A walk in the park doesn’t sound very exciting, except that it was very calming and soothing. After many days on the go, this small guided tour was a refreshing green window into another discovery of Berlin’s treasures.
The path at the entrance from the Tiergarten subway stop displayed the many variations of gas lanterns donated to Berlin from other cities (featured image at top). Each one was unique, and I was delighted to find Dresden’s contribution. Each city was proud to showcase its industrial development skills. Sadly, vandalism and limited funds have caused the historic elements to deteriorate.
Although the park is known as “Tiergarten” for “Animal Park”, there are no animals here. They reside in the adjacent Zoological Park. The Tiergarten was originally the private grounds for King Friedrich’s hunting pleasure. The garden was a pit stop between Charlottenburg Palace and the king’s residence in the center of Berlin.
Among the many monuments and statues in the park, there was a tribute to the King’s hunting days (see photos and header reposted above). Gee Kin and I had discovered this curious pair of statues last year on our visit to the Tiergarten. The park was, and is, a welcome respite to the unbearable heat that can surprise the city. Another pair of statues made tribute to the king and queen. The king was clad in street clothes rather than in his official military regalia. The “street cred” represented his love of the casual, private retreat of the park .
Photos, in gallery, above:
- Upper Left: One of the many extensive and romantic paths in the park, designed by landscape designer Peter Joseph Lenne. He created the grand Prussian master plan for the park. He was so successful, that he was able to live on a street in the park named after him in his own lifetime!
- Upper Right: A stele monument to the cities that donated trees grown in the park. The park was damaged in WWII and wood was chopped down for firewood.
- Middle Photo: The Spanish Embassy is one of the few buildings located in the park. Many other embassies are located along the park but not inside. Spain was one of the few countries with a strong relationship with Germany (along with Austria, Italy, and Japan)
- Lower Left: Monument to Victoria: the “Big Star” (Große Stern) was strategically placed along the 300 year-old east-west axis. The road through it was intended to emulate the Parisian boulevards and widened in the Third Reich.
- Lower Right: This view of the park is a completely man-made version of nature. The images of Claude Lorraine’s paintings and other Romanticists were popular at the time, and this was Lenne’s golden opportunity to do his client good. He even built an artificial island (in the distance in the middle of the photo). The lakes were designed as “mirrors” to reflect the sky and land around it. He did a pretty good job. I wouldn’t be surprised if Frederick Law Olmsted didn’t use this as a model for Golden Gate Park. The German designer followed and copied English landscape design, however, so I don’t know which chicken or egg came first.
A lakeside beer garden is a place where both Berliners and tourists can enjoy a leisurely day in the park. They even have dancing here, but I don’t think they have discovered Tai Chi yet.
A pretty decent performance of Tosca at the Deutsche Oper was hard to beat for 15 Euros, thanks to being a student of the Goethe Institute.