The Foundation before 1953
The "Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung für Naturforschung und Reisen" (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for Nature Research and Travel) was established in Berlin 18 months after the death of Alexander von Humboldt in 1860. Until it lost its endowment capital in the inflation of 1923, it essentially provided support for German scientists setting off on research journeys to other countries.
A new Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was established by the German Reich in 1925. Its main purpose was now to support foreign students and later academics and doctoral candidates during their stay in Germany. In 1945, the Foundation ceased functioning.
Today’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was established by the Federal Republic of Germany on 10 December 1953, partly at the behest of former Humboldt guest researchers. The headquarters were located then as now in Bonn-Bad Godesberg.