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Großer Müggelsee

Under the Open Sky Into a World of Pleasure

Erich Heckel, Segelboot (Segelboot am Müggelsee), 1910, Brücke-Museum, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

In the spring of 1910 – a year before he moved from Dresden to the capital – Erich Heckel travelled to Berlin for a few weeks. Just as he and the other Brücke artists felt pulled to draw at the Moritzburg lakes in the Saxon capital, he also enjoyed spending his days in Berlin at lakes in the surrounding countryside. He captured his impressions of an excursion to the Großer Müggelsee in a print: in the foreground are the boats darting across the water, while in the background are the tree-covered Müggelberge hills and the Bismarck observation tower erected there a few years earlier.

It was one of many observation towers built throughout Germany around the turn of the century in honour of the Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who died in 1898. Mythologised as a national hero after his death, he is viewed in a critical light today, not least because of his colonial policies. During his reign as chancellor, the German Empire acquired colonies in Africa, China and Oceania and developed into a colonial power, which it remained until the loss of its colonies in 1919. At the end of the Second World War, the tower was blown up by the German Wehrmacht in order to make it harder for the advancing Soviet troops to find their way. This site was also the originally planned location for the Berlin TV tower; the stump of its failed predecessor still stands here today.

Valentina Bay

Müggelsee, 1925, picture postcard, Brücke-Museum

Explore Berlin through the Eyes of the Brücke Artists
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