Preservation of Historic Buildings and Monuments

Köpenick, designKöpenick, archaeological finds

Archeological Site at Köpenick Castle

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During construction of the castle, a portion of the preceding building was first torn down. This was a three-story facility with two wings, which together with a defensive wall encircled a square courtyard. At each corner there was a round tower with a curved cupola. A Welsh architect by the name of Wilhelm Zacharias began this construction in 1558 based on his own designs, but wasn't able to finish until 1572.
In addition to the depiction of Merian from the 17th century, the construction contract with Joachim II, Elector and Margrave of Brandenburg, contains the most information about the hunting lodge. It has been preserved until today and is located in the Brandenburg Regional Archives (Archive of Old Buildings of the Köpenick Office, concerning its outlying villages, but relevant to the castle itself from A.O. 1558 until 1695 Pr. Br. Rep 7, Köpenick Office, Köpenick No. 10). After several decades, this Renaissance castle was in bad structural condition and after some 100 years had to make way for a new Baroque building. The lower segment of the northwest tower of the hunting lodge was uncovered in an area of the Baroque castle where no cellar had been arranged beneath it. The developer (under the direction of the federal building authorities) and the architectural offices of BASD who undertook the construction decided, despite the very difficult structural problems, to preserve the former historical archeological site and to make it accessible for visitors in the future via a passageway of their own construction.
The enormous foundation of fieldstone layering is laid out in a slightly elliptical form (exterior diameter approx. 13 x 12 m).

The curve of the ascending masonry, with larger cracks from settling, consists of limestone layers and several layers of fieldstone built into it; the wall is three meters thick. Between the foundation and the rising masonry there is a balancing layer of fist- to head-sized fieldstones embedded in limestone mortar that is like a kind of patchwork in the immediate cellar area. It continues all the way under the ascending masonry.
The material from the Renaissance castle that was torn down and no longer needed was poured onto the eastern part of the island where the the chapel and the utility building stand today. Among this material there were also fragments of green glazed oven tiles with interesting designs. Most of these are allegories with religious or manorial themes.

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