Lustgarten (Berlin)

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B2B5 Pleasure garden
Coat of arms of Berlin.svg
Place in Berlin
Pleasure garden
The pleasure garden with fountain and granite bowl , behind it the Old Museum
Basic data
place Berlin
District center
Created 1658
Newly designed 1831, 1871, 1905, 1936, 1998
Hist. Names Marx-Engels-Platz
Confluent streets
At the Lustgarten,
Buildings Altes Museum ,
Berlin Cathedral ,
Berlin Palace ,
granite bowl .

  Former buildings :

User groups Pedestrians , cyclists
Technical specifications
Square area 2.0 ha

The Lustgarten is a two-hectare green area on the Museum Island in Berlin district of Mitte . Created in 1573 by Elector Johann Georg as the kitchen garden of the Berlin Palace , it has been redesigned several times in the course of history. In 1834 he received a granite bowl , which is one of the most popular sights in Berlin, and in 1863 an equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III. which was destroyed in the post-war period. The pleasure garden was last redesigned in 1998–1999. It is limited by the Altes Museum in the north, the Berlin Cathedral in the east, the Berlin Palace in the south and the Spree Canal in the west.


The Lustgarten, located in the historic district of Alt-Kölln , is bordered by the street Am Lustgarten and the Berlin Cathedral in the east, the Altes Museum in the north, the Kupfergraben in the west and a multi-lane street and the Berlin Palace, rebuilt as the Humboldt Forum, in the south.



The pleasure garden on the Memhardt plan from 1652, the arrow at the bottom points north
View of the pleasure garden from Johann Sigismund Elsholtz ' Vom Garten-Baw , 1666

The northern part of the Spree island , which emerged from a sandbank, was originally a relatively swampy area. While the town of Cölln emerged on the southern part of the island between two arms of the Spree in the 13th century and from 1442 a medieval castle complex was built by Elector Friedrich II on the central part to the north, the use and appearance of the northern part is about the island on which today's pleasure garden is located was unknown at the time. It is mentioned for the first time in 1471, but it can be assumed that the area had already served as a garden before. Under Elector Johann Georg , the area was turned into a kitchen garden in the course of the palace expansion in 1573, and his court gardener Desiderius Corbinianus was responsible for this . From the kitchen notturft accordingly, so the needs and demands of Hofküche, Corbinianus put a portion of the garden as Herb Garden; fruit trees were also planted. Presumably, part of the area was also used for court festivities. In the years of the Thirty Years' War the garden was also devastated and overgrown.

Before the end of the war, Elector Friedrich Wilhelm had the garden restored in 1645 and laid out by the military engineer Johann Mauritz and the court gardener Michael Hanff based on the example of the Dutch gardens . The terrain sloped slightly from southwest to northeast in terraces and has been called Lustgarten since 1646 . The palace builder Johann Gregor Memhardt , who presented his ideas in 1652 in a plan for the design of Berlin, the Memhardt Plan , probably had a major influence on the complex . In it he planned a three-part garden, which was only partially realized. In addition to the actual pleasure garden, which provided an arboretum , aviaries , hedges, statues , sculptures and arcades as well as a pleasure house , Memhardt designed a water garden adjoining to the west with fountains, fountains and water features as well as a kitchen garden, which should also accommodate exotic plants and spices. Memhardt had already built the Dutch-style pleasure house in 1650, and it contained an artificial grotto in the basement. For the potatoes imported from the Netherlands in 1649 and planted here for the first time, the bitter orange house was built in 1652 , in which not only potatoes but also tomatoes were grown as ornamental plants. They were the first potatoes to be cultivated in Prussia . Due to a defect in the heating system, the building burned down in 1655, was rebuilt in 1656 and demolished again in 1658 to make room for fortifications. In the course of the fortification , the fortress moat was created, which cut through the pleasure garden and connected the Cölln city moat with the Spree. The part of the garden there had to be relocated. The botanist and court physician Johann Sigismund Elsholtz became garden master in 1657 and developed the facilities into Berlin's first botanical garden in the following years . The garden, which was freely accessible to everyone, was a popular meeting place for Berliners and the first and oldest garden square in the city. Until then, only market, church and parade grounds were known in Berlin, as Bogdan Krieger (1863–1931) writes. In 1660, the ballroom , which used to be outside the old city walls, was moved to the edge of the pleasure garden. It was used for ball games, especially an early form of tennis (Jeu de paume) . From 1685, Johann Arnold Nering added a so-called " orangery house " built in a semicircle to the north .

