Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin

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Main line of sight in the Italian Garden with the Large Tropical House in the background (2006)
Botanical garden and oak pond in autumn 2014

The Berlin Botanical Garden in Berlin-Lichterfelde is one of the largest botanical gardens in Germany with an area of ​​over 43  hectares and around 22,000 different plant species . It belongs to the Free University of Berlin and has the status of a faculty-independent central institution. The garden and the attached Botanical Museum Berlin have half a million visitors annually.

In general, it was referred to as the Dahlem Botanical Garden, also in its own terminology ; the name is derived from the Royal Domain Dahlem , on whose site it was created in 1899. In fact, the area now belongs entirely to the Lichterfelde district .



The first noteworthy collection of plants to enrich the local population was made by the court gardener Desiderius Corbianus in the fruit and kitchen garden of the Berlin City Palace in 1573 under Elector Johann Georg . Even if this term did not exist at the time, it was the first “Botanical Garden” in Berlin. The pleasure garden, which still exists today, later developed from this garden .

In 1679  a hop garden was laid out on Potsdamer Strasse - on the site of today's Heinrich von Kleist Park - which, after the electoral breweries had given up, served as a kitchen and orchard. Carl Ludwig Willdenow achieved that the garden was subordinated to the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin in 1809 , which developed it into a botanical garden recognized worldwide with a scientific character.


Plan of the botanical garden at the beginning of the 20th century
Elevation plan of the area in front of the Botanical Garden

The first suggestions for relocating the Botanical Garden appeared in 1888, given the need to expand the plantings and create an arboretum . In addition, extensive renovation work would have been pending on several old greenhouses anyway. In addition, there were the unfavorable influences of the environment, which was in the meantime densely built up by the cities of Berlin and Schöneberg; Air pollution and lowering of the groundwater level damaged the plants. The financial considerations of moving to the outskirts were also important. In addition to the new botanical garden, other university buildings were to be financed from the sale of the site: an extension of the Charité , the Institute for Infectious Diseases, the Hygiene Institute and the Pharmaceutical-Chemical Institute.

The garden was then under the Ministry of Spiritual, Educational and Medical Affairs . Friedrich Althoff from the Ministry gave the interim director of the Botanical Garden, Ignaz Urban, the task of examining and evaluating possible areas on the Feldmark around Berlin with a view to relocating the garden. With the 41 hectare field mark of the Royal Domain Dahlem , previously a potato field, Urban found a site that was suitable in every respect.

When it was founded at the end of the 19th century, only about a quarter of the garden area was in the "Dahlem district". The much larger part belonged to the " Groß-Lichterfelde district " (see elevation plan ) and to complete the confusion it was postally assigned to the rural community of Steglitz .

It was then also Althoff who brought Adolf Engler, the leading botanist at the time, to Berlin. In 1895 Adolf Engler and Alfred Koerner drew up a plan for the construction of the new facility. Engler was appointed the new director of the Botanical Garden in 1889. The position of sub-director was created for the equally well-qualified Urban. On June 26, 1897, the Prussian state parliament approved the project. Preparation of the site began that same year. After the planning approval by the emperor on August 30, 1899, the construction of the enclosure and the buildings began. Engler was now responsible for the botanical and Koerner for the architectural design of the new botanical garden. In the same year the Botanical Central Office for the German Colonies was founded as a separate department of the Botanical Garden.

The site was given two equal entrances on the Königin-Luise-Platz and on the street Unter den Eichen (then still: Berliner Straße ). These are connected by a main path that is eight to ten meters wide. Most of the buildings, including the plant showhouses, are to the north-east of this path, while the outdoor facilities extend to the south-west.

The first visitors entered the garden on April 13, 1903, when it was opened for a few hours and attracted around 2500 guests. The outdoor area was completed in 1904 and has been open to visitors ever since. This date was also used for the centenary celebrations in June 2004. However, the “official” opening of the garden and museum did not take place until May 24th and 25th, 1910, after all buildings had been completed.

