Press material: Marble Palace
Potsdam, New Garden
Between 1789 and 1791, Carl von Gontard built this palace on the shores of a lake, Heiliger See, as a summer residence for King Frederick William II. It marked the arrival in Prussia of classical architecture. Carl Gotthard Langhans designed the interior, including the King’s bedroom with ornate wooden panelling throughout, the unconventional Oriental Room and the concert hall inspired by an Ancient temple. The furnishings were acquired either by the King himself or the Countess Lichtenau, his mistress for many years. Among these are Ancient sculptures, valuable items of furniture, paintings – some by Angelika Kauffmann – and marble fireplaces from Rome made especially for this setting. The Marble Palace also boasts the second largest collection of Wegdwood pottery in Germany.
Extensions commenced in 1797 with the addition of side wings, although these were not completed until the mid-1840s, under Frederick William IV, to drawings by Boumann and Hesse.
The wings are supported outside by marble columns, decorated with the Nibelungen Saga. In the orangery alongside, the two halls for plants are separated by a wood-panelled Palm Hall, where Frederick William II would play the cello to entertain his courtiers and the audience gathered in the adjoining plant halls.