In the year of his coronation in 1713, the soldier king Friedrich Wilhelm I canceled the expenses for the pleasure garden, had the rare plants, statues and artistically shaped flower pots moved to the palace gardens of Charlottenburg and Friedrichsfelde and the pool removed. Then he had the pleasure garden converted into a sand-covered parade ground . In 1738 the Berlin merchants received the Lusthaus and set up the Berlin Stock Exchange on the upper floor, and a sculptor's workshop in the basement. Frederick II had chestnut avenues built around the still unplanted square and the new Berlin Cathedral built on the Spree side from 1745–1748 by Johann Boumann . The orangery served as a supplement to the Packhof from 1749 . Under the government of Friedrich Wilhelm III. In 1798 the pleasure house gave way to a new building for the stock exchange and, based on an idea by David Gilly , lawns covered the square. Entering it was strictly forbidden. The paths around the lawn and the forecourt of the cathedral and castle were lined with poplars . The leafy, shady part of the pleasure garden developed as a promenade to compete with the street Unter den Linden. However, a wide, pebble-strewn area in front of the castle was still used by the Prussian army as a parade and parade ground. Since 1800, Schadow's marble statue of her disciplinarian Prince Leopold von Anhalt-Dessau rose on its southeast corner . After the defeat of Prussia at Jena and Auerstedt , Napoleon Bonaparte moved into Berlin on October 27, 1806 and, to the horror of the public, had his troops bivouacked on the lawn .

Redesign by Schinkel in 1831

Schinkel's design for the redesign of the pleasure garden
The granite bowl in the Berlin Lustgarten , painting by Johann Erdmann Hummel , 1831

In the area between the Forum Fridericianum and the palace, under the government of Friedrich Wilhelm III. after the wars of liberation with the construction of the Neue Wache , the castle bridge and several military monuments, the representative urban area of ​​the Prussian state. The pleasure garden formed the eastern end of the spatial program. Between 1820 and 1822 Karl Friedrich Schinkel modernized the baroque Berlin Cathedral in a classicist style . In the years 1825 to 1828 he began with the expansion of the northern part of the Spree island to the Museum Island ; first the classical Royal Museum was built.

On the basis of Schinkel's ideas, Peter Joseph Lenné re- modeled the area of ​​the pleasure garden, which was now framed by the Spree, the city palace, the cathedral and the old museum from 1826 to 1829. He divided the green, rectangular area, bordered by chestnut trees to the west and east, into six lawns. He cut a semicircle out of the two northern fields in front of the open staircase of the museum, and a 13-meter-high fountain rose at the intersection of the four southern lawns. Schinkel housed the steam engine for pumping water in a machine house north of the old stock exchange building . The water flowed off through a walled channel covered with granite slabs, the outlet of which can still be seen in the Spree Canal wall today .

In 1831 took place before the staircase a antique style of the Royal Museum granite bowl with a diameter of 22  feet (6.91 meters) into place, the stonemason and building inspector Christian Gottlieb Cantian of a boulder , one of the Margrave stones in Rauen's mountains had struck, .

Redesign by Strack 1871/1905

Pleasure garden with equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III. , View of the Altes Museum, around 1900
Pleasure garden with granite bowl , view of the castle, around 1900

After the establishment of the German Empire in 1871, Heinrich Strack redesigned the pleasure garden, creating two diagonal paths for pedestrians. The granite bowl by Christian Gottlieb Cantian remained on the northern edge. In the middle the equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III. set up by Albert Wolff. Two small fountains were created on the southern edge, while the green areas were richly planted with ornamental beds , bushes and trees. Further adjustments were necessary after the construction of the Berlin Cathedral in 1905.