The time of National Socialism was a big setback for the Botanical Garden and the Botanical Museum. First the international contact and exchange required for scientific work was restricted, then the effects of the Second World War also reached Berlin and left their destruction behind.

After the war, the Allies made the Botanical Garden subordinate to the city administration, and the garden was open to the public again in autumn 1945. After the open areas were used as growing areas for vegetables until the end of the Berlin blockade , reconstruction could begin in 1949 with American financial aid. The Victoriahaus was the first large greenhouse to be reopened in 1950. In 1968 the reconstruction of the garden was completed with the opening of the Great Tropical House. From 1959, botanist Eva Potztal , who later became director of the museum, took over the scientific and organizational management of the new construction of the museum . The reconstruction of the museum dragged on until 1987. The building damage could be repaired in 40 years; however, the loss of one-off material remains permanent.

The garden and museum were incorporated into the Free University of Berlin in 1996. Since then, they have had the status of a faculty- independent central institution.

After extensive funding cuts by the Berlin Senate , the university threatened to close the garden in spring 2003. In just a few months, 78,000 signatures for the preservation of the botanical garden were collected, which the director of the garden presented to the Berlin parliamentary president on July 7, 2003. As a result, the Botanical Garden continues to exist, but between 2004 and 2009 had to accept a budget cut of one million euros to 6.8 million euros, and 20 gardening positions were cut.


Directors of the "new" botanical garden:

Park and plants

Layout of the garden

Terrain modeled on the Northern Alps with a waterfall, as it was around 1905

Engler designed the outdoor area of ​​the botanical garden as a landscape garden. The largest areas are taken by the 12.9 hectare geographical facilities and the 13.9 hectare arboretum. The geographical facilities are located directly to the west of the main path and enclose the " Italian Garden ", which is located opposite the greenhouses. The aim was to show the plants of the different continents and habitats in their natural environment as much as possible. For this purpose, the structure and type of the subsoil were adapted and 136,000 m³ of earth were moved. The carp pond , a moraine pool, which was already present on the site before the expansion into the botanical garden , was expanded to include a second basin to form an oak pond in order to also be able to show shore plants. A short moat, spanned by a stone bridge, connects both parts of the oak pond.

Mixed deciduous forest in the arboretum

The arboretum, a rich and systematic collection of native plants, occupies the southern and western parts of the garden. The arboretum is also adjacent to both parts of the oak pond, so that there are also native bank plants in the collection.

Alpine vegetation in the geographical section

In the northwest corner of the garden a "systematic department" was created in which the plants were sorted according to their relationship. This part of the garden was destroyed in April and May 1945 by air raids, artillery shells and ground fighting and rebuilt in a modified form. It now houses a plant for the herbaceous plant system and the plant for medicinal plants . This plant has been laid out in the form of a human body, with the plants planted in the place of their effective area, it is the successor to the pharmacist's garden. This was a little further to the east, together with the “economic department”, in which crops were shown. The apothecary garden was particularly significant as it showed all of the medicinal plants that thrive outdoors.

Natural garden for swamp and water plants

Two “ morphological departments” were located east of the main path in the few free areas between the buildings. Particularly noteworthy here is the water and swamp bed system in section II. 262 basins with water sprinklers and drainage of the overflowing water were made of cement concrete for this purpose. A large water basin was heated for the swamp flora of the tropics. The entire complex is still there, but was abandoned after the opening of the directly adjacent new swamp and aquatic plant garden. A biotope is now being developed in the old facility to protect native wild plants and animals.

In place of the “Morphological Department I” there has been the “Fragrance and Touch Garden” since 1984, in which all the plant signs are also in Braille . Relief plans at the entrances to this area make it easier for blind people to find their way around. Braille booklets can also be borrowed from the cash registers. Also to the east of the main path was the colonial garden, which had been laid out for studying the useful plants to be cultivated in the German colonies . In another section east of the main path, near the southern entrance, annual shrubs and garden flowers have been shown since the garden opened .

