The Orangery Palace (Orangerieschloss) was built by the Romantic on the Throne, Friedrich Wilhelm IV from 1851 to 1864. The architects Friedrich August Stüler and Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse designed it in the style of the Italian Renaissance, after the image of the Villa Medici in Rome and the Uffizi in Florence.
The middle building with its twin towers is the actual castle. This building is joined to the 103 meter long and 16 meter wide Plant Hall, with its almost ceiling-to-floor windows on the south side. In the western hall, the original floor duct heating system is still present and functioning. In the alcoves along the garden side of the castle annex, there are allegorical figures of the months and seasons. In the corner building at the end of the Orangery Hall were the royal apartments and the servants' quarters.
In front of the peristyle Elizabeth, Friedrich Wilhelm IV's wife, had a statue of the king erected in Memoriam after his death in 1861.
Behind the portico, in the middle building, lies the over two-story-tall Raffael Hall. It was based on the Sala Regia in the Vatican. Over a large skylight in the high clouded ceiling, light falls into the Museum Hall. On the red silk covered walls, hang over fifty copies of Renaissance paintings. Friedrich Wilhelm IV inherited the images from his father, Friedrich Wilhelm III, and brought them here together.
The royal apartments were outfitted in the second Rococo style, connected to both sides of the Raffael Hall. They were intended as guest rooms for Tsar Nicholas I and his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna. The Tsarina was the favorite sister of Friedrich Wilhelm IV, Charlotte, who gave up her name along with her homeland when she married.
The gardens were styled after those of the Italian Renaissance by the garden architect, Peter Joseph Lenné. In the west, below the annex, he designed the Paradise Garden in 1843/1844. In it are many exotic flowers and foliage plants. The atrium, a small building in middle of the compound, designed in the ancient style, was built on plans by Ludwig Persius in 1845. The current Botanical Garden, with its systematically arranged planting, is used by the University of Potsdam as a teaching garden.
The Norse and Sicilian Gardens lie to the east. These completely different garden sections were laid out by Lenné between 1857 and 1860. The dark, effective Norse Garden, with its pines, was to have been an element of the planned triumph street. The Sicilian Garden, with its palm tubs, myrtles, laurels, flowers, arcades, and fountains, runs jovially southward.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.