Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Neuer Garten, Potsdam

Potsdam is a short train journey from central Berlin and a recommended highlight for visitors to the city. Neuer Garten is part of the UNESCO listing for Potsdam Palaces and Gardens, which also includes Sanssouci Park, Babelsberg and Glienicke.

The park is a 102.5 ha site bordering onto the Jungfernsee and Heiliger See to the north west of the city. It was originally laid out between 1787 and 1791 for Friedrich Wilhelm II, 4th King of Prussia, with landscaping by Johann August Eyserbeck. The current layout was created in 1816 by Peter Joseph Lenne.

Below is the southern edge of the park with the Heiliger See.

The park grounds contain many buildings - palaces, houses and oddities. The Marble Palace was built between 1787-1791, by Carl von Gontard and Carl Gotthard Langhans, for Friedrich Wilhelm II's summer residence. Friedrich Wilhelm died a premature death here in 1797 caused by his lavish lifestyle - he was known to his people as Der dicke Lüderjahn (The fat good for nothing).

The Orangery, close to the Marble Palace

The Grünes Haus at the north of the Heiliger See, which I believe was a gardeners house.

Probably the best known building on the site is Schloss Cecilienhof, designed by Paul Schultze-Naumberg in the style of an oversized English country manor. It was built between 1913-1917 on instruction by Kaiser Wilhelm II for his son Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife Duchess Cecilie. This was the last of the Hohenzollern palaces and remained the family home after the crown was lost - Wilhelm II and Crown Prince Wilhelm went into exile in Holland at the end of the first world war, Cecilie remained at Cecilienhof until February 1945 when she left to escape the approaching Red Army.

Cecilienhof is best known in history for being the site of the Potsdam Conference, from July 17th to August 2 1945. The palace is now a hotel and museum.

My favourite building on the site though, would have to be the Gothic Library situated on the southern end of the Heiliger See, a perfect location with beautiful views over the lake. The library was built in the 18th century to house Wilhelm II's collection of books.

More photos can be seen here.

Schlosskueche, Neuer Garten, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
Gothic Library, Neuer Garten, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
Dutch Houses, Neuer Garten, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
Orangerie, Neuer Garten, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
Gruenes Haus, Neuer Garten, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
Schloss Cecilienhof, Neuer Garten, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.