In 1880, the Ständehaus ("house of the estates of the realm") was opened as a meeting place for the provincial estates of the realm. It is embedded in a park and situated next to the ponds "Schwanenspiegel" and "Kaiserteich", which are separated by a pathway. The park and the ponds were created in place of former city fortifications. The building was used by the state parliament since the foundation of NRW. Shortage of space lead to plans for major remodelling, but those plans were abandoned to preserve the harmony of the existing layout surrounding the Ständehaus. Instead the state parliament moved into a new building on the Rhine river bank in 1988. The Ständehaus went unused for a couple of years. It was fitted with a new glas roof and reopened as a museum in 2002. The K21 art collection concentrates on art from 1980 into the 21st century and supplements the K20 art collection at Grabbe Square.
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