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Franz Heinrich Schwechten

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Franz Heinrich Schwechten

Franz Heinrich Schwechten
Schwechten about 1895
Born Franz Heinrich Schwechten
(1841-08-12)August 12, 1841
Cologne, Rhine Province,
Kingdom of Prussia
Died August 11, 1924(1924-08-11) (aged 82)
Berlin, Germany
Nationality German
Buildings Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Tiškevičiai Palace, Palanga
Imperial Castle in Poznań

Franz Heinrich Schwechten (12 August 1841 – 11 August 1924) was one of the most famous German architects of his time, and has contributed to the development of the historicist architecture.


Schwechten was born in Cologne, the son of a district court judge. Having finished Gymnasium he received his Abitur degree in 1860 and went on to work as an apprentice of master builder Julius Carl Raschdorff, who would later design the plans of Berlin Cathedral. In 1861, Schwechten enrolled in the Bauakademie (Academy of Architecture) in Berlin, his studies under Karl Bötticher and Friedrich Adler continued till 1863. After the studies, Schwechten received a two-year training by Friedrich August Stüler and Martin Gropius.

When he was 28, Schwechten received an award for the design of a Prussian Parliament building from the Berlin Architect's Union. He began his career as chief architect of the Berlin-Anhalt Railway Company. The first major work of Schwechten was the Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof train station terminal. He became a member of the Prussian Academy of Arts (president from 1915 to 1918) and a lecturer at the Royal Polytechnic University in Charlottenburg.

Among his works were the designs of Tyszkiewicz Palace in Palanga (Polangen) and the Imperial Castle in Poznań (Posen). One of the most notable of Schwechten's designs was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church with its 113 m (371 ft) high tower, retaining Neo-Romanesque style elements. Just after this design was completed in 1895, he became a professor. Schwechten died in Berlin and was buried in Schöneberg.

Selected works

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, c. 1900
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