Babelsberg Park

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Babelsberg Park
DEU Potsdam COA.svg
Park in Potsdam
Babelsberg Park
View from Babelsberg Castle Park
to Glienicke Bridge
Basic data
place Potsdam
District Babelsberg
Created in the middle of the 19th century
Newly designed gradually since the 1990s
Buildings Buildings in the park
User groups Foot traffic ; Leisure , events
Technical specifications
Parking area 1.24 km²

The for World Heritage Site belonging Babelsberg Park is located northeast of the center of Potsdam in the district of Babelsberg , adjacent to the depths of the lake of the Havel and the Glienicker lake. It is around 124  hectares in size. The hilly terrain sloping down to the lake was designed as a park landscape by the garden architect Peter Joseph Lenné , then Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau - both on behalf of Prince Wilhelm (later: Kaiser Wilhelm I) and his wife Augusta .

History of the park

Prince William sought - after for his brother Carl Glienicke Palace and his brother . Frederick William IV Charlottenhof were erected - also to build its own residence at. He received support for this project from the garden architect Peter Joseph Lenné, who wanted to transform the Potsdam area into a total work of art and thus saw the possibility of changing and incorporating Babelsberg's eastern end in terms of garden art.

King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Prince Wilhelm gave permission to build a garden in 1833. In the same year, Karl Friedrich Schinkel received the order to plan a castle .

Financial resources were scarce, so that Lenné made slow progress with his work. A hot summer caused most of his plantings to dry up because there was no irrigation system. In addition, there were conflicts between him and Princess Augusta, as they both had different ideas about the future garden. The result was Lenné's dismissal.

Memorial stone for Pückler-Muskau in Babelsberg Park

In 1843 the former Grand Ducal Weimar adjutant , Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, was commissioned to further design the building. He had published his book Allusions about landscape gardening and was probably known to Augusta, who comes from the Saxon-Weimar family.

The path system designed by Lenné with views of the Potsdam landscape was retained by Pückler-Muskau, but supplemented by a network of narrower paths. He enlarged the embankment and terrace at the castle with surrounding terraces. In the Pleasureground, begun by his predecessor, underneath the castle, curved walking paths were created and the flower beds were framed with colored ceramics. A newly created golden rose staircase above the pleasure ground, which was planted with white and red roses, led down to the lake shore. Lenné planted individual larger trees, Pückler-Muskau, on the other hand, planted younger ones close to one another, which, as they grew, pushed each other up and improved the soil with the falling leaves.

The original 72 hectare site was enlarged over time through acquisitions and donations. In 1865 a considerable part was added south of the Babelsberg. Otto Kindermann , who took over his position as court gardener after the death of his father Ferdinand Kindermann , integrated the new acquisition harmoniously into the existing garden area. In 1875 the park had reached its present size.

Artificial lakes were created in the individual design phases. On the hill in the northern part of the Black Sea and the water reservoir of the aft basin. In the southwest of the Kindermannsee and in the southeast of the Große See.

Lenné included the Zehlendorfer Böttcherberg in the garden design of the Babelsberg Park. The 66 meter high elevation is located in the immediate vicinity , only separated by the Glienicker Lake . A vantage point (roundabout, fan view ) was created on the mountain with the visual axes typical of Lenné's works , which were directed to the Jungfernsee , Weißen See , Krampnitzer See and Griebnitzsee . Near the highest elevation is the loggia Alexandra , open in a semicircle to the Babelsberg Park , which Prince Carl had built in 1869 to commemorate his sister Charlotte (Tsarina Alexandra Feodorowna) who died in 1860 .

Babelsberg Park, around 1900

After the end of the monarchy in 1918 and the ratification of the law on property disputes between the Prussian State and the members of the former ruling Prussian royal family on 26 October 1926 had Haus Hohenzollern cede much of his castles to the Prussian state. The park and palace Babelsberg came into the care of the Prussian palace administration in 1928.

