Humboldt Museum

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Schloss Tegel (Tegel Palace) is a privately owned and occupied home that dates back to a manor house built in 1558 for the court secretary of Joachim II. In 1766, it came into the possession of the von Humboldt family. In fact, Wilhelm von Humboldt, the philosopher, linguist and founder of the Berliner Universität, and his brother, the natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt, spent their childhood here.  

After his release from the civil service in 1819, Wilhelm von Humboldt moved back into his parent's home and had both the interior and exterior of the Renaissance building renovated in a Classicist style by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The vestibule was designed as an old Roman atrium with a fountain at the centre. The workrooms and salons soon contained the antique sculptures and casts that Wilhelm and Caroline von Humboldt had collected especially during their years in Rome. The rooms are well-preserved and reflect the mindset of the Humboldt family: indeed, they are an impressive example of the vibrant appropriation of antiquity in that era. Visitors can tour the rooms as part of an organised tour.

In 1829, Schinkel also designed the family tomb in the park. The column featuring the sculpture of Spes ("hope") by Bertel Thorvaldsen can be seen from the home: the model for this sculpture was one of the Humboldt daughters, who died at a young age.

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