Over a two day period we explored the beautiful buildings and gardens of Potsdam on the outskirts of Berlin. After a brief trip it’s not difficult to imagine why the Palaces of Potsdam are recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. The beauty and elegance of the location seems like enough of a reason but our professor Geza told us how the combination of a brilliant architect, Schinkel, brilliant landscape architect, Lenné, and unlimited funds provided by the Prussian royal family lead to the inherent uniqueness of that site.
Since Lenné and Schinkel studied architecture in Italy a lot of their designs are Italian inspired. Tall white columns, large bombastic fountains, and white marble statues of greek gods and people can all be found at Potsdam almost as if the entire area had been imported from Italy. Potsdam represents a time capsule of Prussia in the mid- 1800’s and represents the greek revival around the time. Seeing Italian style buildings in the heart of Germany was completely unexpected and strange but the trees, landscape, and lake perfectly complemented the castles and architecture to the point that everything felt that it belonged.