Berlin Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum

January 17th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, European Union, General, Museums, Exhibitions, Sustainability, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

Italian Gardens and Tropical House © Axel Mauruszat

Italian Gardens and Tropical House © Axel Mauruszat

The Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum (German: Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem) is a botanical garden in Berlin, with an area of 43 hectares and around 22,000 different plant species. It was constructed between 1897 and 1910, under the guidance of architect Adolf Engler, in order to present exotic plants returned from German colonies. The garden is located in the Lichterfelde locality of the borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf. When it was founded, a part of it was located in Dahlem, a fact that is still reflected in its name. This part of Dahlem became part of Lichterfelde in 1938. Today, the garden is part of the Free University of Berlin. The Botanical Museum (Botanisches Museum), with a large herbarium (Herbarium Berolinense) and a large scientific library, is attached to the garden.   read more…

Portrait: Otto von Bismarck

December 27th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Portrait |

Otto von Bismarck in 1886 © Immanuel Giel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Otto von Bismarck in 1886 © Immanuel Giel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890. In the 1860s, he engineered a series of wars that unified the German states, deliberately excluding Austria, into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership. With that accomplished by 1871, he skillfully used balance of power diplomacy to maintain Germany’s position in a Europe which, despite many disputes and war scares, remained at peace. For historian Eric Hobsbawm, it was Bismarck who “remained undisputed world champion at the game of multilateral diplomatic chess for almost twenty years after 1871, [and] devoted himself exclusively, and successfully, to maintaining peace between the powers”. However, his annexation of Alsace-Lorraine gave new fuel to French nationalism and promoted Germanophobia in France. This helped set the stage for the First World War.   read more…

The Olympic Park in Munich

December 18th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Sport |

Olympic Park Munich © Tobi 87/cc-by-sa-4.0

Olympic Park Munich © Tobi 87/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Olympiapark München (English: Olympic Park Munich) in Munich is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Located in the Oberwiesenfeld neighborhood of Munich, the Park continues to serve as a venue for cultural, social, and religious events such as events of worship. The Park is administered by Olympiapark München GmbH, a holding company fully owned by the state capital of Munich. The concept of a “green Olympic Games” was chosen, and so too was the orientation toward the ideals of democracy. Officials sought to integrate optimism toward the future with a positive attitude toward technology, and in so doing set aside memories of the past, such as the Olympic Games of 1936 in Berlin. The architecture firm of Günther Behnisch and its partners developed a comprehensive master plan for the sports and recreation area, which was under construction from 1968 until 1972. The landscape layout was designed by landscape architect Günther Grzimek. The eye-catching tensile structure that covers much of the park was designed by German architect and engineer Frei Otto with Günther Behnisch. In all, the project cost 1.35 billion German Marks to complete.   read more…

Dyck Castle in Aldenhoven

December 11th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

© Wandernder Weltreisender/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Wandernder Weltreisender/cc-by-sa-3.0

The castle Dyck is one of the most important moated castles of the Rhineland. The complex consists of a stronghold and two baileys, which are surrounded by a moat. The castle has a triple ditch system. The manor house, which dates from 1636 to 1663, is accessed via this and an outer and an inner bailey. The four-winged castle, which is delimited by corner towers, surrounds an almost square courtyard. The castle was furnished with old, exquisite furniture and had a handsome collection of hunting weapons. The buildings go back to the state after the destruction in the Thirty Years’ War.   read more…

Oranienbaum Palace in Saxony-Anhalt

December 6th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

Oranienbaum Palace © Michael Sander/cc-by-sa-3.0

Oranienbaum Palace © Michael Sander/cc-by-sa-3.0

Oranienbaum Palace is located in the town of Oranienbaum-Wörlitz in Saxony-Anhalt. It belongs to the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm. The castle, which is located in the district Oranienbaum, is located east of Dessau-Roßlau, only a few kilometers from the Wörlitzer Park. Oranienbaum Castle is one of four castles named after the House of Orange in Germany. They were built for four sisters, German rulers, who were born to the House of Orange. Besides Oranienbaum there are Oranienstein Palace near Diez and Oranienburg Palace in Oranienburg. The fourth, Oranienhof Palace near Bad Kreuznach, does not exist anymore. The former Dutch Queen Beatrix is patron of the restoration of the castle Oranienbaum. In 2004 and 2012 Beatrix visited Oranienbaum and visited the castle.   read more…

Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

December 4th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

Nymphenburg Palace © Richard Bartz/cc-by-sa-2.5

Nymphenburg Palace © Richard Bartz/cc-by-sa-2.5

The Nymphenburg Palace (“Castle of the Nymph“), is a Baroque palace in Munich, Bavaria. The palace was the main summer residence of the former rulers of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach. The palace, together with its park, is now one of the most famous sights of Munich. The baroque facades comprise an overall width of about 700 metres. Some rooms still show their original baroque decoration while others were later redesigned in rococo or neoclassical style. The palace serves also as headquarters of the Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes. The palace was commissioned by the prince-electoral couple Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy to the designs of the Italian architect Agostino Barelli in 1664 after the birth of their son Maximilian II Emanuel. The central pavilion was completed in 1675. As a building material it utilised limestone from Kelheim. The castle was gradually expanded and transformed over the years. Starting in 1701, Maximilian Emanuel, the heir to Bavaria, a sovereign electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, undertook a systematic extension of the palace. Two pavilions were added each in the south and north of Barelli’s palace by Enrico Zucalli and Giovanni Antonio Viscardi and were connected with the centre pavilion by two gallery wings. In 1716, Joseph Effner redesigned the facade of the centre pavilion in French Baroque style with pilasters. Later, the south section of the palace was further extended to build the court stables (1719). For the sake of balance, the orangery building was added to the north which was only completed in 1758. Finally, Nymphenburg Palace was completed with a grand circle (the Schlossrondell) of Baroque mansions (the so-called Kavaliershäuschen – cavalier’s lodges) erected under Maximilian Emanuel’s son Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII Albert. In 1795, Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria ordered the widening of the galleries on the park side. In 1826, under King Ludwig I of Bavaria, his architect Leo von Klenze removed the gables of the main pavilion with the Electoral coat of arms and created an attic style decoration directly under the roof instead.   read more…

Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin

November 17th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

© Thomas Wolf - www.foto-tw.de/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

© Thomas Wolf – www.foto-tw.de/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin. It is in the Charlottenburg district of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf borough. The palace was built at the end of the 17th century and was greatly expanded during the 18th century. It includes much lavish internal decoration in baroque and rococo styles. A large formal garden surrounded by woodland was added behind the palace, including a belvedere, a mausoleum, a theatre and a pavilion. During the Second World War, the palace was badly damaged but has since been reconstructed. The palace with its gardens are a major tourist attraction. The original palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich III, Elector of Brandenburg in what was then the village of Lietzow. Named Lietzenburg, the palace was designed by Johann Arnold Nering in baroque style. It consisted of one wing and was built in 2 1⁄2 storeys with a central cupola. The façade was decorated with Corinthian pilasters. On the top was a cornice on which were statues. At the rear in the centre of the palace were two oval halls, the upper one being a ceremonial hall and the lower giving access to the gardens. Nering died during the construction of the palace and the work was completed by Martin Grünberg and Andreas Schlüter. The inauguration of the palace was celebrated on 11 July 1699, Frederick’s 42nd birthday.   read more…

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