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Meierei auf der Pfaueninsel
Meierei auf der Pfaueninsel © SPSG / Foto: Elvira Kühn

Bäuerliches Plaisir und Goldrubinglas (Rural Plaisir and gold ruby glass)

History and use of the Peacock Island, exhibition in the dairy farm

Inspired by Jean Jacques Rousseau's motto "Back to Nature", the European aristocracy had "jewelry farms" built at the end of the 18th century. In scenic architecture, the distinguished court society staged its romantic notions of "simple country life".

Address
Schloss und Park Pfaueninsel

Nikolskoer Weg 14109  Berlin


In Prussia it was Friedrich Wilhelm II. and his lover Countess Lichtenau who created a rural plaisir far from the courtly etiquette with the dairy on Pfaueninsel. The dairy farm was built in 1794 at the same time as the castle Pfaueninsel.

The exterior of the building is reminiscent of a dilapidated monastery ruin. On the ground floor of the dairy there is a barn with dairy cows. They could be milked personally by the Majesties. Afterwards they went to the whey parlour, where you can still see today the butter barrel in which the Countess Lichtenau possibly beat the milk cream into butter. The wooden peacock-shaped butter shapes have also been preserved. These objects are part of the permanent exhibition on island history, which was redesigned in 2010. Numerous original objects of life on the island as a place of experiencing nature and fleeing to the countryside not only describe the milk cult of the time around 1800, but also show other aspects of courtly rural life, such as games or illuminations. The English and French models for the island and its buildings are also commented on and illustrated. A memorial room for Queen Luise, who died in 1810, rounds off the picture. The exhibition cabinet dedicated to the alchemist and glassmaker Johann Kunckel (around 1635 to 1703) also deals with the earliest part of the island's history:

The last traces of the scientist who worked on the island from 1685 to 1688, whose name is mainly associated with the improvement of the technology of gold ruby glass production, are made available to the public for the first time. A leaflet is available on the island. On the upper floor of the dairy there is a magnificent hall with illusionistic paintings and stucco in the neo-Gothic style.

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