Theme Week Potsdam – Cecilienhof Palace

13 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

© Gryffindor

© Gryffindor

Cecilienhof Palace is a palace in Potsdam, Brandenburg built from 1914 to 1917 in the layout of an English Tudor manor house. Cecilienhof was the last palace built by the House of Hohenzollern that ruled the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire until the end of World War I. Cecilienhof has been part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. Cecilienhof is located in the northern part of the large New Garden park, close to the shore of the Jungfernsee lake. The park was laid out from 1787 at the behest of King Frederick William II of Prussia, modelled on the Wörlitz Park in Anhalt-Dessau. Frederick William II also had the Marmorpalais (Marble Palace) built within the Neuer Garten, the first Brandenburg palace in the Neoclassical style erected according to plans designed by Carl von Gontard and Carl Gotthard Langhans, which was finished in 1793. Other structures within the park close to Schloss Cecilienhof include an orangery, an artificial grotto (Muschelgrotte), the “Gothic Library”, and the Dairy in the New Garden, also constructed for King Frederick William II. The park was largely redesigned as an English landscape garden according to plans by Peter Joseph Lenné from 1816 onwards, with lines of sight to nearby Pfaueninsel, Glienicke Palace, Babelsberg Palace, and the Church of the Redeemer.   read more…

Theme Week Potsdam – Sanssouci Park

23 December 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Sanssouci © Mbzt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sanssouci © Mbzt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sanssouci Park is a large park surrounding Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam. Following the terracing of the vineyard and the completion of the palace, the surroundings were included in the structure. A baroque flower garden with lawns, flower beds, hedges and trees was created. In the hedge quarter 3,000 fruit trees were planted. The greenhouses of the numerous nurseries contained oranges, melons, peaches and bananas. The goddesses Flora and Pomona, who decorate the entrance obelisk at the eastern park exit, were placed there to highlight the connection of a flower, fruit and vegetable garden. With the expansion of the site after the creation of more buildings, a 2.5 km long straight main avenue was built. It began in the east at the 1748 obelisk and over the years was extended all the way to the New Palace, which marks its end in the west. In 1764 the picture gallery was constructed, followed by the New Chambers in 1774. They flank the palace and open the alley up to rondels with the fountains, surrounded by marble statues. From there paths lead in a star pattern between tall hedges to further parts of the gardens.   read more…

The Holy Lake in Potsdam

16 October 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Heiliger See, with Marble Palace © Matthias v.d. Elbe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Heiliger See, with Marble Palace © Matthias v.d. Elbe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Heiliger See (English: Holy Lake) is a lake within the city limits of Potsdam, located northeast of the city center and bordering the historic park known as the New Garden. Together with the lakes Sacrower See and Groß Glienicker See to the north it forms a chain of lakes resulting from a glacial tunnel valley. The lake is 1.33 km long and 300 metres wide on average.   read more…

The Russian Colony Alexandrowka in Potsdam

22 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Alexandrowka Museum © A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Alexandrowka Museum © A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Alexandrowka is the Russian Colony in the north of Potsdam. It consists of thirteen wooden houses in Russian style, which were built between 1826 and 1827 on special wish of the former Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm III. Originally the colony was the home of the Russian singers of the First Prussian Regiment of the Guards. The blockhouses are surrounded by generous gardens. In the north of the colony the Kapellenberg borders, a hill on which the Alexander-Newski-Church was especially constructed for the Russian colonists.   read more…

Theme Week Potsdam – Sanssouci Palace

22 November 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Sanssouci - Aerial view © Sven Scharr/cc-by-3.0

Sanssouci – Aerial view © Sven Scharr/cc-by-3.0

Sanssouci is the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in Potsdam, near Berlin. It is often counted among the German rivals of Versailles. While Sanssouci is in the more intimate Rococo style and is far smaller than its French Baroque counterpart, it too is notable for the numerous temples and follies in the park. The palace was designed/built by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff between 1745 and 1747 to fulfill King Frederick’s need for a private residence where he could relax away from the pomp and ceremony of the Berlin court. The palace’s name emphasises this; it is a French phrase (sans souci), which translates as “without concerns”, meaning “without worries” or “carefree”, symbolising that the palace was a place for relaxation rather than a seat of power.   read more…

Theme Week Potsdam – The Einstein Tower

22 October 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam

© Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam

The Einstein Tower is an astrophysical observatory in the Albert Einstein Science Park in Potsdam, Germany built by Erich Mendelsohn. It was built on the summit of the Potsdam Telegraphenberg to house a solar telescope designed by the astronomer Erwin Finlay-Freundlich. The telescope supports experiments and observations to validate (or disprove) Albert Einstein‘s relativity theory. The building was first conceived around 1917, built from 1919 to 1921 after a fund-raising drive, and became operational in 1924. Although Einstein never worked there, he supported the construction and operation of the telescope. It is still a working solar observatory today as part of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam. Light from the telescope is directed down through the shaft to the basement where the instruments and laboratory are located. There were more than half a dozen telescopes in the laboratory.   read more…

Theme Week Potsdam – Babelsberg Park

20 September 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Babelsberg Castle © Times/cc-by-sa-3.0

Babelsberg Castle © Times/cc-by-sa-3.0

Babelsberg Park is a 114 hectare park in the northeast of the city of Potsdam, bordering on the Tiefen See lake on the River Havel. The park was created in rolling terrain sloping down towards the lake by the landscape artist, Peter Joseph Lenné and, after him, by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, by order of Prince William, later Emperor William I and his wife, Augusta. Babelsberg Park is sponsored and managed by the Berlin-Brandenburg Foundation for Prussian Palaces and Gardens (Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg).   read more…

Overview Theme Weeks

27 December 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Theme Weeks In irregular intervals we publish Theme Weeks about cities, regions, and countries. Here you can find the complete list.   read more…

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Theme Week Potsdam – Studio Babelsberg, parks and palaces

23 April 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Sustainability, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Berlin Observatory in Potsdam now hosts Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research © H. Raab

Berlin Observatory in Potsdam now hosts Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research © H. Raab

Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel, 24 km (15 miles) southwest of Berlin city center. Potsdam has several claims to national and international notability. In Germany, it had the status Windsor has in England. It was the residence of the Prussian kings, and thus the German Emperors, until 1918. Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and unique cultural landmarks, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany. The Potsdam Conference, the major post-World War II conference between the victorious Allies, was held at another palace in the area, the Cecilienhof. Babelsberg, in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, was a major movie production studio before the war and has enjoyed increased success as a major centre of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Filmstudio Babelsberg is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world. Potsdam developed into a center of science in Germany from the 19th century. Today, there are three public colleges and more than 30 research institutes in the city.   read more…

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