In the early 19th century, Berlin became home to the romanticism movement. The southwest district of Zehlendorf, just facing the city of Postdam, turned into Berlin most romantic corner with a string of castles and gardens inspired by Rome and Ancient Egypt.

Lake Wannsee is a very popular destination for locals. It has one of the biggest inland beaches in Europe. In summer, the beach is crowded along its 3.5 km of white sand while sail boats contribute to the holiday atmosphere of the place. Boats are plentiful to do a Wannsee tour up to Glienicke. Many companies organise a 7-Lakes Tour which connects Wannsee to Postdam.


It is possible however to go out at Nikolskoe and transfer to a small ferry to reach Peacock Island. The place looks to come out of a fairy tale book. In 1794, Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II commissioned carpenter Johann Gottlieb Brendel for a castle and dependences on a small islandl. The King gave this summer residence to his mistress, Countess Wilhelmine von Lichtenau. A fake while gothic and renaissance ruin was constructed in the midst of a large meadow surrounded by forests. A cow farm was built in the style of a gothic monastery, while between 1820 and 1830 an aviary as well as a Palm Tree Conservatory were added. Gardens were later redesigned in the romanticism style by gardener Peter Joseph Lenné. To add a further touch of magic to the place, free range peacocks just stroll around the area, shouting and totally indifferent to visitors!

Taking back the ferry to Nikolskoe, there is a possibility to catch again a boat to further sail to Glienicke, the quintessence of romanticism.

At the extreme tip of Berlin, a few meters away from Potsdam, the famous architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel built in 1826 for Prince Carl of Prussia a castle similar to a Roman mansion. A UNESCO World Heritage today,

Glienicke castle and gardens represent the perfect vision of romanticism with a fountain surrounded by golden lions, Egyptian sphinxes, fake Greek columns and Roman style statues in the gardens. Under sunshine, visitors get the feeling to be lost along the Mediterranean Sea with the waves of the Havel River shining under the light.

Photo: Peacock Island Castle.