The "Kurfürstengarten" in the northern inner courtyard of the greenhouse complex is relatively new, yet referring to the oldest roots of the botanical garden. A courtyard and kitchen garden was created here, as was also found at the Berlin City Palace in the 17th century. In the book "Flora Marchica" published by Johann Sigismund Elsholtz in 1663 , the planting of the former grounds is handed down.

Cacti in house I.
Giant water lilies in the Victoria House (House O)

Division in the show houses

The following greenhouses are available to visitors:

Titan Arum, fully bloomed
"Living Fossil" Wollemia (2006)

Special plants

In terms of biodiversity, the Botanical Garden in Berlin ranks third worldwide with 22,000 species. The oldest plant in the botanical garden is a 160 year old cycad that was already green in the old botanical garden in Schöneberg. Also impressive is the giant bamboo in the Great Tropical House, which can reach a height of 25 m, a stalk diameter of 15 cm and an increase in size of up to 30 cm daily. A botanical rarity is a Welwitschia that is over 20 years old . It is the only specimen in the world that produces seeds in a botanical garden.


In order to provide financial support for the work of the Botanical Garden, it is possible to sponsor a plant, which, depending on the size and rarity of the plant, costs between 250 and 1500 euros per year. Prominent plant sponsors include:

It is also possible to have a path named after you for 60 euros per square meter, whereby the amount is used to renovate the path.


Sculpture sower by Hermann Joachim Pagels

Numerous works of art have been displayed over the years, especially in the Italian jewelry garden:


Construction of the Great Tropical House, 1906


The 16 greenhouses, 15 of which are still there today, were built on the south-western slope of the Fichtenberg. The structure of the site enabled an optimal arrangement. 14 greenhouses form a rectangular complex that is dominated by the Great Tropical House. This and other large greenhouses are "in the second row", the flatter greenhouses are three meters lower due to the hillside location, directly on the main path. As a result, the incidence of sunlight is optimally used and mutual shading is excluded. What all greenhouses have in common is the then new type of construction, in which the steel supporting structure lies completely inside (example: subtropical house) or completely outside (example large tropical house) of the respective greenhouse. This prevented heat loss through the supporting structures and the unfavorable formation of dripping water on the steel girders.

Original floor plan of the show greenhouses based on Koerner's design

The footprint of all the heated show greenhouses originally built was 8192 m². In addition, there were unheated earth houses for cold frames with an area of ​​around 1500 m².

View of the plant showhouses around 1905

With its length of 60.04 meters, width of 29.34 meters and height of around 25 meters, the Great Tropical House is still one of the largest steel-and-glass structures in the world and the most important work of its architect Alfred Koerner, despite its one hundred years of existence. The designer and structural engineer for this building was Heinrich Müller-Breslau . The construction consists of steel three-hinged arches that are arranged on the outside, while the glass facade is suspended on the inside. The construction work lasted from 1905 to 1907. The floor area is 1,728 m² and the space comprises 36,200 m³. The planting bed in the middle of the house alone had an area of ​​1,000 m² and a depth of 3.50 meters. The cellar room with the radiators was arranged under the central bed. In addition, there were heating pipes in three rings in the glass roof, which were not noticeable because of their small diameter. For maintenance work, the large tropical house has been provided with three galleries running around it, which can be reached from the glass tower on the back of the building.

Cross-section through the Great Tropical House and the House for Tropical Aquatic Plants

The steel structures of the greenhouses were not destroyed in the Second World War. However, in the fall of 1943 most of the disks did not survive the pressure waves from nearby explosive bombs . As a result, most of the tropical plants froze to death, and a few are said to have survived in the kitchens and living rooms of committed employees.

