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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)
Gates of Heaven Synagogue in Madison, Wisconsin (August Kutzbock, 1863)
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.

The style was the deliberate, thoughtful 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 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 while also responding to the emergence of German nationalism.

Rundbogenstil was employed for a number of train stations, including those in Karlsruhe, Leipzig, Munich, Tübingen, and Völklingen. These were typically "first generation" stations (between 1835 and 1870) and were subsequently 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 Rundbogenstil synagogue was designed by Albrecht Rosengarten and built in his 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, Wisconsin.


German synagogues employing Rundbogenstil

German train stations employing Rundbogenstil


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


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