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Home Towns - Potsdam, Germany

Potsdam's Castles

Belvedere on Pfingstberg

This site is part of our Potsdam, Germany site. Click the left turn sign to get back to the Potsdam Start Site.

The Belvedere on Pfingstberg Hill, is modeled after an Italian renaissance villa. Originally, King Frederick Wilhelm IV, the "Romantic on the Thron" designed the building similar to Villa Farnese in Caprarola, north of Rome, which he visited in 1728. He added two towers to the design. Ironically, the two towers were the only part of the building ever to be completed. The King handed his sketches to architects Ludwig Persius, Friedrich August Stüler, and Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse, who built the towers and the water reservoir between 1847 and 1852.
In 1852, works on the building came to a halt in favor of the Orangery building in Sanssouci Park. The ailing king surrendered his thron to his brother in 1858 and died in 1861, leaving the building still incomplete. King Wilhelm I had the fragments finished in 1863 but the rest of the castle remained unfinished.

After World War II, the building ended up within the boundaries of the Russian Garrison in Potsdam. Ever since the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961, it was completely off limits since its towers offered a great view over the wall and hence a great opportunity to plot escapes.

As a result, the building completely decayed and at the end of the 1980s, all that was left was an ivy overgrown ruin. In 1987, a group of young citizen started an initative to rebuild the castle, knowing that the then communist government wouldn't be very supportive of the idea. Things changed after reunification and with the help of prominent sponsors the building is now more beautiful than ever before.

XXXEnjoying the View

The view from the top of Pfingstberg Mountain is amazing. One can see all of Potsdam and its surrounding lakes and even parts of Berlin.

The river in the picture below was once the border between East-Germany and West-Berlin.

More Pictures

Here are a number of pictures we found at Flickr and other sources.

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