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Arts

From Sanssouci to Peacock Island: Germany's greatest landscape artist

From Sanssouci to the Berlin Zoo and Peacock Island, Peter J. Lenné's green thumb and eye for design has left its mark across Germany. Even 150 years after his death, his masterpiece gardens live on.

For nearly half a century, Peter Joseph Lenné was in the service of the Prussian king. His role as official landscape architect gave him legendary status in the kingdom of his time, as he created hundreds of stunning gardens between Berlin and Potsdam - and beyond.

Perhaps best known for bringing the green touch to the park surrounding Sanssouci Palace, with its French influences and vineyard-style terraces, Lenné also made his mark on World Heritage sites like Peacock Island and the Babelsberg Castle in Potsdam, both near the Havel River.

Completing over 150 projects around the Prussian capital, the architect designed the natural environment surrounding palaces, temples, monuments and churches as a compliment to existing facilities and played with water in his designs for fountains and an artificial bay in the example of the Peacock Island. Most of his original styles remain, drawing tourists from the world over to take in the beauty of his botanical gardens.

Not limited to the meandering canals of Berlin, Lenné also took his talents to other cities across Germany. The last work completed in 1863 just before his death on January 23, 1866, is the Botanical Gardens of Cologne.

To see some of the natural masterpieces that brought Peter J. Lenné so much acclaim both before and even now, 150 years after his death, click through the picture gallery above.

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