The Neptune Grotto: A Unique Piece of Park Architecture

The Neptune Grotto in Sanssouci Park is an exceptional monument from the era of Frederick the Great. Constructed from 1751–57, it is the last work for Sanssouci by the architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. The Neptune Grotto’s dynamic structure and decorative character make it a valuable example of the link between architecture and nature in the 18th century.

Over the last decades the monument has suffered severe damage from weathering and vandalism and is in urgent need of rehabilitation.

Viewed from the front, the Neptune Grotto forms a portal, upon which Neptune, the god of the sea, stands in marble with his trident. The Grotto’s interior ornamentation includes scallops, irises and crystals. Each of the grotto’s columned side elements is embellished with four scallop-shaped basins, mounted one below the other.

The time needed for the rehabilitation measures begun in mid 2015 is estimated at two and a half years. The restoration of the structure and the ornamentation within the grotto and on the portal’s side elements should be completed by 2018.

Through generous support from television moderator Günther Jauch and private patron Mr. Gerhard Elsner, as well as the backing of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Potsdamer Schlössernacht (ARGE), restoration work has already begun.

To save the Neptune Grotto, however, additional efforts are necessary. Every donation is needed and very welcome.


Tina Schümann
SPSG | Fundraising
Sarah Kimmerle
SPSG | Fundraising
Leonie von Gadow
SPSG | Fundraising
Telephone: 0331.96 94-278