"Wandering The City #15 - Lustgarten" Museum Island - Lustgarten Tip by johngayton
Museum Island - Lustgarten, Berlin: 3 reviews and 9 photos
Before heading off for my beer though I had to investigate what the Lustgarten was all about (I believe there's a "gentlemen's" club of the same name). This green space in front of Berliner Dom has had a bit of a yo-yo existence since its inception as a vegetable plot for the former Royal Palace in the 16th century.
It's first change of use was during the 17th century when it was converted into a formal decorative garden with lawns, flower beds, fountains and statuary.
Then in 1713 the then King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm I, had it levelled and turned into a military parade ground. Wilhelm II had it replanted as a garden in 1790 but following Napoleon's occupation of the city in the early 1800's it was once again used for drilling troops.
After Napoleon's retreat the garden was yet again replanted as a public park with a 13 metre steam-driven central fountain and became essentially the front lawn for the new Berliner Dom which was built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
During the Wiemar Republic (between the end of World War I and Hitler's assumption of power in 1933) the park was often used for anti-government public demonstrations, the last major demonstration being in 1933 against Hitler's Nazi policies which was attended by an estimated 200,000 people.
Hitler immediately banned all opposition to his policies and had the garden paved over to be used for propoganda marches and rallies.
At the end of World War II the area was a bomb site in what was now East Germany. After the demolition of the City Palace and the subsequent building of the Communist-realist Palace of the Republic the park was left paved but bordered with lime trees.
Following German re-unification in 1991 popular opinion persuaded the new Berlin Senate to return the park to its turn-of-the century role as a green public space and in 1998 the park was relandscaped to become a central area which proves to be popular with locals and tourists alike.
Address: Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin
Directions: On the "Museum Island" in front of the Berliner Dom.
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