During the Weimar Republic , the square was often used for political rallies, especially for the labor movement. On August 31, 1921, around 500,000 Berliners demonstrated in the Lustgarten against the increasing right-wing extremist terror. One day after the murder of Walther Rathenau , a spontaneous protest rally of 250,000 Berliners took place here on June 25, 1922. On February 7, 1933, 200,000 participants demonstrated against the newly appointed Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his NSDAP government.

Pavement by Dammeier in 1936

Paved pleasure garden with staggered equestrian statue, around 1936
NS rally in the Lustgarten on May 1, 1936
SED rally in the Lustgarten on the occasion of the III. Party Congress, July 1950
The paved pleasure garden in GDR times, 1988

The National Socialists also used the pleasure garden as a place for rallies. During the preparations for the 1936 Summer Olympics , Ministerialrat Conrad Dammeier redesigned it from 1935 to 1936 into a parade and parade area, which was paved with large-format rectangular slabs, flanked by wide lawns. Because the equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III. and the granite bowl impair the view of the Old Museum, the grand staircase at rallies as a tribune to serve, they had to place edges back. The granite bowl was placed in the green area north of the cathedral and Friedrich Wilhelm III rotated by 90 °. rode from the Spree Canal towards the cathedral portal.

On August 1, 1936, 20,000 Hitler Youth and 40,000 SA men celebrated the end of the Olympic torch relay in Berlin in a “consecration hour” . The runner Siegfried Eifrig lit the Olympic flame, which burned in two "altars" in the pleasure garden and in front of the castle for the entire duration of the Olympic Games.

On May 18, 1942, a resistance group led by Herbert Baum , which consisted mainly of Jewish men and women, tried to destroy the propaganda exhibition The Soviet Paradise by arson. This resulted in the group's discovery, Baum's death in Gestapo custody, and the execution of at least 27 of its members. In a “retaliatory action”, the Reich Security Main Office arrested 500 Jewish men at the end of May and murdered half of them immediately.

During the Allied air raids , the pleasure garden and the adjacent buildings suffered various degrees of destruction from fires. Most of the palace and the Altes Museum burned down, the cathedral lost the outer cupola and the lantern . The substance of the development on the edge of the square, its decorative figures, the granite bowl and the Friedrich Wilhelm monument had been preserved with minor damage.

In the first years after 1945, the pleasure garden continued to serve as a demonstration site, which the SED leadership found too small. To expand the square, Walter Ulbricht ordered the party to blow up and clear the castle in 1950, which meant that the pleasure garden lost its urban design. The damaged monument of Friedrich Wilhelm III. had already been melted down as non-ferrous metal scrap .

The large parade area from the area of ​​the castle, the castle square, the castle freedom and the pleasure garden, whose historical name was lost, was called Marx-Engels-Platz from 1951 . The damaged, framing trees of the pleasure garden were replaced by linden trees in 1951 , while the paving of Dammeiers remained unchanged.

In the decades that followed, the Old Museum was rebuilt, the National Gallery and the Cathedral were restored, and later also the Schloßbrücke. The Palace of the Republic was built on the eastern part of the palace area in 1973 and 1976 . The area opposite the Lustgarten remained undeveloped and served as a parking lot. A memorial stone made by Jürgen Raue has been a reminder of the Baum resistance group since 1981. Since 2000, its text has been supplemented by panels with information on the history of the event. The granite bowl Cantians came to its original place in front of the Altes Museum in 1981.

