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By Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

SPSG

During the Second World War, many Prussian palaces and parks were severely damaged. This exhibition documents the devastation caused by the war and the reconstruction process from 1945 to 1989.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Blick über den Ehrenhof auf das Schloss (1963) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Berlin, the Charlottenburg Palace and Park

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, nach der Zerstörung im Zweiten Weltkrieg (1945-1949) by Oberhofmarschallamt/ Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (1927-1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

The Charlottenburg Palace was severely damaged during the Second World War. The central part of the palace suffered particularly badly.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Altes Schloss, Ehrenhof und Mittelbau von Südosten (1949) by Landesbildstelle BerlinSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

This close-up picture shows the extent of the bomb damage. The dome was completely destroyed and the circular structure beneath it was badly damaged.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Wiederaufbau der Kuppel (about 1956) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

After the Second World War, the Charlottenburg Palace was gradually rebuilt. The restoration work on the outside of the palace was completed in 1957, with the reconstruction of the dome.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Blick über den Ehrenhof auf das Schloss (1963) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

By the early 1960s, most of the work on the main building had been completed. This picture from 1963 shows the rebuilt palace restored to its former glory.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Große Orangerie, Blick von Südosten (Winter 1943/44) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

It was not only the palace itself that was damaged but also the Great Orangery to the west of the central building. Only the outside walls of the Great Orangery remained.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Große Orangerie (1963) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Within 20 years, the Great Orangery had been faithfully restored. The gardens next to it were also reinstated. The statue of Flora survived the bombing and still stands in the parterre in front of the Great Orangery, although that statue is a copy to preserve the original.

Berlin, Schlossgarten Charlottenburg, Neuer Pavillon, nach 1945 (1945-1947) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

The New Pavilion in the Charlottenburg Palace Gardens, which was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, was also badly damaged during the Second World War. The roof was completely destroyed. Only the outside walls remained.

Berlin, Schlossgarten Charlottenburg, Neuer Pavillon (1980) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Work to reconstruct the New Pavilion began in 1957. Within around 20 years, the building was almost completely rebuilt, restoring the New Pavilion to its original condition.

Berlin, Schlossgarten Charlottenburg, Belvedere (1945) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

The Belvedere in the Charlottenburg Palace Gardens was also reduced to its outside walls. Work on rebuilding it began in 1956.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Belvedere (about 1961) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

From the mid-1950s, the Belvedere was carefully reconstructed using old plans. By 1960, the work was finished. The rooms inside were not restored to their original condition.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Goldene Galerie während der Wiederherstellung im Januar 1965 (1965) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

This picture shows the extent of the bomb damage inside the palace. Work began on restoring the interior in the 1960s. Until then, only the basic structure of the Golden Gallery had remained.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Neuer Flügel, Goldene Galerie während der Restaurierung im März 1968 (1968) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

About three years later, the restoration of the Golden Gallery was progressing well, so it was possible to imagine how the room used to look. By then, every detail of the ornate gilded plaster had already been restored.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Neuer Flügel, Weißer Saal (about 1973) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

During the 1970s, good progress was also made on restoring the White Hall. The bomb damage is barely visible in this room.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Besuch vom Bundespräsidenten Theodor Heuss am 17. April 1953 (1953) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

From the early 1950s, the Charlottenburg Palace was increasingly used on ceremonial occasions. The then German President Theodor Heuss visited the building site at the Charlottenburg Palace as early as April 1953.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Staatsbesuch von Queen Elizabeth II. am 27. Mai 1965 (1965) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

When the palace was mostly finished, Queen Elizabeth II visited Charlottenburg with her husband Prince Philip. The photograph shows the then Governing Mayor, Willy Brandt, presenting the Queen with a gift, in the presence of Chancellor Ludwig Erhard.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Staatsbesuch von Schah Mohammad Resa Pahlavi am 2. Juli 1967 (1967) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

At the invitation of the German President Heinrich Lübke, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his wife Farah Diba Pahlavi visited the Charlottenburg Palace during a European tour.

Potsdam, Schloss Sanssouci, Blick über die Terrassen (about 1985) by Roland HandrickSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Potsdam

Potsdam, Schloss Sanssouci, Gartenseite (about 1945) by Oberhofmarschallamt/ Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (1927-1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

During the Second World War, the windows of the Sanssouci Palace were bricked up, for fear of bomb attacks.

Potsdam, Schloss Sanssouci mit Terrassen und Großer Fontäne (1971) by Roland HandrickSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

In the early 1970s, the vineyard terraces were still laid out in the style of Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who had ordered the terraces to be altered and landscaped in about 1845. Topiary bushes and trees grew here on the terraces in front of the glazed facade.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Terrassen während der Sanierung (about 1980) by Hans-Werner MihanSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Between 1977 and 1983, the authorities responsible for managing Potsdam's palaces, with the help of Polish restorers, undertook a complete refurbishment of the terraces in front of the Sanssouci Palace. They were rebuilt and restored to how they were in the time of Frederick II.