The Great Tropical House before renovation in July 2006

Post-war reconstruction began in 1949 and the following year the Victoria House celebrated its reopening. In 1958, nine greenhouses were again open to the public, but it wasn't until May 22, 1968 that the last show greenhouse was opened after five years of construction, which was restored at 3.45 million marks (inflation-adjusted in today's currency: around 8 million euros). With the reconstruction, the technical systems of the building were modernized. Instead of silicate glass , acrylic glass was used for the covering because it has more favorable properties; it absorbs less UV light , the thermal conductivity is lower, the material is lighter and it can be processed better when deformed, which means that larger panes (1 m × 2 m) can be used. One disadvantage of the material became apparent on July 31, 1969: it is not fireproof. A fire that broke out in the upper dome area for an unexplained cause caused considerable material damage to the plastic glazing. The damaged area could be closed before the cold snap, but the damaged building could not be reopened until June 12, 1970. Furthermore, the heating technology was revised during the renovation in the 1960s. An air circulation system with 16 fans was installed in the cellar vault. The warm air was blown into the house through shafts at three different heights and circulated six to eight times an hour. To increase the air humidity, a sprinkler system with 66 nozzles was installed in the ridge vault, with which 130 liters of water could be sprayed per minute. In addition, 96 lights with high pressure mercury vapor lamps of 400 watt each were installed.

Large tropical house at the beginning of the renovation after removing the vegetation
Temporary arrangement not accessible to the public to accommodate the tropical plants

Almost 40 years after the reopening, a thorough renovation of the large tropical house was urgently required again. In March 2004 the house had to be closed for a short time because the suspension of the ceiling lights was rusted through and threatened to fall. In January 2006, after a heating failure in the neighboring Victoria House, it was difficult to save the plants from freezing to death. Similar damage in the Great Tropical House would have been devastating. Numerous cracked panes were only poorly glued. On February 16, 2006, the Berlin House of Representatives approved the renovation , which cost 16 million euros. The renovation is financed by the Free University and the German Class Lottery Foundation with funds from the environmental relief program of the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development, the university building program of the BMBF and the European Fund for Regional Development of the European Union . After moving the plants to other greenhouses and a specially constructed temporary greenhouse, the renovation of the building began in August 2006. It was reopened on September 16, 2009, and opened to the public the following day. The Victoriahaus remained closed, however, and its renovation did not begin until 2013. The reopening was planned for September 2015, but had to be postponed due to construction defects, and took place three years later on June 16, 2018.

House O for tropical aquatic plants with a length of ten and a width of eight meters extended in the central axis in front of the Great Tropical House. Even in the old garden, the giant water lilies were a magnet for visitors with a show house in a prominent place, and so they found their new home in the new botanical garden in the center of the greenhouse complex. The current connection to the Great Tropical House was not established until 1966 to 1969. The Victoria House was expanded from 214 m² to 254 m² and the marsh plant house with 170 m² was added. The water basin in the Victoria House has also been enlarged from 70.3 m² to 113 m².

At the same time as the Victoria House was enlarged, the entire entrance to the greenhouse complex was redesigned. The Victoria House was given a publicly accessible basement with two pools of marsh plants and twelve aquariums for the various aquatic plants from all over the world. From this basement, which nowadays also houses a shop (moved to the museum for the period of the greenhouse renovation) and a café, there are direct access to the Great Tropical House and the greenhouses G and H on both sides, the starting points of the tours. The opening of this structural redesign took place on June 19, 1969.

Show greenhouse M ( Australia , New Zealand )

The corner points in the back row of the greenhouses form the greenhouses C and M. They have a square base area of ​​393 m² and a ridge height of 11.50 meters. They were connected to the Great Tropical House by the flatter greenhouses B and N. These had a height of only 4.50 meters and a floor area of ​​288 m². The connection from the rear row of greenhouses to the front is made by the greenhouses D and L, which are 3.30 meters high. They each have a floor area of ​​231 m².

