Johann Gottlob Schulze

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Johann Gottlob Schulze (born April 11, 1755 in Waldstedt ; † May 24, 1834 in Potsdam ) was a German architect and gardening director in Potsdam.

life and work

Schulze, the son of a pastor and a pastor's daughter, attended grammar school in Leipzig in 1768 . He then studied law and architecture at Leipzig University . After completing his studies, he became a construction manager at the royal building contractor in Potsdam in 1777. A lot was still being built here for the old King Friedrich II . Karl von Gontard was the director of the Potsdam building authority and thus Schulze's superior until 1779 , followed by Georg Christian Unger (until 1781) and Heinrich Ludwig Manger (until 1787).

Gontard's school

The classicist Gontard was formative for the young architect. Friedrich Mielke writes: “From Gontard's school, remarkable talents emerged. Unger, Andreas Ludwig Krüger and Johann Christian Valentin Schultze as well as Johann Rudolph Heinrich Richter from Bayreuth and Johann Gottlob Schulze from Thuringia were the creators of a new, now really autochthonous Potsdam town house architecture. They built houses in which the use was not impaired by palace facades calculated to deceive the observer, in which it was easy to live and work. ” (P. 50) According to Friedrich Nicolai , Schulze built many new buildings, including various houses based on his own drawings out. Mielke particularly mentions Kleine Fischerstrasse 2-4 as Schulze's work and adds: “Apart from the facade requirements specified by Friedrich, the Gontard School was able to work almost independently.” (P. 41)

Gontard, a pioneer of Freemasonry in Prussia, may also have been the one who introduced Schulze to the Freemasons. Schulze had certainly been a lodge brother for a long time when he was affiliated, i.e. taken over, by the Potsdam lodge Minerva in 1803.


After seven years as a construction manager, Schulze became rendant of the Potsdam Immediat-Baukasse in 1784 . Now he was receiving a respectable annual salary. Therefore, he was able to marry the daughter of his superior Manger the following year. He had 15 children with her.

After King Friedrich's death in 1786, the building authorities were converted into court building authorities. In 1787, the new King Friedrich Wilhelm II promoted Manger to Oberhofbaurat and Schulze to building inspector.

But his activity as an architect did not last long. Shortly afterwards the previously improvised royal gardening was better incorporated into the court administration. The king appointed Manger gardening inspector. February 2, 1787 was the founding day of today's garden administration in Sanssouci. Manger also continued to hold the title of Oberhofbaurat and as such looked after the building matters for the gardens. When Manger died in 1790, the king himself proposed Schulze as his successor, as he said, "in that he is [familiar] with the matter and otherwise has a good reputation."

The garden inspection included numerous royal gardens between Caputh and Schwedt . However, the king made it important that the New Garden in Potsdam and the Charlottenburger Lustgarten remained outside the garden authority so that he could manage and rule there unbureaucratically. This also applied to the Pfaueninsel, which was added later .

Difficulties and successes

In Potsdam, however, like all Friedrich II's gardening officials, Schulze had never practically had anything to do with landscape gardens. Friedrich Wilhelm II therefore had new gardeners from abroad who had experience with it. For the maintenance of the existing gardens and, most importantly, the fruit and vegetable production, however, he could rely on Schulze's experience. Schulze had little opportunity for new designs in his further service, apart from the construction of the Ökonomieweg in Sanssouci, some redesigns in the pleasure garden and the greening of the Fiakerplatz at the city palace.

The newcomers, especially the Charlottenburg court gardener Johann August Eyserbeck , who was not subordinate to him, but still made plans for Sanssouci, were problematic for Schulze. In 1793 the vineyard terraces of Sanssouci were to be razed, which Schulze was able to prevent. However , he could not stop the removal of the marble colonnade in the Rehgarten because the king needed the material for the marble palace. In 1825 he still campaigned for the preservation of the Baroque and Frederician park sculptures. It is thanks to him that some figures have survived to this day. He made a name for himself as a defender of the Friderizian Sanssouci, cared for historical monuments before they existed, even though he was more of a friend of the landscape garden in terms of age and inclination.

The reign of Friedrich Wilhelm II was Schulze's most successful period despite the difficulties with some court gardeners. With special support from the court gardener Johann Samuel Sello , he succeeded in setting up numerous tree nurseries in Potsdam and Brandenburg, the first of their kind in the state. In this collection of trees there was one example of each tree species in alphabetical order.

In 1790 Schulze was one of the founders of the Märkische Economic Society, which did important educational work in Brandenburg. Numerous articles from his pen have been printed in the journals of this association.

The fruit and vegetable forcing under Schulze were no less important. He once calculated how long all the greenhouse facilities in Sanssouci were. He came to 12,412 ¼ feet, that's 3895 m. Assuming an average window height of 2.50 m, the area of ​​9739 m² was glazed. In the first years of Friedrich Wilhelm III. Little new happened in the gardens. The French came into the country, and Schulze only managed to manage the gardens through occupation and war with great difficulty. When the king was in East Prussia and in the field, it became the central task of the garden administration to send him fresh fruit and vegetables from their own production.

Displacement from the profession

The Rhenish journeyman Peter Joseph Lenné intrigued against Schulze in general and against his tree nurseries in particular, demanded a central tree nursery under his own direction and drew drafts of how all gardens should be designed completely differently. With success. In 1818, gardening director Burchard Friedrich von Maltzahn issued a circular to the court gardeners: “Se. Your Majesty the King had the grace to appoint Mr. Lenné as a member of the garden management. I am making this known to the court gardeners by saying that they have to obey H. Lenné's orders as if they were issued by me or the gardening director. "

Lenné also had the supervision of the tree nurseries assigned to him, which pushed Schulze out of his favorite area. In 1823 Lenné became director of the newly founded Royal Gardening School at the Wildlife Park near Potsdam , as he himself proposed. Since then he has also called himself gardening director, although only Schulze was entitled to this official title.

In 1823 Schulze built the Allee to Sanssouci 6 as a retirement home, which was purchased by Friedrich Wilhelm IV in 1840 and converted into a civil cabinet house by Ludwig Persius in 1842/43 .

In 1827 the 50th anniversary of Schulze's service was ceremonially celebrated. In 1828 Schulze retired, with a substantial pension, but without having applied for retirement. After handing over the official apartment to his successor Lenné, Schulze spent another six years in his private house on Allee nach Sanssouci.


  • Friedrich Mielke : Potsdam architecture. Classic Potsdam. Propylaeen-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1981.
  • Clemens Alexander Wimmer : The first garden director. Johann Gottlob Schulze, lecture on his 250th birthday. In: Potsdam's latest news. Vol. 55, No. 99, April 29, 2005, ZDB -ID 1184808-x , p. 22.