Schwanenwerder in the Havel river

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Berlin
Reading Time:  3 minutes

Boatshouse © Times/cc-by-sa-3.0

Boatshouse © Times/cc-by-sa-3.0

Schwanenwerder (English: “swan ait”) is an island in the Havel river in Berlin. It is in the locality of Nikolassee in the borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf, and is located in a wider stretch of the river, close to the eastern shore. On the opposite side, on the western bank, lies Kladow, to the south, the Wannsee. Schwanenwerder is an expensive residential area, despite a summer camp for children being located on the island.

Schwanenwerder was originally known as Sandwerder (“sand ait”) or Cladower Sandwerder. In the 19th century, it was a deserted place, overgrown with shrubs and a few trees. In 1882, the island was bought by Wilhelm Wessel, a wealthy industrialist. He ordered extensive landscaping, subdivided the area and offered the lots for sale. The intention was for wealthy buyers like himself to build cottages with access to the river. He himself had a mansion, called Swan Court, erected in the center of the isle. Its continued existence makes it the oldest building on the island. For convenient access, a small bridge was built. It remains the only way onto the island.

Aspen Institute Berlin - Shepard Stone memorial plaque © Maria Krüger/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Peter Kuley/cc-by-sa-3.0 Aspen Institute Berlin © Peter Kuley/cc-by-sa-3.0 Column of the Tuileries Palace © Times/cc-by-sa-3.0 Boatshouse © Times/cc-by-sa-3.0 Memorial plaques © Peter Kuley/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Aspen Institute Berlin - Shepard Stone memorial plaque © Maria Krüger/cc-by-sa-3.0
In 1896, a charter was drafted that banned inhabitants from setting up disturbing venues like factories and shops. Even a pier for river steamers was inhibited. In 1901, Emperor Wilhelm II granted the official use of “Schwanenwerder”, a more illustrious name than the old “sand ait”. Schwanenwerder was the most expensive street in the interwar German version of Monopoly.

In the second half of the 20th century, old houses were torn down to be replaced with new private buildings. A ringroad circles the island. A column of the Tuileries in Paris was bought by Wessel and placed on Schwanenwerder as part of a mock ruin, typical of the spirit of Romanticism in late 19th-century Germany. It is still on the island and protected as a historic monument.

Read more on aktives-museum.de – The island of Schwanenwerder (PDF file) and Wikipedia Schwanenwerder (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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