Show greenhouse E (humid tropics), new build from 1987

Four greenhouses of equal size (E, G, H and K) with a ridge height of 9.30 meters and a floor area of ​​154 m² were laid out in the front. Between two of these greenhouses there were houses F and I with a height of 4.50 meters, each with a floor area of ​​191 m².

Between 1979 and 1987, all of the greenhouses in the front row (E to K) were demolished and replaced by new buildings designed by the architect and artist Engelbert Kremser . Structural decay and increasing space requirements are given as reasons for the construction measure. Kremser used the possibilities of modern design and worked with many curves in the echo of organic shapes. He used these curves both in the course of the fronts and in the transitions to the roofs.

The almost 16 meter high subtropical house (view from the Zeune promenade)

A little off the main complex is the second architectural highlight of the greenhouse design, the cold house for subtropical plants, also known as the Mediterranean house. With its three-aisled structure and two portal towers, it has an almost cathedral-like character. The floor area of ​​the house is 878 m² with a ridge height of 15.8 meters. The position of this greenhouse resulted from the distance that was necessary in order to avoid shading the other greenhouses even when the sun was shallow in winter. The house was completely renovated between 1989 and 1992.

The small greenhouse for colonial crops was located away from the greenhouse complex in the colonial garden near the boiler house. It was of a simple shape, was 3.70 meters high, had a floor area of ​​134 m² and is no longer available today.


Lecture hall around 1905 and 100 years later

In the outdoor areas, numerous pavilions offer the opportunity to rest, study literature or seek shelter from the rain. Koerner showed his extensive architectural skills here by designing the buildings in a wide variety of styles, adapted to the botanical environment. Some of these pavilions are connected with small jewelry systems.

Japanese arbor

In the area of ​​the geographical layouts showing the flora of East Asia, the Japanese arbor is located in the center of a Japanese ornamental garden .

Which is located at a central location in the Arboretum rose arbor . From basalt lava , Koerner built a semicircular massive structure in Romanesque shapes. It is surrounded by wild roses, which overgrow it and show their blossoms in a particularly impressive way in front of the dark building.

In the systematic department, today in the middle of extensive meadows, there is an open lecture hall. Engler liked to visit them with his students to hold lectures here. That is why it is now called the Engler Pavilion .

In the former Morphological Department I , today's fragrance and touch garden , there is a mushroom-shaped, covered seat. This somewhat clumsy-looking pavilion hides a 180 m³ collecting well, in which the rainwater from all glass roofs, around 8000 m² in total, is collected. This water is used to supply the sensitive plants.

The alpine house is a combination of a pavilion and a farm building . It was built on the edge of the alpine garden in the form of Swiss timber construction. In addition to its intended purpose as a gardener's workhouse, it also offers a seating and shelter hall for visitors. Further protective halls were built in connection with the porter's lodges at both entrances.

In 1997, the Dorotheen Pavilion was added on the banks of the north-western upper lake of the oak pond.

Residential and farm buildings

Thermal power station

Boiler house with chimney, pumping station and water tower, around 1905

Special requirements were placed on the heating system, since the temperatures required for the various plants can only be achieved by additional heating in the greenhouses. Continuous operation is necessary because heating must also be carried out at night and in summer.

In view of the high requirements and the high energy demand, a separate heating and power plant with three hot water boilers and a steam boiler was built in the botanical garden . The power plant had to provide the following services:

  • Supply of heating systems with hot water and low pressure steam,
  • Supply of greenhouses with water vapor for air humidification and tropical fog,
  • Supply of the nurseries with hot water,
  • Energy supply of the water lift, the rainwater pressure pipe, the electric lighting and the electric machines.

