Day School: Berlin - Magnificent Art, Architecture and Tragic History

Ref: C3742683

The last 300 years have seen a series of dramatic and often traumatic passages in the lives of Berliners. The course starts with an overview of the history, which sets the context for the courses main study of the changing cultural scene of Germany, in particular in the fields of art and architecture. Examples in art of the topics to be covered include the famous German Romantic artists of the early 1800's and the nationalist art depicting the rise of Prussia in the latter 1800's. Architectural topics include the Bauhaus developments in architecture of the 1920's and the divided and politically charged post-war architectural debates post-WWII. Finally, a comprehensive review of the art displayed in the U-Bahn stations provides Berlin's own perspective on its history and its great cultural heritage.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by The Education and Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available. Contact the branch for further details.

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 most famous work of the Romantic artist Casper David Friedrich.
  • Discuss the rise of the reputation of the artist Kathe Kollwitz to her prominence today.
  • Identify two leading German artists whose works were critical of the Great War.
  • Identify two of the Berlin landmark buildings designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
  • Discuss the many roles of the Brandenburg Gate in the history of Germany since 1800.

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 Berlin. As such, it is an ideal course for those intending to visit or stay in Berlin in the near future.

Download full course information sheet

Day School: Berlin - Magnificent Art, Architecture and Tragic History


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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