your royal tour of germany
For centuries, Brandenburg, the region surrounding Berlin, was an important area and summer residence for Prussian kings. The parks and buildings from the 18th to 20th century form a cultural ensemble of exceptional quality. Large parts of Potsdam’s cultural landscape have enjoyed UNESCO Word Heritage status since 1990.
Besides the palaces and gardens of Sanssouci, popular attractions for visitors include Rheinsberg Palace and Park, Prince Pückler-Muskau’s Branitz Park in Cottbus and the Baroque monastery garden of the Neuzelle Foundation. These are just a few examples of over 500 palaces and parks which are all fascinating destinations for exploring the area. A lot of the old buildings have blossomed into romantic hotels surrounded by nature or provide a magical backdrop for classical concerts in the countryside. Events held at the palaces and parks such as the Rheinsberg Chamber Opera, the Potsdam Palaces Night and the Brandenburg summer concerts have long been a cultural trademark of Brandenburg.
Over a period of almost four hundred years, the rulers of Prussia commissioned the best builders and artists of their day to create a unique ensemble of stone and nature. In the 19th century, garden designer Peter Joseph Lenné combined palace grounds to form a large cultural landscape along the Havel. The palaces of Potsdam have enjoyed UNESCO Word Heritage status since 1990. Besides the Sanssouci Park and Palace, the New Palace, Marmorpalais and Cecilienhof Palace attract a large number of guests to the area.
Writer, globetrotter, traveller to England and landscape artist: Prince Pückler-Muskau started to develop Branitz Park as his masterpiece in 1845. The castle, cavalier’s house and stables form a harmonious landscape, while the visitor centre on the estate offers a multimedia experience. The Prince Pückler Museum inside the castle provides visitors with information on the life and work of the Prince, who was buried in the park’s lake pyramid in 1871.
The monastery in Neuzelle is often referred to as a “Baroque wonder” and “Bohemian oasis”. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Gothic Cistercian monastery was rebuilt by builders from Italy and Bohemia and decorated in a Baroque style. An orangery and garden can also be found here in all their Baroque splendour. Colourful ceiling frescoes and 13 altars depict biblical stories in the lavish collegiate church of St. Marien.
With its two towers, Rheinsberg Palace appears to rise from the waters of the Grienericksee. It was here that Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) spent the happiest years of his life as Crown Prince, far away from his father’s control. His younger brother, Prince Henry of Prussia, dictated the early Neoclassical style of the palace and gardens, thus creating a unique “court of muses” in Europe. This was immortalised in the works of Theodor Fontane and Kurt Tucholsky and continues to enchant today, particularly at summer concerts.