Re-greening by Loidl in 1998

Simplified map of the current situation
View of the pleasure garden from the former Humboldt Box

After the German reunification , the pleasure garden got its historical name back. Plans to restore the pleasure garden in line with Lenné's plans were discussed and several competitions were held. The visual artist Gerhard Merz won the selection process in 1994 with his design. However, like Gustav Lange's winning design in the second competition in 1997, his proposal was rejected by the public. Both designs wanted to preserve the historical pavement from the time of National Socialism , whose monument protection the Berlin Senate finally lifted.

After citizens' demonstrations for a historical reconstruction of the square in the version from around 1900, the second-placed design from both processes was realized by Atelier Loidl , which was based on the older plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel , from 1998 to 1999 for 3.5 million euros. New plantings replaced a large part of the linden trees along the Spree. The granite bowl moved back to its location in Schinkel's time, and the fountain that he created was built in the same place in a modern form. In 2001, Atelier Loidl received the German Landscape Architecture Prize for the new construction of the pleasure garden .

During the discussion about the decision of the German Bundestag to reconstruct the historic facade of the Berlin City Palace in the course of the construction of the Humboldt Forum, the ADAC and the Friends of the City Palace proposed that car traffic be routed southeast around the City Palace and part of the Karl Liebknecht To make the street a pedestrian zone in order to bring the pleasure garden closer to the city palace. A concept for traffic management presented on April 6, 2009 at the Humboldt Forum of the Berlin Senate , however, does not provide for the relocation of car traffic, but a paving of the area on Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse between Lustgarten and Humboldtforum and security with traffic lights on both sides.

See also


sorted alphabetically by author

  • Günter de Bruyn: Under the lime trees. Siedler Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-88680-789-4 .
  • Markus Jager: The Berlin Lustgarten. Garden art and urban design in the center of Prussia. Art studies, vol. 120, Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich / Berlin 2005, ISBN 978-3-422-06486-7 (review: PDF ).
  • Heinz Knobloch: In the pleasure garden with Heinz Knobloch. A Prussian garden in the heart of Berlin. Jaron Verlag, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89773-032-4 .
  • Bogdan Krieger: Berlin through the ages - A hike from the palace to Charlottenburg through 3 centuries. Hermann Klemm Publishing House, Berlin 1924.
  • Hans Stimmann (ed.): New garden art in Berlin. Nicolai, Berlin 2001.
  • Folkwin Wendland: Berlin's gardens and parks from the founding of the city to the end of the nineteenth century. Classic Berlin. Propylaeen Verlag / Ullstein Frankfurt a. M., Berlin, Vienna 1979, pp. 15-52.
  • Clemens Alexander Wimmer: The Berlin pleasure garden. History and redesign. In: Die Gartenkunst 10 (2/1998), pp. 281–299.

Web links

Commons : Lustgarten  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Lustgarten
  2. dhm
  3. ↑ On this, Helmut Engel : “They changed the shape of things and the hope for a better future was founded” - or: The beginning of the “Via triumphalis”. In: Helmut Engel, Wolfgang Ribbe (ed.): Via triumphalis. Historical landscape "Unter den Linden" between Friedrich monument and Schloßbrücke. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-05-003057-7 , pp. 31-46
  4. Carola Jüllig: The Torch Relay Run Olympia Berlin 1936. At 95, Siegfried Eifrig is still as fit as a gym shoe. SCC Running , February 6, 2005.
  5. ^ Peter Bloch, Waldemar Grzimek: The Berlin School of Sculpture in the nineteenth century. Propylaen, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin / Wien 1978, p. 154, illustration of the dismantled monument in the Eosanderhof of the palace p. 249
  6. ^ Resistance group around Herbert Baum. "This memorial stone, designed by the sculptor Jürgen Raue, was erected in 1981 on behalf of the magistrate of Berlin (East) without any further information about the resistance action in the Lustgarten"
  7. Senate argues about car-free pleasure garden. At: , February 2, 2009
  8. Pedestrian lights in front of the castle. At: , April 6, 2009
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on December 14, 2005 .

Coordinates: 52 ° 31 '7 "  N , 13 ° 23' 59"  E