Take a look at an Italian villa with Prussian art in the middle of Berlin: The Neuer Pavillon in the palace gardens will charm you with its classical elegance and collection of paintings.
It wasn’t intended to be a palace for a new queen, but a private retreat for a second marriage. King Friedrich Wilhelm III planned the Neuer Pavillon in the park of Charlottenburg Palacein 1824/25 and had it built for his second wife Countess Auguste von Harrach. After his extraordinarily popular queen Luise died 1810 to the great grief of the public, King Friedrich Wilhelm III remarried 14 years later. However, as Auguste was of a lower social rank, it was a morganatic marriage, which meant she had fewer rights and was not eligible to be called Queen. And so the summerhouse was not a magnificent palace, but a modest villa, which suited the more down-to-earth tastes of the king. However, the pair never lived together in the villa; it served instead as a private retreat for the king.
The villa, which is also known as the Schinkel-Pavillon, was inspired by the Neoclassical villas that the king had seen in Italy. He commissioned Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Prussia’s most famous architect, to plan it. Schinkel designed a two-storey, plain white villa right beside the river Spree. A columned loggia and green window shutters are prominent features. The iron balcony that runs all around it is based on an Italian model, the Villa Chiatamone. Schinkel also designed the new rooms in the interior with simple, reserved elegance.
The pavilion was almost completely demolished by an air raid in 1943, and the interior decorations were destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt between 1957 and 1970 and in 2011, following extensive renovations, a new permanent exhibition was opened.
The exhibition in the Neuer Pavillon
A visit to the Neuer Pavillon is like taking a walk though past times. In its rooms, the original furnishings of a summerhouse in Prussia come to life. Paintings by well-known Prussian artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, Karl Blechen and Eduard Gaertner and sculptures by Christian Daniel Rauch decorate the rooms.
Particularly interesting is the exhibition on Schinkel’s work as an architect and painter, which also includes a tea table that he designed himself, and on which he designed many of his most famous buildings.