Until it was shut down, the power plant was operated with hard coal and required around 1500 tons per year. On September 13, 1967, the Botanical Garden was to the district heating network of the district heating plant Steglitz connected and is since then from there the heat required. The annual energy consumption is approx. 36,000  GJ (= 8,580  Gcal ), of which about a third is required for the Great Tropical House. The renovation of the Great Tropical House will significantly reduce its energy requirements, so that once the work is complete, it will only be around a fifth of the reduced total energy requirement.


An adequate supply of fresh water is just as important as the supply of heat. Two wells 50 meters deep were created for the mass needs of the garden. The deep water found there was suitable for outdoor planting without further treatment. A waterworks with steam pumps , which were supplied with steam from the heating plant mentioned above, was installed to convey the water. The water was pumped directly into the garden's pipe network and into the 550 m³ water tower behind the show houses. The pumping system was designed for a daily output of 1000 m³ of water.

The water for supplying the buildings was drawn from the public network from the start. In an emergency, the public network could have been used as a replacement for the waterworks.

The technology was modernized and the pumps are now electrically operated, but the deep wells still ensure the water supply for the botanical garden.

Residential houses

Houses for sub-director (front) and director, around 1905

For Engler and Urban, director and sub-director, two residential buildings were built in close proximity in the middle of an ornamental garden. They were to the west of the entrance on Königin-Luise-Platz. The house for the sub-director was destroyed in World War II, the director's house has been preserved to the present day. The former home for the chief inspector of the garden has also been preserved. It is located near the southern entrance on Unter den Eichen and is now used as a pedagogical center (pedagogical advice center in the botanical garden / botany school). The built-up living space also differed according to the position of the people; for the director 245 m², for the sub-director 193 m² and for the chief inspector 150.5 m².

Gardener's house I

Two multi-storey buildings with apartments for employees of the garden were also built within the garden, the so-called gardener's residential buildings I and II. In addition to the living areas, these included common rooms such as dining rooms, reading rooms and writing rooms as well as service rooms such as seed room, storage rooms or rooms for garden management. Both buildings are located in the southern garden area between the public garden and the farm yard.

All five residential buildings were made of brick in the area of ​​the full storeys and timber frame construction in the area of ​​the extended attic storeys.

Botanical museum, herbarium and library


New building for museum, herbarium and library around 1905

The museum, herbarium and library are housed in a shared building on Königin-Luise-Straße , which was built between 1903 and 1906. The four-storey building with a loft, designed by Koerner, consists of a main building on the street and two garden wings. The western garden wing, 48.68 meters long, housed the museum and the botanical central office for the German colonies , while the eastern garden wing (28.17 meters long) was built for the herbarium and library. The wing was designed in such a way that it could have been extended later if necessary. In the 78.9 meter long main building there were administration rooms, work rooms, classrooms and a large lecture hall on the northwest corner.

Botanical museum with the Herbarian wing completed in 1987

The entrance hall of the building extends over two floors and provides access to the various areas of the building.

The building was badly damaged in World War II. On March 1, 1943, an explosive bomb hit the roof of the herbarium and library wing and set it on fire. Also phosphorus bombs hit the building. The herbarium and library wing and parts of the main building burned down until the next day. The museum wing was still standing, but had suffered considerable damage from the pressure waves from the high-explosive bombs. In an air raid on January 29, 1944, the museum wing was also hit and largely burned out.

Between 1953 and 1959 the west wing and the main building were rebuilt. Herbarium, library and museum now had to share the west wing for the time being, so that much less space was available to all. From 1983 to 1987 a new east wing, larger than the original, was built according to a design by Rainer G. Rümmler .

Botanical Museum

Exhibition room in the museum, around 1905

In 1879, the herbarium in the old botanical garden was given its own building and thus for the first time the opportunity to present collection items to the public. Just one year later, an exhibition was opened to “instruct non-professionally trained visitors”. This was the first forerunner of the Botanical Museum.

Exhibition on Egyptian grave goods in the museum

When the museum moved to Dahlem in 1907, it was given a significantly larger exhibition area on three floors. This was used to expand the plant-geographical and paleobotanical exhibition to include departments on reproductive conditions in the plant kingdom and on basic types of plant shapes.

