The Prussian kings and later German emperors of the house of Hohenzollern during the 18th and 19th centuries launched an important building camapign to enhance existing landscape of sandy hills, pine forests, rivers and lakes around Berlin into an suitable cultural enviroment to match the family's imperial ambitions. The Hohenzollerns built palaces in different styles as well as avariety of parks of various kinds. Much of this building took place at Potsdam, a Berlin suburb. The focus of the Hohenzollern building was the royal city palace and summer residence in Potsdam. The royal city palace and winter residence were located in Berlin. The summer palace ws located in Potsdam. Both palaces were heavily damaged during the Allied World War II bombing of Berlin. After the War the ruins were torn down.
The Prussian and German Imperial royal family, the Hohenzollern originated as a family of counts in Swabia during the 11-12th century and were named for their ancestral castle Zollern, later termed Hohenzollern which is located near Hechingen in Swabia. The first to bear the ancestral name was Wezel of Zolorin or Zollern. Two branches developed from the family, the Swabian and Franconian branches. It was the Franconian brach that was to become the ruling family of Prussia (1525-1918)
and later Imperial Germany (1871-1818) and play a major role in modern European history.
We have some limited information on the individual palaces and residences of the Hohenzollern family.
Prince Wilhelm who as to become Emperor Wilhelm I close to Glinicke Palace (1834-1849). It was built to resemble a romantic little castle in Tudor gothic style. The park was laid out
with other buildings in similar style like the seaman's house and the Flatow tower.
Emperor Wilhelm II built the last of the German royal palaces. Wilhelm had the Cecilienhof palace in the New Garden. It was made to look like an English landhouse. It was completed durig World War I (1916). Wilhelm abdicated only 2 years later (1918). It served after World War II as the last meeing place of the victorious Allied powers. The Potsdam Accord was signed Cecilienhof Palace. The Accord was designed to regularize the occupation of Germany, establish new borders, and return the occupied countries of Eastern Europe to independent democratic goverment. Instead Stalin and the Soviet Union instituted pupet People's Republics and launched the Cold War aimed at establishing Communist Governments in Western Europe as well.
Prince Karl built the Glinicke Palace (1824-27). He had it constructed on the King's Road to Berlin near a former royal hunting lodge. It was a modest villa in neo-classical style within a small landscaped park.
King Friedrich Wilhelm III changed the wilderness-look of Pfaueninsel and changed it into an English-style garden and park. The Kavalierhaus built in neo-gothic style.
King Friedrich Wilhelm II transformed farmland north of Potsdam on the shore of a lake into the New Garden. It was done in th English style. The small Marble Palace was built built in it (1787-1797).
King Friedrich II alsobuilt the New Palace (1763-1769). It was located at the western end of the 2 kilometers long mall at Sanssoci which included other buildings like Dragon House and the Belvedere.
King Friedrich Wilhelm II, inspired by his wife, built a
palace near the New Garden and a romantic looking palace, built to look like it was an old run-dowm palace. It was built on the Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island), situated 8 kilometers north-east of the Marble Palace. Friedrich Wilhelm IV (1840-1961) made many improvements and extensions to the gardens and west of it on a hill, he built the Pfingstberg palace as a viewpoint.
King Friedrich II in 1745 started work on his most noted creation, the park and palace of Sanssouci. Sanssouciis a small rococo palace located on a rather desolate hill north-west of Potsdam. The palace was built in 1745-1747. The hill itself was terraced and a lovely French garden and fountains built at the bottom of the hill. Picturesque buildings were added, including the Chinese Tea House, the Picture Gallery, grottoes and ruins.
Construction at Potsdam began in the 17th century. It was Elector Friedrich Wilhelm who began the building at Potsdam. The Elector built a baroque city palace in Potsdam. It was there that the Elector signed his noted refugee edict in 1685. King Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1713 choose Potsdam as the location of his summer residence. He expanded the planned town with the Dutch quarter as part of it. King Friedrich II (1740-1786) beautified Potsdam through many impressive buildings.
A HBC reader writes, "The Hohenzollern have a residence (I don't know if they still have it) near my hometown Bremen called "Wümmehof". So the cousin of my mother was in school with on Louis-Ferdinand boy's, probably Michael or Friedrich Wilhelm. My mother can't remember exactly and sadly her cousin died already."
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