Glienicke Palace & Park – a touch of the mediterranean on the Havel river.

When Prince Carl of Prussia bought Glienicke estate on the south-western edge of Berlin in 1824, he immediately envisaged an Italian-style idyll. In 1825 Karl Friedrich Schinkel set about converting the manor into a neo-classical mansion, while Peter Joseph Lenné drew up plans for an enchanting park – both to be set on the banks of the Havel where the river broadened out into a lake.

The Prussian architect Schinkel converted the former manor house into a neo-classical villa between 1825 and 1827. Arcades, classical reliefs and a tower added in 1832 perfected the illusion of a mediterranean country estate. On the garden side stands a prominent fountain from 1840, which is framed spectacularly by two gilded, water-spouting lions modelled on the Medici lions in Rome. In the garden itself, visitors are greeted by a 'verdant work of art' created by the famous landscape gardener Lenné, which is divided into a flower garden near the house and a 'pleasure ground'. Schinkel, followed later by his pupil Ludwig Persius, placed a number of attractive buildings in this evocative scenery, including Schinkel's enchanting 'Little Curiosity' – a tea house converted into a pavilion. The casino, situated right on the water's edge, overlooks the 'Gulf of Potsdam'. In addition to the mediterranean sections, part of the park has English and alpine features. Another attraction is the Royal Gardeners Museum, which displays historical garden designs, measuring instruments and documents used in the extensive training given to Prussian royal gardeners. Glienicke Palace also hosts classical music concerts throughout the year, featuring performances by talented soloists and musicians from distinguished orchestras. Glienicke Palace is joined by a number of other attractions in the region. These include the museum village of Düppel in Berlin-Zehlendorf, which replicates an entire village as it existed 800 years ago, the Max Lieberman Villa on the shores of Lake Wannsee, and Berlin Zoo – the oldest (1844) and most species-rich zoo in Germany and a firm favourite with international visitors.

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