The Art, Architecture and History of Berlin

Ref: C3741110

This course is a journey of discovery through the history, art and architecture of Berlin, a city known throughout the world for its central role in the two World Wars. The last 300 years have seen a series of dramatic and often traumatic passages in the lives of Berliners, for their royal, military and political leaders, and for their cultural icons. The course starts with an overview of this history, which sets the context for the main study of the changing cultural scene of Germany in the fields of art, architecture, literature et al. Examples of the topics to be covered here include the German Romantic artists of the early 1800's, the Bauhaus developments in art and architecture of the 1920's, and the post-war architectural debates. Finally, the art displayed in the U-Bahn stations provides Berlin's own perspective on its history and its great cultural heritage.

Course aim

To provide an insight into the history, art and architecture of Berlin, and to reveal the artworks illustrating all these aspects of the city that adorns the platform walls of Berlin's Metro system, the U-Bahn.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe the events leading to the unification of Germany in 1871.
  • Identify the two crossing points in the Berlin Wall, 1961-1989.
  • Identify two of the major buildings along Unter den Linden.
  • Describe the growing influence of the artist Kathe Kollwitz since the end of WWII.
  • Describe how strongly both Goethe and Goebbels each felt about Berlin.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • The following two books provide excellent Berlin background; useful reading before, during or after the course: "Germania" by Simon Winder (a fun historical tome) "The Ghosts of Berlin" by Brian Ladd (on Berlin's post-war re-building debate)

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • This course should provide an extensive knowledge and understanding of Paris. As such, it is an ideal course for those intending to visit or stay in Paris in the future.

Download full Course information sheet

The Art, Architecture and History of Berlin


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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