Enjoy a coffee in the wonderful atmosphere of the "Caffé Greco" café in the "Rosa Saal" (Pink Room) of the main building.
It is one of the few early German art museums still in its largely original condition. It has three historical buildings adjacent to the botanical gardens. On view in the main building and Orangerie are 800 artworks from the late Middle Ages to the present day.
Upon entering the main building of the Kunsthalle, visitors are surrounded by a style of architecture that makes a tour of the museum a special spatial experience. Designed by Heinrich Hübsch at the beginning of the 19th century as a synthesis of architecture, painting, and sculpture, visitors stroll through rooms whose different sizes and wall colours are intended to have an effect on people's aesthetic sensibilities. The Kunsthalle is one of Germany's first museum buildings, largely preserved in its original form.
Heinrich Hübsch had a four-wing complex in mind, the first of which was built along today's Hans-Thoma-Strasse under his direction in 1846. The complex was not completed until 1990, however. A number of eminent architects were involved: Josef Durm, for example, construction director for the Grand Duchy of Baden, built the eastern wing in 1896. Chief building officer Heinrich Amersbach built the so-called "Thomasbau" (north wing) of which only the façade remains, in 1908. The freelance architect Heinz Mohl completed the complex with the construction of the west wing and interior of the north wing in 1990. A special feature is the surviving ground floor of the north wing and, in the courtyard, an octagonal chapel, consecrated on Thomas' birthday on 2 October 1909 and dedicated to the former Kunsthalle director and artist.
Whilst the building work was underway on the Kunsthalle, in 1843 Heinrich Hübsch was requested to present plans for a new Orangerie building. On a trip to England in 1846, Heinrich Hübsch had familiarised himself with the, at that time, pioneering achievements in greenhouse building so the Orangerie, begun in 1853 and completed in 1857, was given an arching glass roof, but it was destroyed in WWII. On display here now is the Kunsthalle's contemporary collection or a special exhibition.
The "Junge Kunsthalle"
The third building built by Heinrich Hübsch on Hans-Thoma-Strasse, a former residential house located between the Orangerie and the main building, has also been part of Karlsruhe Kunsthalle's exhibition area since spring 2009. Since then, the "Junge Kunsthalle" has been the venue for alternating exhibitions specially for young people. The house is one of the few residential buildings by Hübsch that has survived.
The cornerstone of the Kunsthalle's collection is the collection of the Baden margraves and margravines, whose artistic preferences and sensibilities were legendary. The treasure trove of pictures is still being added to today. 3455 works from the key eras of art history form a great panorama of western art. The collection of copperplate engravings contains more than 90,000 drawings and prints from all eras. It is one of the oldest in Europe. The Kunsthalle's art library is one of Germany's largest museum libraries open to the public. It has evolved from the book collection of Margravine Caroline Luise of Baden (1723-1783) and currently comprises more than 155,000 volumes, including monographs, catalogues and brochures as well as audio-visual and electronic media. A large proportion of the collection was put online in January 2012 and is available for research free of charge.
Next public transport stop
Line S1, S11, S2, S5, Tram 1, 3, 4
Hans-Thoma-Str. 7 (Pay and display machine)
Distance: approx. 100 m air distance
No information available
How to get there
Getting there with Google maps