After the end of National Socialism and the subsequent occupation of Germany by the Allies, the Babelsberg Park came under the sovereignty of the SMAD and its German city administration. As early as 1945, larger areas of the park on the banks of the Havel were used as a lido. In the 1950s, the district center for maritime training ' Karl Liebknecht ' was built on behalf of the Society for Sport and Technology (GST). In addition, a student dormitory complex was built in several construction phases at the eastern end of the park. Due to the construction of two buildings directly behind the palace, which housed lecture halls of the Academy for Political Science and Law of the GDR , these areas were inaccessible to park visitors. The northernmost part of the park was cut deepest by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The banks of Glienicker Lake and the Teltow Canal were separated from the park by extensive border security systems and the riverside path could no longer be accessed by the public.

The park has been completely accessible again since the fall of the Berlin Wall . The site was administered by the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG), which is gradually reconstructing the park according to the original plans by Pückler and Lenné. The majority of the buildings erected in the park during the GDR era were demolished.

The buildings and the jetty of the motorboat club at the southwest end of the park are also to be dismantled by 2021. The neighboring lido is then to be moved to this area and the current area of ​​the lido is to be restored in terms of monument preservation, including the historical route.


View of Babelsberg Castle on the banks of the Havel
Steam engine house
Steam engine house in Babelsberg Park:
today and before 1989 with the border wall (photo montage)

In addition to the construction of the neo-Gothic castle , other buildings, garden architecture, viewpoints and resting places with symbolic character have been created on the site over the years.

Steam engine house

At the northern end of the park, the technical achievement of the 19th century found its way into Park Babelsberg with the construction of the steam engine house. According to plans by Ludwig Persius , it was built in the years 1843–1845 together with the installation of an irrigation system under the direction of Moritz Gottgetreu . The construction method of connecting simple cubic structures typical of Persius is complemented by battlements , turrets and bay windows . This decoration gives the building a “Norman” character and is reflected in the architectural style of the dairy in the New Garden , which Persius also expanded during these years . In the basement there were the boiler and machine rooms, a workshop and the machine master’s apartment. Count von Pückler, court marshal of Prince Wilhelm I.

The adversity of the water supply, with which the garden architect Lenné had to struggle, was eliminated by the construction of the steam engine house: Prince Pückler-Muskau's garden design benefited from the new technology. The first fountain system was inaugurated in May 1845. With the addition of a new machine hall in 1865, steam power of 65  HP was available for irrigation of the park. The 40 meter high fountain that shot up like a geyser from the Havel became a special spectacle . After the construction of another round water basin on the hill, now called the eight pool, the park received an adequate water supply.

At the time of the division of Germany , the steam engine house stood directly in the border area, was not accessible and was visibly deteriorating.

Little lock

Little lock

The small castle , a formerly simple garden house near the banks of the Havel, was first rebuilt in 1833/1834 based on designs by Ludwig Persius . A second redesign took place under the direction of the architect Persius in 1841/1842 according to detailed information from Princess Augusta in the style of the English Tudor Gothic . The white building served the eldest son of the prince couple, Friedrich Wilhelm, who later became Emperor Friedrich III. , as a residence until after his marriage to Victoria . It then housed court ladies and guests.

After the death of Friedrich Wilhelm in 1888, the house was forgotten for decades until the composer and conductor Hans Chemin-Petit, who was born in Potsdam, lived in it as a tenant between 1934 and 1945. After the Second World War it was used as a recreation home for DEFA and the Small Castle has been used for gastronomy since 1950 - with a brief interruption after the construction of the border fortifications in 1961 - to this day.


Halfway up the mountain, above the Little Castle, the Marstall was built in 1834–1839 based on a design by Eduard Gebhardt . The simply decorated building in the shape of a horseshoe, which was modified and enlarged again around 1861, was used to accommodate the horses and carriages. The upper floor contained official apartments.

