The Doppelkirche Schwarzrheindorf was once part of a Benedictine nunnery located at Schwarzrheindorf, now part of Bonn. The 'double church' has an upper church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and a lower church dedicated to Pope Clement I.
The church was probably built as a private chapel for Arnold of Wied, provost of Limburg Cathedral, Cologne Cathedral and the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht. Adjacent to the church, archaeological finds indicate that the chapel was once part of a castle belonging to the Wied family. In 1151 the Doppelkirche in Schwarzrheindorf was dedicated in the presence of King Conrad III of Germany. In the same year Arnold became archbishop of Cologne, a powerful position in that time.
After Arnold's death in 1156 his sister Hadwig of Wied turned the buildings into a monastery for Benedictine nuns. Hadwig was already abbess of Gerresheim and Essen Abbey and she now also became head of the Schwarzrheindorf congregation. Two of her sisters joined as well. Later, the monastery became a stift, a collegial body for female canons of noble origin. The upper gallery of the Doppelkirche was accessible only to the noble members of the religious community, where they were able to attend Holy Mass, separated from the commoners in the church below. In 1803 the stift was dissolved and the church was used for secular purposes until in 1868 it became a parish church.
The Doppelkirche Schwarzrheindorf is a well-preserved example of a double church from the High Middle Ages. The church has recently been plastered white but it is believed that this is what it looked like in the 12th century. It was originally conceived as a Zentralbau (central structure without a nave), following the example of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen. The church has a tall crossing tower and a dwarf gallery that not only encircles the entire apse but also both transepts. The dwarf gallery is accessible via an external staircase. The Romanesque capitals of the gallery are closely related to the carved capitals seen at the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht, where Arnold of Wied had initiated an extensive building campaign during his provostship.
The 12th-century frescos are largely original. In 1863 they were rediscovered underneath a layer of white plaster that had covered them for several decades. Both the painted upper chapel and the lower chapel are of great art historical significance. The subject matter for the frescos was derived from the teachings of contemporary theologians like Rupert of Deutz and Otto of Freising. In the upper chapel Arnold and Hadwig of Wied are painted below a Majestas Domini, stretching out on the floor as a token of humility.References:
Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin and the only surviving royal residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. The original palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich III, Elector of Brandenburg in what was then the village of Lietzow. Originally named Lietzenburg, the palace was designed by Johann Arnold Nering in baroque style. The inauguration of the palace was celebrated on 11 July 1699, Frederick's 42nd birthday.
Friedrich crowned himself as King Friedrich I in Prussia in 1701 (Friedrich II, known as Frederick the Great, would later achieve the title King of Prussia). Two years previously, he had appointed Johann Friedrich von Eosander (also known as Eosander von Göthe) as the royal architect and sent him to study architectural developments in Italy and France, particularly the Palace of Versailles. On his return in 1702, Eosander began to extend the palace, starting with two side wings to enclose a large courtyard, and the main palace was extended on both sides. Sophie Charlotte died in 1705 and Friedrich named the palace and its estate Charlottenburg in her memory. In the following years, the Orangery was built on the west of the palace and the central area was extended with a large domed tower and a larger vestibule. On top of the dome is a wind vane in the form of a gilded statue representing Fortune designed by Andreas Heidt. The Orangery was originally used to overwinter rare plants. During the summer months, when over 500 orange, citrus and sour orange trees decorated the baroque garden, the Orangery regularly was the gorgeous scene of courtly festivities.
Inside the palace, was a room described as 'the eighth wonder of the world', the Amber Room, a room with its walls surfaced in decorative amber. It was designed by Andreas Schlüter and its construction by the Danish amber craftsman Gottfried Wolfram started in 1701. Friedrich Wilhelm I gave the Amber Room to Tsar Peter the Great as a present in 1716.
When Friedrich I died in 1713, he was succeeded by his son, Friedrich Wilhelm I whose building plans were less ambitious, although he did ensure that the building was properly maintained. Building was resumed after his son Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) came to the throne in 1740. During that year, stables for his personal guard regiment were completed to the south of the Orangery wing and work was started on the east wing. The building of the new wing was supervised by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, the Superintendent of all the Royal Palaces, who largely followed Eosander's design. The decoration of the exterior was relatively simple but the interior furnishings were lavish. The ground floor was intended for Frederick's wife Elisabeth Christine, who, preferring Schönhausen Palace, was only an occasional visitor. The decoration of the upper floor, which included the White Hall, the Banqueting Hall, the Throne Room and the Golden Gallery, was lavish and was designed mainly by Johann August Nahl. In 1747, a second apartment for the king was prepared in the distant eastern part of the wing. During this time, Sanssouci was being built at Potsdam and once this was completed Frederick was only an occasional visitor to Charlottenburg.
In 1786, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew Friedrich Wilhelm II who transformed five rooms on the ground floor of the east wing into his summer quarters and part of the upper floor into Winter Chambers, although he did not live long enough to use them. His son, Friedrich Wilhelm III came to the throne in 1797 and reigned with his wife, Queen Luise for 43 years. They spent much of this time living in the east wing of Charlottenburg. Their eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who reigned from 1840 to 1861, lived in the upper storey of the central palace building. After Friedrich Wilhelm IV died, the only other royal resident of the palace was Friedrich III who reigned for 99 days in 1888.
The palace was badly damaged in 1943 during the Second World War. In 1951, the war-damaged Stadtschloss in East Berlin was demolished and, as the damage to Charlottenburg was at least as serious, it was feared that it would also be demolished. However, following the efforts of Margarete Kühn, the Director of the State Palaces and Gardens, it was rebuilt to its former condition, with gigantic modern ceiling paintings by Hann Trier.
The garden was designed in 1697 in baroque style by Simeon Godeau who had been influenced by André Le Nôtre, designer of the gardens at Versailles. Godeau's design consisted of geometric patterns, with avenues and moats, which separated the garden from its natural surroundings. Beyond the formal gardens was the Carp Pond. Towards the end of the 18th century, a less formal, more natural-looking garden design became fashionable. In 1787 the Royal Gardener Georg Steiner redesigned the garden in the English landscape style for Friedrich Wilhelm II, the work being directed by Peter Joseph Lenné. After the Second World War, the centre of the garden was restored to its previous baroque style.