era, from a Communist point of view. Today, the Zeughaus is the site of the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum).

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