Flowers and Flower Fauna
It was not until the 19th century that the idea of Potsdam as a "paradise isle" was fully implemented. Landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné united the various palaces and parks into a unique park landscape which was designated as a "world cultural heritage site" by UNESCO in 1990. My granddaughter took a lot of closeup pictures of flowers and their inhabitants.
With aim to improve the touristic set of the Sans Souci area you could be approached by somebody with papers and pen to get an interview.
Support them, it's a great idea !!! you have the choice to shape the evolution of the area.
If you do not do it please do not complain about anything later !
Close to the Orangerie you may walk through this nice bush-arcades for quite a long time and these arcades even give a good protection during a rainy day, just in case of a sudden rainfall.
There you may also see, how plenty of people will be in charge to keep the whole park growing and look beautiful forthe visitors !
It is a pity that picture is not really perfect, all of the pics on my Potsdam-page are slides, that I had to scan for VT.
Einsteinturm, the failed experiment
If there is one thing to see on Telegrafenberg, it is the Einsteinturm (The Einstein tower)! Here you will see where architecture and science meet!
Let us first tell the story of the failed experiment: the Einstein tower had been designed and built by architect Erich Mendelsohn following an idea of Einstein and technical design of astrophysicist Erwin Freundlich: an experiment to prove the validity of the generalised theory of relativity had to be conducted with this telescope. The “gravitational red shift” or “curvature of space” had to be observed there, but it never could be done, due to bad meteorological conditions, light pollution, building defaults. . . . . . . Luckily, Eddington proved the validity of the theory 10.000 km from there with a famous experiment during a solar eclipse on Ascension Island, in the Atlantic.
What one sees when he discovers this tower with its cupola and its horizontal appendix, (picture 2) is a strange construction in a quite unusual style; rounded window frames, appendices, a sort of an expressionist building, bricks covered with cement.
This strange building has recently been renovated and it is possible to visit it with staff from the astrophysics institute; I had not that luck (and time!), and kept outside taking a few pictures.
This tower has been built between 1919 and 1922 (after Eddington’s experiment)and its originality is the horizontal lay-out of the lab where the instruments are located; the little story tells that when Einstein first looked at the finished building, he said “funny”, but he never really worked in that observatory.
Nowadays, after lots of repairs it is operational and is used mainly to test instruments which are then dispatched to other observatories where the light is better then in the suburbs of Berlin. If you go inside you will see a statue of the head of Einstein, a bronze cast of a brain (but not his!), and many instruments and historical photographs.
The Postsdam Potato
And here is this famous potato! On the first picture it is a modern representation, generated with lots of CPU (computer Central Processing Unit) time, but the original one, has been calculated and drawn in 1901 by Friedrich Robert Helmert, here in Potsdam, in that building (picture 3). That the Earth was not a flat disk, but has a spherical shape is mathematically known since Eratosthenes of Alexandria, and since the 18th century, pioneers like Bouguer, La Condamine, and many others demonstrated the Earth’s equatorial axis was a few kilometres longer than its polar axis; but Helmert, with a smart calibration of a 1600 geodetic/gravimetric stations calibration and a tricky mathematical transform (Helmert transform) calculated the shape of the geoid (mathematical model of the earth), which is still used (with few adjustments) by spatial geodesy (GPS, this, you heard about. . . . ). The shape of our planet is the result of its gravity field, and vice versa; the GPS satellites are positioned and “guided” by the gravity field. . . . .
The “Absolute Earth gravity value” has been determined in Potsdam in 1902 with a 10-5accuracy, the famous 9.81274 ms-2 (known as Potsdam gravimetric system), and this value was still valid and used by the International geophysical union until 1971 ; well, lots for the knowledge of our planet has been achieved here, on Telegrafenberg!
Ah! For the record-chasers, real off beaten paths walkers, modern “adventurers”, whatever “I did this” people, if you want to go to the top of the earth, forget about the very beaten path to the Everest; the highest point of the planet is not there, it is only the highest point above sea level, by way far from being the highest point: the highest point is on Chimborazo (6268 m above sea level, 6384.4 km from the Earth’s centre), in the Andes, (closely followed by Puncak Jaya, in West Papua, Indonesia, only 4884m above sea level), but the farthest point from the centre of the planet (picture 1 shows this a bit) and, as the satellites are positioned relatively to the centre of the earth, the true referential to describe the planet is its centre. . . . . ;) The sea level, as a reference, is used by surveyors. . .
Helmert is honoured with a small stone plaque in front of his institute (picture 2)
If you want to know (without maths!) what geodesy is, you may begin here, and the follow links (a bit maths!): http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/geodesy/geo01_intro.html
Other (German) links about the potato on which we live: