Schloss Tegel

09011641 Berlin-Tegel, Adelheidallee 17-21 004.jpg

The Schloss Tegel or Humboldt-Schloss is a country house in Tegel, part of the Reinickendorf district of the German capital Berlin. The brothers Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt spent much of their childhood in a former schloss on the site and on the estate, which extends almost as far as Lake Tegel.

The present building was built between 1820 and 1824 by Wilhelm von Humboldt to designs by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. It still belongs to the Heinz family, descendants of Wilhelm. It houses the private Humboldt-Museum, open to guided tours during the summer.

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Originally built as a Renaissance mansion in 1558, it was converted to a hunting lodge by Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg. As part of the Tegel estate, it passed to the Humboldt family by marriage in 1766 and became their family seat – Alexander and Wilhelm lived there several years. After their mother Marie-Elisabeth von Humboldt‘s death, Wilhelm took over the estate in 1797 and had the schloss rebuilt in the classical style between 1820 and 1824 by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Wilhelm’s daughter Gabriele later inherited it – she married the Prussian foreign minister Heinrich von Bülow and after her death it passed to their daughter Constanze von Heinz, whose descendants still own it.

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The park was originally designed between 1777 and 1789 by Gottlob Johann Christian Kunth, the Humboldts’ tutor. From 1802 it was further developed by Wilhelm to designs by Peter Joseph Lenné. The park was listed as a ‘Denkmalschutz’ (monument treasure) in 1983. On its western side, near Lake Tegel, is the ‘Dicke Marie’, an oak named after their cook by the Humboldts – it is sometimes dated at 800 years old. There are also 7.8 m deep lakes near the house itself. The park also contains Wilhelm’s wife’s tomb monument in the park in 1829, on a site chosen by her – it consists of a high granite column topped by a statue of the Roman goddess Spes by Bertel Thorvaldsen, favoured by Caroline and bought by Wilhelm after her death. Wilhelm and Alexander were also buried nearby, as were Caroline and Wilhelm’s children and descendants up to the present day, beneath uniformly designed unornamented tombstones and rows of flat grave mounds. The column is framed from behind by a stone bench or exedra, simpler than Schinkel’s usual style.


Bertel Thorvaldsen (Danish: [ˈpɛɐ̯tl̩ ˈtsʰɒːˌvælˀsn̩]; 19 November 1770 – 24 March 1844) was a Danish sculptor and medalist of international fame, who spent most of his life (1797–1838) in Italy. Thorvaldsen was born in Copenhagen into a working-class Danish/Icelandic family, and was accepted to the Royal Danish Academy of Art at the age of eleven. Working part-time with his father, who was a wood carver, Thorvaldsen won many honors and medals at the academy. He was awarded a stipend to travel to Rome and continue his education.

In Rome, Thorvaldsen made a name for himself as a sculptor. Maintaining a large workshop in the city, he worked in a heroic neo-classicist style. His patrons resided all over Europe.

Upon his return to Denmark in 1838, Thorvaldsen was received as a national hero. The Thorvaldsen Museum was erected to house his works next to Christiansborg Palace. Thorvaldsen is buried within the courtyard of the museum. In his time, he was seen as the successor of master sculptor Antonio Canova. His strict adherence to classical norms has tended to alienate modern audiences. Among his more famous public monuments are the statues of Nicolaus Copernicus and Józef Poniatowski in Warsaw; the statue of Maximilian I in Munich; and the tomb monument of Pope Pius VII, the only work by a non-Catholic in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Read more here at Wikipedia

Humboldt University

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