History and Architecture
Berlin’s Zeughaus is not merely home to a history museum – the building itself speaks of Germany’s turbulent history. Throughout the upheavals, one thing remained constant: again and again the rulers of the day used the site to represent and memorialize their understanding of German history.
Built as a stately armoury in the early 18th century, the Zeughaus was turned into a royal Prussian army museum in the late 19th century. In the 20th century it was appropriated by the National Socialist (Nazi) regime and later became the primary museum of socialist history of the GDR.
With reunification in 1990, the Deutsches Historisches Museum, founded three years earlier in West Berlin, took over the Zeughaus and its collections. In 2003, the postmodern Exhibition Hall designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei opened its doors as the new extension to the Baroque building.