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Developed round a fan design

Art combines the historical with the modern

Art and culture in the fan-shaped city both move on an axis linking the historical with the modern. The Badisches Landesmuseum housed in the castle contains treasures exemplifying 5000 years of western art. Special exhibitions, museum festivals and art appreciation using modern educational methods have made this great museum of cultural history with its monumental facade a real magnet for visitors.

Ernst-Wilhelm Nay: Schwarzes Zeichen
"Schwarzes Zeichen" by Ernst-Wilhelm Nay:
The City Gallery shows art from
Baden from 1850 onwards and German art since 1945

There are magnificent views of the city to be had from the castle tower. To the south west, the fan's radii hit upon an interesting pendant to the splendour of the castle - namely the Centre for Art and Media Technology or ZKM. Behind the renovated facade of what is actually one of the largest listed factory buildings in Europe, Karlsruhe has taken up the challenge presented by the communication and art technologies of the future and in doing so has become an important point of reference for any discussion of this, the age of the media. Take the "Interactive Art Gallery", for example, in which visitors can create an endless chain of new works of art simply by moving their hands. Germany's unique culture factory comprises the Museum of New Art, Media Museum, Institute of Graphic Media, Music and Acoustics as well as a Mediatheque and Media Theatre all housed in four impressive atria. The risk Karlsruhe took when it made the leap into the new millenium and elected to present ideas, art and media technology all under one roof has paid off inasmuch as the ZKM has become an important fixture on the international art scene. The factory has two additional galleries housing the Collectors' Museum. This boasts a wide range of contemporary works of art contributed by collectors in southern Germany, including some excellent works by Baselitz, Polke, Lüpertz, Beuys and Warhol.

The fact that the City Gallery is just a short walk away under the same roof is part of both the concept and the programme. Traditional art and media arts are combined here to create an interplay of genre. A selection of the most important works of art in the city's possession is spread over two floors of Atrium No. 10. The main focus of the collection is on painting in Baden from 1854 - the year which saw the founding of the Karlsruhe's Academy of Fine Arts - onwards and German art since 1945. In addition to this, there are regular special exhibitions and the Garnatz Collection which, thanks to its key works of post-1960 German art, is an international crowd-puller.

For those in search of classical painting, the place to go is the State Art Gallery which houses works by Old German, Dutch and French masters and is among Germany's most important galleries. All modern styles since Cézanne and Gauguin are represented in the Orangery. Just a short walk away from here, Germany's oldest Art Association, first founded in 1818, provides a showcase and platform for the avant-garde. The Natural History Museum on the Friedrichsplatz, the Museum of Legal History, Museum of Literature on the Upper Rhine, Museum in the Majolica Factory, the Durlacher Orgelfabrik (a venue for exhibitions, drama and other such cultural events), the Künstlerhaus Gallery and other private galleries, to say nothing of the city's numerous festivals, are among the highlights of Karlsruhe's cultural scene, which now enjoys Europewide renown.

Scarcely any other German city of the size of Karlsruhe can offer theatre-lovers such a variety of classic, modern and experimental drama, as well as light entertainment and folk theatre. No fewer than eight private theatres all vie with the Badisches Staatstheater for the theatre-going audience's favour.

Badisches Staatstheater
A magnet for visitors:
The Badisches Staatstheater stages a wide range of
ballet, music theatre, drama and concerts

"Any self-respecting person should spend a few months of every year in Karlsruhe, if only on account of the classical repertoire," said Johannes Brahms, whose Symphony No. 1 was premiered in Karlsruhe in 1876. His verdict holds true even today, especially for young people. The State College of Music is considered an excellent launchpad for up-and-coming classical musicians while those who prefer jazz or rock can meet at Karlsruhe's Jazz Club, in the Subway or at the Tollhaus. Like the Staatstheater, this Culture Centre also attracts countless visitors from throughout the region and is often considered the yeast in southern Germany's cultural dough.

Manfred Lädtke


  
Karlsruhe - a young city in the heart of Europe· The planning spirit which gave the city its face· From the seat of a court to a modern city
The cradle of democracy and seat of justice· A pioneer in science and research · Technology - the driving force behind business
It's always holiday time in Karlsruhe · Together with our partners into a European future· Milestones in Karlsruhe's history
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