The Kolonnadenhof (Colonnade Courtyard) was the brainchild of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the architect of the first museum on the Museumsinsel. His painting A View of the Flower of Greece (1825, Nationalgalerie) depicts a similar architectural design. In 1880, the courtyard garden was designed by former Tiergarten director Eduard Neide, a student of Peter Joseph Lenné. Today, the redesigned Kolonnadenhof is listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the 12,900 square-metre-large courtyard framed by colonnades, boxwood hedges have been planted to form a strict geometric pattern that skirts the fountain’s edge and the Alte Nationalgalerie. Lone plane trees are dotted within this scheme. The garden design, which is based on historical models, was conceived by the Berlin landscape architect Levin Monsigny.
On 6 June 2010 (UNESCO World Heritage Day), the redesigned Kolonnadenhof was officially handed over for public use. Against the shifting backdrop of the seasons, sculptures from the collection of the Nationalgalerie adorn the Kolonnadenhof, providing a foretaste of the rich collection of sculptures inside. The entrance of the Neues Museum also boasts a series of busts of famous figures in the history of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.