A villa with a view – the Belvedere Pfingstberg offers you a superb view of Potsdam’s palaces and parks.
Belvedere – the beautiful view – is exactly what you get when you look out at Potsdam’s palaces from the Belvedere on the Pfingstberg. A view of lakes and forests, of palaces and parks, of all of “Prussian Arcadia” in its consummate beauty.
History of the Belvedere
Friedrich Wilhelm IV, known as the “romanticist on the throne”, loved the view of the landscape and the palaces so much that in 1847 he had a romantic belvedere palace built – with indisputably the most beautiful view of Potsdam and the Havel lakes all the way to Berlin. Sadly, he did not live to see it completed in in 1863.
Based on Friedrich Wilhelm’s plans, the architects Ludwig Persius, Friedrich August Stüler and Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse built it in the style of an Italian Renaissance villa. Its arcades, colonnades, galleries, courtyard pool and two viewing towers create a romantic atmosphere. The grounds were planned by the renowned landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné. However, construction was halted due to lack of funds. In the end, only a part of what was originally planned was completed.
After the Second World War, the site was a prohibited zone, not only because Soviet officers lived in the villas nearby, but also because it gave a clear view of the Berlin Wall and the barrier constructions between Potsdam and West Berlin, which was precisely what the East German authorities did not want.mThus, the Belvedere fell into neglect and obscurity, and no-one could enjoy the beautiful view. Not until reunification and extensive renovation was it restored to its former glory.
Tip: the Pomona Temple on the Pfingstberg
Just below the Belvedere on the Pfingstberg is the Pomona Temple, a little gem that you absolutely have to see. This pavilion is the first building ever to be designed by the great Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The pastel-coloured tea house is built in the Classical style and has a terrace with an awning on the roof. The temple became dilapidated after the war, but after extensive restoration, its old splendour has been restored.
UNESCO world heritage site
The Belvedere and the Pomona Temple on the Pfingstberg belong to the designated UNESCO world heritage site known as the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin.