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Another integral element of the Sanssouci palace park in the German city of Potsdam is called an antique temple. It is a small monopter, that is, a round-shaped building without internal walls, located in the west of a vast park. Such an architectural structure originates in antiquity, which also dictated its name – The ancient temple.
The ancient temple was erected during the time of Frederick the Great, in 1768-1769, the project manager was the architect Karl von Gontard. The building was a pandan (architectural pair) to the Temple of Friendship, located nearby, not far from the main avenue of Sanssouci Park and the New Palace.
The temple was conceived as a gallery, where an exhibition of collections of works of art from ancient times, as well as old money and gems was supposed to be located. It was possible to get here only with the consent of the castellan of the New Palace. The outstanding exposition included not only collections of figurines, tools, ceramics, but also life-size marble statues of people mounted on marble pedestals. The statues depicted the Lycomedes' family.
Also, visitors to the museum could admire the marble, bronze and basalt busts. Some of these treasures were bought from the French Cardinal Polignac. A special cabinet was set aside for coins of different times made of gold, wood, bronze and silver. There were also gems, reliefs and volumes on archeology collected by Frederick the Great.
King Frederick III in In 1797, ascending the throne, he ordered to transfer a significant part of the collection of the Ancient Temple to the Academy of Sciences, which was done. Another part of the collection was temporarily taken out by Napoleon's troops to France, it was returned only in 1815, but to the Berlin Old Museum, not to Potsdam.
King William II expected to use the building of the Ancient Temple as the court chapel. For this purpose, it was planned to rebuild the temple with the addition of elements of the classical style. But the First World War did not give the plans to come true. From 1921 until 1940, the Ancient Temple serves as a burial vault for representatives of the Hohenzollern family. Thus, Empress Augusta Victoria, Prince Wilhelm of Prussia and others are buried here.
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Topic: Ancient temple in Austria, Potsdam spa.