Lustgarten, or pleasure garden, has been around for centuries and has served as many different platforms throughout Berlin‘s tumultuous and variegated history. Rubbing elbows with the Altes Museum and the Berliner Dom, its prime location makes it a hot spot for tourists and lovers of languidness to soak in the views in a vast space that has witnessed a tremendous amount of history.
Lustgarten first saw life in the 16th century, originally operating as a kitchen garden to the Elector of Brandenburg’s Palace. Like much of Germany’s history, the garden suffered from the atrocities of turbulent times, specifically the Thirty Years’ War. Berlin had to go under some reconstruction, and it was Friedrich Wilheim and his wife, Luise Henriette of Nassau, who oversaw the majority of it. His wife along with Johann Mauritz and Michael Hanff, a military and landscape engineer, helped reimagined Lustgarten into the patchwork of majesty it is today. They adorned it with fountains and boundaries and crowned it with the nomenclature it goes by to this day.
Sadly, this marvelous verdant concoction was turned into a sand-covered parade ground during the rule of Friedrich Wilhelm I, as he was in the process of converting (at the time) Prussia into a militarized state. Later, it was turned back into a park but again was stripped of its lush beauty during Napoleon’s occupation in the 1800s. They didn’t turn it into a sand-covered ground, but they drilled troops there. In the early to mid-19th century, Prussia grew in influence, wealth, and authority. In an attempt to wield its escalating province, it underwent some architectural restructuring in a way to almost symbolically sanctify its greatness.
Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who redesigned much of Prussia, is the infamous architect who implemented many of the iconic buildings on Museum Island that give Berlin its weight in aestheticism to this day. The Altes Museum is one of his pieces and lays at the top end of the Lustgarten. The garden itself was redesigned by Peter Joseph Lenné. Over the years, the garden was the meeting place for various political demonstrations, withstanding the ever-changing tides of various socio politicos, like Hitler. In a post-war world, it had transformed into an urban swamp of devastation. Only receiving slight modifications during the GDR, it saw a full transformation in post-reunification days, harkening back to its original design carried out by Hans Loidl in 1998.
By Brienne Pierce
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.