Court arbor

Former Berlin court arbor in Babelsberg Park

Further south, on the Lennéhöhe, is the former Berlin court arbor . Using original parts of the 13th century court arbor from the center of Berlin , it was rebuilt in 1871 according to plans by Heinrich Strack . The original medieval negotiating place had to give way to the new building of the Berlin Red City Hall after 1860 .

In the cubic building made of red brick , a tea room was set up behind the Gothic window openings on the upper floor. The central pillar of the open hall on the ground floor stood as a symbol for the linden or oak under which the public court hearings took place. On the stone relief around the pillar, pigs symbolize feasting and fornication, the eagle greed, the monkey greed and the sirens symbolize hatred and anger. The bird's body with a human head on a facade corner pillar is a medieval mockery, the Kaak , a symbol of abuse and disgrace.

Sailor house

Sailor house

The between Havel shore and Flatowturm located sailors property was designed by Johann Heinrich Strack in the style of German Gothic designed and inaugurated in the year. 1842 It served as the home of the sailor, whose job it was to look after the gondolas and sailing ships. The stepped gable was not built until the previous building had been rebuilt in 1868. The medieval town hall in Stendal served as a model for this gable .

Flatow Tower

Flatow Tower

On the site of a Dutch windmill from the time of Frederick the Great , which burned down in 1848, the Flatow Tower, visible from afar, was built in the years 1853-1856. According to plans by the architect Strack, under the direction of Moritz Gottgetreu, a 46-meter high habitable tower was built based on the model of the Eschenheim gate tower in Frankfurt am Main from the 15th century. The lookout building was named after the Flatow domain in West Prussia , from whose income the construction was financed.

A castle house was attached to the side of the neo-Gothic Belvedere . A no longer existing drawbridge spanned the star-shaped moat that ran around the tower. Cannons on gun mounts from the Rastatt fortress and statues of mercenaries next to the entrance and a flower rondel also gave the tower a defensive character. Furniture and furnishings were lost due to vandalism and looting after 1945.


Various other buildings are distributed over the large area of ​​the park: a court gardener's house with associated farm buildings (1861–1865), a coach house, the oldest of these buildings, structural changes around 1850, a kitchen building (1859–1860), which is accessible through an underground passage is connected to the castle as well as gatehouses (1866–1880) at park entrances in the east and south, including the Havelhaus.

Garden architectures

The set up in the Park Babelsberg Klein architectures are almost at the time solely in connection with military successes of the Prussian army Wilhelm I see.

Statue of the Archangel Michael

Archangel Michael fighting the dragon

On the back of Babelsberg Castle , above the so-called Voltaire Terrace, a replica of a memorial was erected to commemorate the Prussian soldiers who fell in the Baden uprising in 1848. The original, made of red sandstone in Gothic shapes, is in the cemetery in Karlsruhe . The sculpture of the archangel in the upper pointed arched window comes from the workshop of the sculptor August Kiss , a student of Christian Daniel Rauch .

King Friedrich Wilhelm IV gave this architecture to his brother Wilhelm I after the successful suppression of the uprisings on the Upper Rhine, where the Prussian troops were under Prince Wilhelm's military command. The people gave him the nickname " Kartätschenprinz " because he acted ruthlessly against the rebels in Berlin and elsewhere.

Wayside shrines

A prayer column surrounded by lime trees and benches stands below the pleasure ground on the banks of the Havel. It is a gift from Grand Duke Leopold von Baden to Prince Wilhelm, also as a reminder of his victory in the Baden campaign.

Victory Column

On the Babelsberg, the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Höhe, the then ruling Wilhelm I had a victory column erected in memory of the Austro-Prussian War won in 1866 .

