Norman Tower on Ruinenberg
A Tower with a View
The Norman Tower on Ruinenberg is one of the historical lookout points in Potsdam. The 360° view takes in a panorama that spans from the small palace on Peacock Island, across the entire breadth of Sanssouci Park, to Wilhelmshöhe near Werder.
In the mid-18th century Frederick the Great had a water basin erected on Ruinenberg, also known as the Mount of Ruins, to supply water to the fountains in Sanssouci Park. He surrounded the basin with an artistic arrangement of gigantic columns, a Doric rotunda and a pyramid – which were reflected in the water – a wall of ruins made to look like an ancient theater and a natural backdrop of trees. Influenced by settings in England, it was one of the first scenic landscapes with decorative architecture on the continent.
The nearly 23 meter-high Norman Tower, based on a medieval watchtower, was erected in 1846 under King Frederick William IV. Concurrently Peter Joseph Lenné integrated Ruinenberg and the surrounding fields of the Bornstedt estate into Sanssouci Park.
We are grateful to our supporters!
The Doric rotunda in the guise of an ancient monopteros was in danger of collapse and could be restored in 2013–14 thanks to generous contributions. These measures were supported within the framework of the German investment program for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Investitionsprogramms Nationale UNESCO-Welterbestätten (IUNW), with funding from the Federal Republic of Germany (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety) and the state capital of Potsdam, as well as from the private patron Gerhard Elsner.