After the destruction of the building and numerous exhibits, the reconstruction of a museum began in 1957 on a significantly reduced area on one floor. After the herbarium and library had been moved to the newly built east wing, the museum was expanded. The second floor was opened on March 11, 1991. In 2004/05 the first floor was revised and redesigned.

The museum sees itself today as a supplement to the garden and wants to present the subjects of botany that cannot easily be observed in the garden. This includes historical development, development over the year, internal plant structures, enlarged microstructures, species distribution as well as plant products and use.

Herbarium, library and seed bank

The first plant collections were carried out by Elsholtz around 1657 before the botanical garden was founded. The basis of the herbarium and library, however, goes back to the year 1818, when the then director Heinrich Friedrich Link, with the intercession of the Prussian minister Karl vom Stein zum Altenstein , managed to acquire Willdenow's private atherbarium and library for the botanical garden were. In addition to numerous collections carried out by employees of the Botanical Garden, the herbarium subsequently received numerous collections from leading botanists. Johann Friedrich Klotzsch was the curator and director from 1838 to 1860 .

When the library moved to the new building in Dahlem, the number of volumes and separata was around 37,000. At that time, the herbarium consisted of 17,500 folders, 3,200 of them with cryptogams . Some important collections, such as that of Willdenow or the Himalaya collection of Prince Waldemar, were kept separately and not integrated into the General Herbarium.

Due to the bombing on March 1, 1943 and the subsequent fire, almost the entire collection, including some 300-year-old irretrievable items, as well as the library were destroyed. 80,000 volumes and 200,000 prints were burned in the library. Immediately after the library was lost, donations and antiquarian purchases began to rebuild it. At the beginning of 1945 the inventory had grown again to 20,000 volumes and 50,000 prints. Due to the turmoil that was connected with the end of the Second World War, however, this stock was also largely lost again.

After the extended reconstruction of the east wing, the herbarium and library moved there in 1987. By this time the library had reached the pre-war size with around 85,600 monographs and journal volumes.

In 1994, long-term storage for germinable seeds of endangered or protected plants was set up with the Dahlem Seed Bank. The seeds are collected worldwide, but the focus is on Europe and especially the Berlin-Brandenburg region. Since 2015, the seed bank has had its own small building between the Botanical Museum and the swamp and aquatic plant garden. At this point in time, the stock had already grown to around 7,000 storages, which are available for conservation cultures of endangered species and scientific research.

Burial place

Coming from the entrance on Königin-Luise-Platz there is a small cemetery on the left in front of the greenhouse complex. Friedrich Althoff, who died in 1908, was the first to be buried here. It was Althoff who, as a university advisor in the Prussian Ministry of Culture, decisively promoted the development of the Dahlem university location and was buried in the Botanical Garden at his own request. The tomb for Althoff was created in 1911 by Hans Krückeberg . It is reminiscent of a classically designed sarcophagus on which there is a pedestal with a mourning female figure made of marble . This symbolizes the grieving science.

Tomb for Adolf Engler

Second, the important African explorer and curator at the Georg Schweinfurth Botanical Garden was buried. He died in 1925.

The third grave site belongs to Adolf Engler, who died in 1930, and his wife Marie, who died in 1943. Engler was the first director of the new botanical garden, had influenced its design and structure up to the present day and was buried here in his life's work.

A few meters further is the grave of Ludwig Diel, who died in 1945. Diels was a close colleague of Engler before he succeeded him after Engler's retirement .

A little further away from the three above-mentioned grave sites, which are in a row, another ladder of the garden is buried. It is about Erich Werdermann , who ran the garden from 1951 to 1958 and died in 1959. A tombstone near Althoff's grave suggests that Ignaz Urban was also here. However, it is a cenotaph . Urban's tombstone was only moved to the Botanical Garden in his memory after his grave site in Lichterfelde was closed.


