The Haus der Kunst is a non-collecting art museum constructed from 1933 to 1937 following plans of architect Paul Ludwig Troost as the Third Reich's first monumental structure of Nazi architecture and as Nazi propaganda. The museum was opened in 1937 as a showcase for what the Third Reich regarded as Germany's finest art. The inaugural exhibition was the Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung ('Great German art exhibition'), which was intended as an edifying contrast to the condemned modern art on display in the concurrent Degenerate art exhibition.
On 15 and 16 October 1939, the Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung inside the Haus der Deutschen Kunst was complemented by the monumental Tag der Deutschen Kunst celebration of '2,000 years of Germanic culture' where luxuriously draped floats (one of them carrying a 5 meter tall golden Nazi Reichsadler) and thousands of actors in historical costumes paraded down Prinzregentenstraße for hours in the presence of Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, Albert Speer, Robert Ley, Reinhard Heydrich, and many other high-ranking Nazis.
After the end of World War II, the museum building was first used by the American occupation forces as an officer's mess; in that time, the building came to be known as the 'P1', a shortening of its street address. The building's original purpose can still be seen in such guises as the swastika-motif mosaics in the ceiling panels of its front portico.
Beginning in 1946, the museum rooms, now partitioned into several smaller exhibition areas, started to be used as temporary exhibition space for trade shows and visiting art exhibitions. Some parts of the museum were also used to showcase works from those of Munich's art galleries that had been destroyed during the war. In 2002, the National Collection of Modern and Contemporary Arts moved into the Pinakothek der Moderne. Today, while housing no permanent art exhibition of its own, the museum is still used as a showcase venue for temporary exhibitions and traveling exhibitions.References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.