New Garden, Potsdam
The New Garden (“Neuer Garten”) is located southwest of Berlin and in northern Potsdam. Frederick William II of Prussia (1744-1797) arranged to have a new garden bordering on the lakes Heiliger See and Jungfernsee. The New Garden is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin,” a status awarded in 1990.
The Gothic Library (“Gotische Bibliothek”) is arranged after the garden entrance directly to Mangerstraße und Behlertstraße. It was built between 1792 and 1794 from Frederick William II. The library sheltered german literature in the basement and french literature in the first floor. The inventory was moved to the city palace and was burned during the 2. World War.
The Marble Palace (“Marmorpalais”) was reserved for the private use of the king, who had an artistic temperament. After only a few years of use the palace was considered to be too small, and in 1797 construction started on two side wings. In November 1797 the king died and just the shell of the extensions had been completed. His son and successor, Friedrich Wilhelm III, being uninterested in the project and only finished off the exterior. Kaiser Wilhelm I. and his spouse moved into the Marmorpalais while they awaited the completion of their new residence at Babelsberg Palace (1833-1835-1849). His brother, Frederick William IV of Prussia, completed the unfinished interior structure and fittings for the two side extensions between 1843 and 1848. Therefore, frescos with scenes from the Niebelung saga (“Niebelungen Saga”) were added to the outside and decorated the colonnade walls. The last royal inhabitants of the Marble Palace were William, German Crown Prince, eldest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and his spouse Cecilie, who lived there between 1904 and 1917, when they moved to nearby Cecilienhof Palace. The Palace was seriously damaged when the north wing was hit by an incendiary bomb and the main building by a grenade at the end of World War II. Further damage occurred when the Red Army maintained an officers’ mess in the palace after 1946. Since April 14, 2006 all 40 rooms have been renovated and opened to the public. The repair of the exterior surface was completed in fall 2009 after several years of restoration work.
The Egyptian entrance to the orangery (1791/93) is topped by a sphinx sculpture and two black statues of Egyptian gods decorate wall recesses in the semicircular entrance area.