Supported tunnel in the spruce mountain bunker

In 1943, construction of a bunker system began under the Fichtenberg at a depth of around ten meters . Access to this bunker was only possible via two entrances from the service yard of the botanical garden. The bunker was built for the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office , which was located about 500 meters away on Unter den Eichen 126–135. The bunker was used to accommodate the files and personnel during the air alarms. The layout of the bunker is unusual, as there were very few rooms and the rather long tunnels were driven with different construction methods. At the end of a tunnel created using the shield tunneling method, there is still the drilling shield that was left behind when the work was stopped in 1944.

After the Second World War , the entrances to the bunker were blown up. Some corridors have collapsed in the meantime. The rest of the facility is now used as winter quarters for bats .

Paths through the botanical garden

Alpine plants between mountain rocks
Trees in the botanical garden
Berlin, Botanical Garden: country house in the Botanical Garden

Tour: From the entrance under the oaks, the path leads past the garden administration building and the fragrance and touch garden to the greenhouses. From the entrance to the Great Tropical House, the greenhouses open up according to continents and plant species. Then to the stone hills with alpine plants. The path to the rose pavilion goes through the loose forest in the arboretum. Then parallel to the street Unter den Eichen back to the Landhaus / Entrance Unter den Eichen.


The large tropical house, with its interior and exterior views, is one of the locations of the science fiction series Lexx - The Dark Zone (3rd season, 9th episode: Garden ) produced in the Babelsberg film studio .


  • Botanical Garden & Botanical Museum Berlin (Ed.): Overview plan. Berlin 2018.


Web links

Commons : Botanischer Garten Berlin  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Botanischer Garten, Berlin-Dahlem  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c From the potato field to the oasis. Berlin was able to see the Botanical Garden for the first time 100 years ago . In: Berliner Zeitung , April 12, 2003.
  2. Zepernick / Karlsson, p. 99.
  3. Botanical Garden: 78,000 signatures handed over . ( Memento from September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) In: Berliner Morgenpost , July 8, 2003
  4. ↑ Something going on without moss . ( Memento from October 25, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) In: Berliner Morgenpost , June 7, 2004
  5. Victoriahaus in the Botanical Garden Berlin reopened: One of the world's most important aquatic plant collections, a highlight again after 12 years. In: BGBM. Retrieved August 29, 2019 .
  6. Brigitte Zimmer: 100 years would be in vain . In: Berliner Zeitung , April 24, 2003
  7. Hagemann / Zepernick 1992, p. 57
  8. The founder of the Love Parade becomes a plant sponsor in the Botanical Garden . In: Berliner Zeitung , July 9, 2003
  9. Botanical garden closes the tropical house - ceiling lamps threaten to fall down . In: Berliner Zeitung , March 12, 2004.
  10. Tropical plants saved at the last second. In: Der Tagesspiegel , January 11, 2006.
  11. ↑ The large tropical house in the botanical garden is being renovated in an environmentally friendly manner. Senate Department for Urban Development, August 24, 2006.
  12. Botanical Garden: Saving Energy in the Primeval Forest. In: Der Tagesspiegel, September 15, 2009.
  13. Canceled: Opening of the Victoriahaus in the Botanical Garden Berlin. Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, August 19, 2015, accessed on September 3, 2015 .
  14. Victoriahaus in the Botanical Garden Berlin reopens. Press release of the Botanical Garden, June 15, 2018.
  15. Dahlem Seed Bank. Botanical garden website, accessed November 20, 2016.
  16. ^ Opening of the Dahlem seed bank on March 27, 2015 in the Botanical Garden! Botanical garden website, accessed November 20, 2016.

Coordinates: 52 ° 27 ′ 15 ″  N , 13 ° 18 ′ 24 ″  E

This article was added to the list of excellent articles on October 5, 2006 in this version .