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Plate from In Which Style Should We Build? by Heinrich Hübsch (1828)
Entrance to the main building of Karlsruhe Polytechnic (Heinrich Hübsch, 1833–35)
Temple Emanu-El in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1872)
Carrie Pierce House in Madison, Wisconsin (August Kutzbock and Samuel Donnel, 1857)
Van Slyke House in Madison, Wisconsin (1857 and 1870)

Rundbogenstil (Round-arch style), one of the nineteenth-century historic revival styles of architecture, is a variety of Romanesque revival popular in the German-speaking lands and the German diaspora.


  • History and description 1
  • Rundbogenstil German synagogues 2
  • Rundbogenstil German train stations 3
  • Rundbogenstil architecture in New York City 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History and description

The style was the deliberate creation of German architects seeking a German national style of architecture, particularly Heinrich Hübsch (1795–1863).[1][2][3] It emerged in Germany as a response to and reaction against the neo-Gothic style that had come to the fore in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. By adopting the smooth facade of late antique and medieval church architecture, it aimed to extend and develop the noble simplicity and quiet grandeur of neo-classicism, while moving in a direction more suited to the rise of industrialism and the emergence of German nationalism.

Hallmarks of the style, in addition to the rounded arches from which it takes its name, include "eyebrows" over the windows and inverted crenelation under the eaves.

Rundbogenstil was employed for a number of railway stations, including those in Karlsruhe, Leipzig, Munich, Tübingen, and Völklingen. These were typically "first generation" stations (built between 1835 and 1870); some were razed to be replaced by larger buildings. Those in Tübingen and Völklingen are still extant, while the Bayerischer Bahnhof in Leipzig is partially preserved.

Rundbogenstil was also widely employed in synagogue architecture. The first in this style was the Kassel Synagogue designed by Heinrich Hübsch with Albrecht Rosengarten, built in the latter's native city Kassel, Hesse-Kassel, in 1839.[4] An early example in the United States is the Gates of Heaven Synagogue in Madison, Wisconsin, built in 1863 and designed by August Kutzbock, an immigrant from Bremen, Germany. Kutzbock also (co)designed secular buildings employing Rundbogenstil, such as the Carrie Pierce House (1857) in Madison. It was restored in 2008 and adapted for use as a boutique hotel, known as the Mansion Hill Inn.

Rundbogenstil German synagogues

Rundbogenstil German train stations

Rundbogenstil architecture in New York City



  1. ^ Bergdoll, Barry, European Architecture, 1750-1890, Oxford, 2000, pp. 184-9
  2. ^ Kathleen Curran, The Romanesque Revival: Religion, Politics, and Transnational Exchange, Penn State Press, 2003, p. 1 ff.
  3. ^ James Stevens Curl, "Rundbogenstil", A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, 2000, [1]
  4. ^ Rachel Wischnitzer, The Architecture of the European Synagogue, Philadelphia: JPS, 1964, pp. 197-8

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
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