It consists of the remnants of a boulder from which the granite bowl in front of the Berlin Altes Museum was made in 1826 . The bronze goddess of victory and the capital are made after a model by the sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch . The medals attached to the base area are enlarged replicas of the awards given in the Prussian wars.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

As early as 1990, the entire Potsdam cultural landscape was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the joint request of both German states . Since then, the parks Sanssouci , Neuer Garten , Babelsberg, Glienicke and the Pfaueninsel with their castles and, since 1992, the Sacrow Palace and Park with the Heilandskirche have been part of the world cultural heritage. In 1999, the Potsdam World Heritage was expanded by 14 monument areas, including Lindstedt Palace and Park , the Russian colony Alexandrowka , the Belvedere on the Pfingstberg , the Kaiserbahnhof and the observatory at Babelsberg Park . The world heritage extends to around 500  hectares of parks with 150 buildings from the period from 1730 to 1916. The Berlin-Potsdam cultural landscape is thus the largest of the German world heritage sites.

The ensemble meets the requirements of the UNESCO criteria I, II and IV. It is first and foremost a unique artistic achievement, a masterpiece of the creative spirit (I). It has had a significant impact on the development of architecture, town planning and landscaping (II). It is also an outstanding example of architectural ensembles or a landscape that represent significant periods in human history (IV).


The Babelsberg Park has been looked after and administered by the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG) since the 1990s .

Sections of the population of Babelsberg are disturbed by the SPSG's park rules, which they find too restrictive. Points of contention are u. a. the ban on using park meadows as playgrounds, the ban on bathing outside the lido and the ban on cycling. A citizens' initiative tried to change the park rules and was able to achieve that on some of the main paths of the park, u. a. on the Berlin Wall Trail , which has been allowed to cycle again since 2008.

Public presentations


  • 2017: Pückler. Babelsberg. The green prince and the empress . Babelsberg Palace , Potsdam.


  • The splendor of Babelsberg. Pückler's paradise on the Havel. Documentary, Germany, 2017, 44:20 min., Script and director: Grit Lederer, production: rbb , first broadcast: May 30, 2017 on rbb television , summary by rbb, with online video, available until August 29, 2018.


  • Official guide of the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg: Babelsberg Park and Palace . 3rd edition 1999.
  • Official guide of the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg: The Flatow Tower in Babelsberg Park . 1st edition 1994.
  • Karl Eisbein: Fountains, fountains and bodies of water in the Babelsberg Palace Park. In: Foundation Prussian Palaces and Gardens Berlin-Brandenburg. Jahrbuch 3 (1999/2000), pp. 109–129, ( digitized from , accessed on February 25, 2013).
  • Uwe Michas: From Berlin to Babelsberg - The Judicial Arbor. In: Die Mark Brandenburg , Issue 53, Marika Großer Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 978-3-910134-32-4 .
  • Michael Horst Schröder, Heinrich Hamann: Art mosaics in Park Sanssouci and in Park Babelsberg. Problems of their preservation and restoration. In: Foundation Prussian Palaces and Gardens Berlin-Brandenburg. Jahrbuch 2 (1997/1998), pp. 161–170, ( digitized from , accessed on February 25, 2013).
  • Katrin Schröder: Babelsberg Park. Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2nd edition 2017, ISBN 978-3-422-04043-4 .

Web links

Commons : Park Babelsberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The steam engine house and the fountains on the Babelsberge near Potsdam . In: Allgemeine Bauzeitung , 1846, pp. 219–220, plates 42–44. Digitized
  2. ^ Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin . United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization ( UNESCO ); Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  3. cf. Park regulations for the Babelsberg Park. ( Memento of December 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: SPSG , October 20, 2006, (PDF; 45 kB) and new parking regulations , August 3, 2011.
  4. Citizens' Initiative Babelsberger Park ( Memento of the original from April 29, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Special exhibition: Pückler. Babelsberg. The green prince and the empress. In: Foundation Prussian Palaces and Gardens Berlin-Brandenburg , April 29 to October 15, 2017.

Coordinates: 52 ° 24 ′ 19.4 "  N , 13 ° 5 ′ 33.8"  E