Großer Tiergarten, Straße des 17. Juni, Tiergarten;
Public Park 17th - 20th century; architects included Georg Wenzeslaus, Knobelsdorff (1742), Justus Ehrenreich Sello (1792), Peter Joseph Lenné (1833-47), Eduard Neide (1875-78) and Willy Alverdes (1950); alteration in 1938, restoration since 1949
The Tiergarten is the oldest public park in Berlin and for a long time it was the only one of its kind. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the swampy forest in the lowlands of the Spree was the preferred hunting ground of the elector princes of Brandenburg. The first Prussian king, Friedrich I, made the Tiergarten accessible to the public by ordering the creation of avenues such as Lietzenburger Chaussee (today Strasse des 17. Juni), designed as a concourse to the Charlottenburger Schloss.
Friedrich II commissioned George Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff to refashion the grounds in the style of the late Baroque. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the park along the pattern of English gardens. While the avenues and squares were retained, the land had to be drained and partially cleared. The Tiergarten, which had now become a Volksgarten, was shaped by Lenné until 1838 and was known in this form until the Second World War. Today it is characterized by broad lawn areas interwoven by streams and groups of trees throughout, as well as small lakes with islets and numerous bridges.
For the reconstruction and replanting of the park after the war's devastation we are indebted above all to Willy Averdes, the horticultural architect and director of the Horticultural Office of the Tiergarten. Paying obeisance to Lennè's basic concept of creating a spacious landscape park, Alverdes integrated the Englischer Garten and extensive rhododendron plantings into the park.