Reverence to Antiquity
Upon returning to Berlin from his first trip to Italy in 1823, 21-year-old Prince Carl of Prussia resolved to realize his dream of creating an Italian villa in Mediterranean-inspired landscape in the middle of “sandy Brandenburg.“
The Glienicke manor estate with its soft meadows sloping gently down to the Havel river between tree-covered hills suited the prince’s taste. Although the pleasure ground had been created by the landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné for the previous owner, Karl August von Hardenberg, it was only under Prince Carl that this royal estate acquired its present appearance.
Following the designs of architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the Glienicke property was developed “in the style of antiquity,” with Glienicke Palace, the Casino, and the “Great” and “Small Curiosities” receiving Neoclassical designs. The perfectly proportioned buildings and range of classical masterpieces amassed by Prince Carl, a passionate collector, characterize the Mediterranean nature of this summer residence to this day.
Visitors enter the palace via a pergola clad in passion flower and Dutchman’s pipe, whose walls are decorated with numerous marble fragments from classical sculptures and sarcophagi.
The living quarters on the upper floor also bear Schinkel’s unmistakable hallmark. At the center is the Red Hall, which is adjoined by a green salon, turquoise bedroom, the Marble Room and a library in deep blue. The vibrant wall colors enhance the gilded picture frames and sparkling chandeliers, accented by the marble fireplaces and noble furnishings.
The palace’s west wing houses the Hofgärtner Museum, which is dedicated to the life and work of the court gardener and is the only of its kind in Europe. Exhibits spanning three centuries document the broad range of theoretical knowledge and practical skills practiced by this profession.
Concerts are held regularly at the palace.