BELVEDERE AUF DEM PFINGSTBERG
POTSDAM'S FINEST VIEWING POINT
The Belvedere at the summit of the Pfingstberg hill was commissioned by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia to serve primarily as a viewing platform for leisure.
The Pfingstberg Belvedere was built on several phases between 1847 and 1863. The design and construction was originally awarded to the architect Ludwig Persius but as a result of the his death the project was continued by Friedrich Stüler and later Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse. The first phase that was constructed included the two higher towers and in addition the northern gallery that connects them. These towers contain the Moorish and Roman galleries which nowadays are popular for wedding ceremonies.Construction continued with the enclosure of the inner courtyard. This was to be complemented by a second courtyard which never materialised. With the passing of the years the building plans had to be modified and reduced. These changes happened due to lack of funds and because of the different visions and needs of the King's successors.
At the end of the XIX century the building opened to the wider public and it enjoyed much popularity. Unfortunately during the Cold War years, because of its proximity to the Berlin Wall, the building was out of bounds, abandoned and taken over by nature.
During the late 80's a group of local people rediscovered the building and started a long journey to bring it back to life. In 1996 the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG), started formal renovation project which was completed in 2005.
Since 1999 the Belvedere forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin.
The virtual tour of the Pfingstberg takes the visitor on a linear route starting on the terrace at level one and culminating on the top of the northern tower with the view over Potsdam, its lakes, the river Havel and the Berlin skyline as far as the TV tower in Alexander Platz. The view is truly outstanding and therefore we are preparing to create this following autumn a Gigapixel panorama from that spot.
Another highlight of the virtual tour is the Moorish Gallery and in particular the panorama taken from the narrow spiral staircase which was technically challenging due to the size of the space and the vibrations of the metal structure.
We personally like very much the starting panorama of the tour because of its composition and the interplay of objects at different distances. The image starts with the winged horses, and ends at the forest in the background. A couple looks back with delight at the building as they complete their visit.