The Park-Enthusiast Prince and the Empress
Special Exhibition, April 29 – October 15, 2017
Prince Pückler would be elated: After seven decades the manmade fountains and water scenery in Babelsberg Park can finally be enjoyed once again. Gushing waterfalls, quiet bay-lined lakes and splashing fountains liven up the park at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin". The decorative garden terraces, which the Prussian royal couple, Crown Prince William and Crown Princess Augusta, had built around Babelsberg Palace in keeping with the suggestion of the eccentric garden designer, have also been renovated and are now radiant and new.
This is reason enough to dedicate an exhibition at Babelsberg Palace to the landscape architect and garden designer Prince Pückler, set amidst one of his most important creations: From late April to mid-October 2017, Babelsberg Palace will open its still unrenovated interiors, affording visitors fascinating views through the large windows onto the restored terraces, Babelsberg Park and Potsdam's park landscape.
The exhibition grants exceptional insights into Prince Pückler's garden design bag of tricks. In his time Pückler (1785–1871) was known as a self-willed, mediatized prince, world traveler and writer. Today, he is being rediscovered as a landscape architect.
Inspired by his extended trips to England, the "magician", as Princess Augusta (1811–1890) called him, realized his concepts of garden design at Babelsberg. For the nobleman this "garden work" was also a welcome opportunity to strengthen his relationship to the future Prussian king and emperor, William I, and to position himself – at the expense of Potsdam's garden director Peter Joseph Lenné – as the leading Prussian landscape architect.
Parallel to the exhibition at the palace, Pückler's original creations in the park can be seen on a visit to the park grounds. In addition to the renovated terraces at Babelsberg Palace and the richly blooming pleasure ground with its "Golden Rose Garden," a stroll to the "Schwarzen Meer" (Black Sea) with its still water surface or to the cascading "Wilhelmwasserfall" (William's Waterfall) with a manmade crag leading to its apex is highly recommended.