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.
History and description
The style was the deliberate creation of German architects seeking a German national style of architecture, particularly Heinrich Hübsch (1795–1863). It emerged in Germany as a response to and reaction against the 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 and the emergence of German nationalism.
Rundbogenstil was employed for a number of railway stations, including those in Karlsruhe, Leipzig, Munich, Tübingen, and Völklingen. These were typically "first generation" stations (built between 1835 and 1870); some were 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 in this style was the Kassel Synagogue designed by Heinrich Hübsch with Albrecht Rosengarten, built in the latter's native city Kassel, Hesse-Kassel, in 1839. 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. It was restored in 2008 and adapted for use as a boutique hotel, known as the Mansion Hill Inn.
Rundbogenstil German synagogues
Rundbogenstil German train stations
Rundbogenstil architecture in New York City
- Bergdoll, Barry, European Architecture, 1750-1890, Oxford, 2000, pp. 184-9
- Kathleen Curran, The Romanesque Revival: Religion, Politics, and Transnational Exchange, Penn State Press, 2003, p. 1 ff.
- James Stevens Curl, "Rundbogenstil", A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, 2000, Encyclopedia.com 
- Rachel Wischnitzer, The Architecture of the European Synagogue, Philadelphia: JPS, 1964, pp. 197-8
- Media related to Rundbogenstil architecture at Wikimedia Commons