Berlin sights

Having been in Berlin  this spring and seen some of the major sights, I decided to go to the outskirts this time: Charlottenburg Palace and Spandau Fortress.

Everdien Breken Berlijn 04 141010Everdien Breken Berlijn 02 141010Charlottenburg was the new Prussian monarchy’s bid for royal life on a Versailles scale. Gave the state rooms a miss and visited the park and the little folly called the Belvedere, which is a pretty building in wedgewood-blue on the edge of the park. The Belvederes doesn’t live up to its name any longer, its views obscured by trees because of the English-style landscape garden taking over from the earlier baroque parterres and vistas.  Beyond the trees, and visible only in winter, the city crawled right up to the park borders.

The Belvedere houses a pretty extensive collection of porcelain tableware – never knew that porcelain was once considered common by royals, they being used to gold plate. The functionality of porcelain won the day, eventually. Most of it very heavilly ornamented and – in my eyes – pretty ugly.  Belvedere well worth a visit though, a short but pleasant walk in the park along the river Spree, then back through the formal garden. Which allows one to appreciate the contrast between a  ‘formal’ and a  ‘natural’ garden. Neither has anything to do with nature, though – gardens are cultural artefacts, whatever their style may be.  Adam and Eve’s little drama wasn’t staged in a Garden of Eden  for nothing  ….

Visited Spandau but took no pictures as I found it pretty depressing. It came back to me that the Nazi leaders where imprisoned there after World War 2. Serves them right I would think.

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