How the Alhambra Cupola came to Berlin
This is a story connected with the increasing appreciation of the oriental style in the 19th century, when distinguished Berliners furnished their homes with orientalizing rooms. The Alhambra dome was also acquired for installation in a private house. Its buyer was Arthur von Gwinner (1856-1931), one of the most important financial magnates of his time and a great Alhambra lover. While he was on foreign assignments in Madrid, he visited Granada and, what seems surprising from today's perspective, acquired the Palacio del Partal, which was then in private hands. The Spanish crown had sold parts of the Alhambra at the beginning of the 19th century. When Gwinner returned to Berlin in 1891, he donated the building to the Spanish state, but took the wooden dome with him and had it installed in his apartments, first at Rauchstraße 1 and later at Sophienstraße 25. Before World War II, it was dismantled and later brought to West Germany. Gwinners heirs sold it to the Berlin Museum in 1978.
© From a text in the Museum of Islamic Art Berlin.
© Translation from German: Universes in Universe.