Dear friends of the Museum for Islamic Art,
Orientalizing architecture of the 19th century with the buildings of Carl von Diebitsch (1818-1869) were the goal of our trip to Neuruppin and the Gentzrode estate in March this year. Now we would like to deepen this topic with you. For Moorish architecture enjoyed great popularity in the 18th/19th centuries, and other examples have survived in the vicinity of Berlin.
Our next excursion is therefore planned for July 29, 2023 to Potsdam.
There we can expect guided tours of the steam engine house for the fountain in Sanssouci Park, built under the direction of Ludwig Persius in the style of a mosque, and of the Belvedere on the Pfingstberg, built by Persius, Stühler and Hesse according to sketches by King Frederick William IV, with the Moorish Cabinet furnished by Carl von Diebitsch.
The former steam engine house for Sanssouci - also called the "Pump House" or "Mosque" - stands in Potsdam on the Neustadt Havel Bay. It was built at the request of King Frederick William IV between 1841 and 1843 to operate the Great Fountain in front of Sanssouci Palace. Externally in the style of a Mamluk mosque, the interior cites elements of the Alhambra and thus represents an outstanding example of orientalizing architecture. At the same time, it is one of the historic landmarks of engineering architecture in Germany.
The Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg can offer us a special opening with guided tour at 10:30 am on July 29, 2023.
Afterwards we can have lunch at the oriental restaurant De Lewante, Gutenbergstr. 103. The restaurant is 1 km from the Steam Engine House and we would walk the distance, or you can get a cab.
After lunch, a guided tour of the Belvedere on the Pfingstberg awaits us. There you will find the richly decorated Moorish Cabinet, decorated with ceiling paintings, marble floor and 1200 red-blue-gold tiles. They come from the then famous pottery factory of the ceramist Tobias Christoph Feilner. Again, we can walk the way there, about 2 km, or you can take a cab.