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The Marstall around 1935; Photo: Landesbildstelle Berlin
The Marstall around 1935; Photo: Landesbildstelle Berlin 

» Architecture

History: orangery – royal stables – film museum

Architect Johann Arnold Nering is commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg, to build an orangery next to Potsdam′s City Palace as winter quarters for the Mediterranean plants from the Pleasure Gardens.
King Friedrich Wilhelm I converts a part of the Pleasure Gardens into drill grounds, the orangery becomes a horse stable ("Marstall").
By order of Friedrich II, Sanssouci′s architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff conducts the reconstruction and expansion of the Marstall; the sculptural decorations above the entrance doors are created by Friedrich Christian Glume. The building is used as a horse stable for 176 years.
After Emperor Wilhelm II has abdicated, the horses are auctioned off and a garrison museum is set up in the building.
The Potsdam Arts Society exhibits in the Marstall.
The building suffers havoc in a British air raid.
After provisional repairs, the City Museum shows its first historical exhibition after the war.
The ruins of the City Palace and the Garrison Church are demolished. The Marstall is kept for storage purposes and as an emergency accomodation for the Museum of Local History.
The ruins of the Garrison Church are demolished.
The municipal council decides to establish a film museum in the Marstall. Extensive restoration and reconstruction work begins.
The "Film Museum of the GDR" is opened, offering a cinema and an exhibition with technical equipment.
The first permanent exhibition on Ufa and DEFA history is opened. Travelling exhibitions on DEFA films and an ambitious film programme supplement the offers.
The interior of the Marstall is rebuilt according to international museum standards. The second permanent exhibition "Film City Babelsberg" is opened. The restored Welte Cinema Organ is integrated into the cinema.
The redecorated café becomes a cultural meeting point.
The cinema is modernized and equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system.
In the context of the opening of the third permanent exhibition "Babelsberg – Faces of a Film Metropolis", the foyer is redecorated.
In 2005, the Parliament of the Federal State of Brandenburg decides to rebuild the city castle – to which the Marstall once belonged – as the new seat of the Parliament. With the agreement of Potsdam City Council, the necessary reconstruction of the streets surrounding the site begins in 2008. In 2012, the ensemble of buildings will be restored to its old glory.
2008 - 2012
Potsdam′s historical city centre (graphic design: A. Standler, concept: G. Vandenhertz, aerial photo: L. Hannemann)
The Brandenburg Parliament decides to rebuild the City Castle, the architectural ensemble the Marstall once was a part of, as seat of the Parliament. The rebuilding is supposed to be completed in 2010.
© 2015 Filmmuseum Potsdam | Realisiert durch die ARTEMiSiUM GmbH & Co. KG
Institut der Filmuniversität filmuni

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