History of the Förderverein Pfingstberg e.V.

Beginning in January 1988, a team of a few young people met on weekends in 14-day intervals in order to free the Temple of Pomona and the Belvedere from brushwood and vines. The lawns in front of the Temple of Pomona and on the southern and eastern side of the Belvedere were exposed, and the arbors in front of the Belvedere were recultivated. The beauty of the grounds were made visible again and also made accessible to the public.

The first Pfingstberg celebration took place in June 1989 all around the Belvedere and in front of the Temple of Pomona. Attended by more than 1000 guests and watched under the distrustful scrutiny of the GDR’s secret police, this celebration continues to remain a symbol of the willingness of Potsdam’s citizens to support the preservation of a city worth living in, starting with its historical buildings. The Pfingstberg celebration in spring gave many citizens courage for political commitment during the period following the fall of the Berlin Wall in the autumn of 1989. Matthias Platzek, the current Minister President of the federal state of Brandenburg, was also a member of the AG Pfingstberg and belonged to the initiators and helpers of the Pfingstberg celebration. He continues to remain a member of the supporting association.

In 1992-93, the association managed to instigate a reconstruction of the Temple of Pomona through the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG), thanks to a donation from the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung. Following its reconstruction, the supporting association established a visitor’s center at the Temple of Pomona. Thereafter, the small building was used for exhibitions, for events in the series “Culture in Nature,” for providing tourist information and naturally for the purposes of acquiring further donations for the Belvedere.

The supporting association also motivated the Pfingstberg’s administrator, the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, to reconstruct large portions of the gardens. Major donations from the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung and from Prof. Dr. Werner Otto, the mail order company founder, brought about a breakthrough that has made the reconstruction of the Belvedere possible, step by step, since 1994. In 2003, the western tower was authorized for inspection. Following the completion of the two wing walls and the eastern tower, the end of the Belvedere’s extensive restoration was celebrated in May 2005.