Press material: Belvedere on the Pfingstberg
Belvedere on the Pfingstberg
Potsdam, New Garden/Pfingstberg
The finest view of Potsdam and the lakes of the Havel is the one from the Belvedere on the hill known as Pfingstberg. Conceived by Frederick William IV as a large twin-towered structure with terraces, waterfalls and colonnades, it was intended to stretch to the edge of the New Garden. The King drew his inspiration from Italian villas of the Renaissance. During the two phases of construction, 1847–1852 and 1861–1863, the architects Ludwig Persius, Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse and Friedrich August Stüler merely completed the building with the twin towers. It encloses an inner courtyard, where a water basin flanked by arcades, colonnades and galleries grants access to two little rooms, one in Moorish and the other in Roman-Pompeian style. Open steps lead to the roof over the portico, offering views over a forecourt between wing masonry walls with a grass parterre and exterior galleries, and over the Temple of Pomona. This tea pavilion created as a Greek temple in 1801 is believed to be the first building constructed by the young architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, just turned 19.
The little one-roomed structure was named after Pomona, the goddess of fruit. The roof under an awning serves as a viewing terrace. Frederick William III bought the temple in 1817 and it was a favourite destination for excursions by the royal family.
The Belvedere and the Temple of Pomona are set within a garden landscaped by Peter Joseph Lenné in 1863. Numerous sight lines from the serpentine path establish links with the New Garden. This historical ensemble fell into serious disrepair after the Second World War, but in 1992 restoration began following an initiative by the Friends of Pfingstberg and donations of money. Today it again offers visitors the finest panorama of Potsdam and a unique atmosphere. During the summer months from May to September, the palace and park also provide a romantic backdrop for cultural events of all kinds.