Potsdam, Schloss Sanssouci, Blick über die Terrassen (about 1985) by Roland HandrickSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Once the terraces had been restored, they were replanted in keeping with the original intentions of Frederick the Great (1712–86). Ever since, wine and figs have grown in the glazed niches again.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Neue Kammern, Loggia Restaurierung der Backsteinwand (about 1985) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

The New Chambers were extensively restored between 1982 and 1987. Numerous rooms were completely refurbished, from the structural walls to the decor.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Neue Kammern, Loggia, Restaurierung (about 1985) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Because the rooms were basically still in good condition, it was possible for the New Chambers to be completely restored.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Belvedere auf dem Klausberg vor der Sanierung 1990 (before 1990) by Hans-Werner MihanSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Even though the Sanssouci Park was largely spared during Allied bombing raids, a few buildings were destroyed. The Belvedere on the Klausberg hill was completely burnt out.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Parterre und Treppe an der Neptungrotte vor der Umgestaltung, Stufen bereits abgebaut (1966) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Repairing and maintaining the buildings in the Sanssouci Park was and remains an important part of preserving cultural heritage. Not only was the Neptune Grotto restored but also the landscaping of the circular area in front of it.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Neptungrotte (1970) by Roland HandrickSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

When the rebuilding work on the Neptune Grotto was complete, this area was planted with various shrubs and flowers.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Freundschaftstempel, Bauarbeiten (1976) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

The decorative buildings in the park were gradually restored, so visitors to the Sanssouci Park were given an increasingly historically accurate impression of the grounds.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Sizilianischer Garten (1965) by unbekanntSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

This picture shows how the planting has varied over the years. The flowers and plants that were chosen in the past were somewhat simpler and lower than they might be today.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Villa Illaire (about 1966) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

This picture shows new trees planted along the former Lindenallee, now known as Am Grünen Gitter.

Potsdam, Marstall (after 1945) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Even the stables, now the Film Museum, were not spared the impact of the Second World War. This aerial view shows the serious damage and the ruined condition in which the building was left.

Potsdam, Marstall (1978/79) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

The former stables were extensively restored and altered between 1977 and 1981. The facade was reinstated in baroque style, but the interior was redesigned to meet the needs of a museum.

Potsdam, Marstall (about 1980) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

This picture shows the final restoration work on the facade of the stables shortly before completion. The Film Museum of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) opened there in April 1981.

Potsdam, Neues Palais, Veranstaltung auf der Mopke (1970-1980) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

The Mopke in front of the New Palace was a popular venue for events, because spectators had a good view of this wide open area in front of the courtyard from the steps of the Communs (ancillary buildings in the same style as the palace). This picture shows a drum majorette in the uniform of the FDJ (Free German Youth) band standing on a temporary podium.

Potsdam, Park Sanssouci, Communs (1984) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

The New Palace and its surrounding buildings were damaged by bombing raids during the Second World War. The Communs buildings were restored during the 1980s. Today they are used by the University of Potsdam.

Potsdam, Neues Palais, Besucherschlange im Ehrenhof des Schlosses, im Hintergrund südliches Commun während der Restaurierung (1986) by Roland HandrickSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

In 1986, an exhibition called Frederick II and Art was put on at the New Palace. Because of the high level of interest, visitors often had to queue for several hours to see the exhibition.

Potsdam, Neues Palais, Marmorgalerie, Sonderausstellung "Friedrich II. und die Kunst" (1986) by Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (nach 1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

This picture shows the Marble Gallery in the New Palace which was used to stage the special exhibition on Frederick II and Art in 1986. The objects in the exhibition were to do with Frederick the Great and his interest in painting, philosophy, literature, music, and sculpture. There were over 600 exhibits on display.

Potsdam, Neuer Garten, Marmorpalais, Soldaten posieren vor der ausgestellten Rakete (1980) by Otto RaudenskySanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

From 1961 to 1989, the Marble Palace served as the army museum for the GDR. The displays there included historic weapons and uniforms.

Potsdam, Neuer Garten, Meierei (before 1960) by Oberhofmarschallamt/ Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten (1927-1945)Sanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Before the war, the Meierei (dairy) was an inn. It suffered only partial damage in the Second World War. However, because of the route of the national border and subsequently the Berlin Wall, it could no longer be used as a restaurant.

Potsdam, Neuer Garten, Meierei (1989) by Peter RohnSanssouci Park, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

When the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, the border between East and West Germany ran through the New Garden and Babelsberg Park. This picture shows how even cultural heritage buildings were used as border posts or were walled in.

Credits: Story

Curator
Dr. Jürgen Becher, SPSG

Image credits
© SPSG, EFRE Project DEGAS

Credits: All media
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