Art, Architecture and History of Berlin and Vienna

Ref: C3742828

The last 300 years have seen a series of dramatic and often traumatic passages in the lives of Berliners and the Viennese. The course starts with an overview of the history of the two cities, which sets the context for the course's main study of the changing cultural scene of Germany and Austria, 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 during the decline of Austria and the rise of Prussia in the latter 1800's. Architectural topics include the Art Nouveau of turn-of-the-century Vienna and the Bauhaus developments in Berlin architecture in the 1920's. Finally, a comprehensive review of the art and architecture displayed in their Metro stations provides a local perspective on their different histories and great cultural heritage.

Course aim

To provide an insight into the art and architecture and the colourful and traumatic history of Berlin and Vienna, with as a case study, the design of Berlin and Vienna's Metro systems.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Discuss the 19th century rise of Prussia and the decline of Austria as world powers.
  • Describe the most famous artwork of the Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich.
  • Identify two of the Berlin landmark buildings by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
  • Identify the two leaders of the Vienna Secession, in art and architecture respectively.
  • Define when each city ceased to be divided into externally controlled sectors after World War II.

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 book provides excellent background on both Berlin and the German-speaking region as a whole: "Germania" by Simon Winder (a fun historical tome)

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

Download full course information sheet

Art, Architecture and History of Berlin and Vienna


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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