Bellevue Palace (German: Schloss Bellevue, pronounced [ʃlɔs bɛlˈvyː] (listen)), located in Berlin's Tiergarten district, has been the official residence of the President of Germany since 1994. The schloss is situated on the banks of the Spree river, near the Berlin Victory Column, along the northern edge of the Großer Tiergarten park. Its name – the French for "beautiful view" – derives from its scenic prospect over the Spree's course.
Designed by architect Michael Philipp Boumann (1747–1803), Schloss Bellevue was erected in 1786 as a residence for Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia, Master of the Knights of the Order of Saint John and youngest brother of King Frederick II of Prussia. There had been preexisting structures on the premises: The manor house which King Frederick's architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff had built for himself in 1743, which was demolished, and a leather factory on the Spree river waterfront that was converted into the right side-wing. The palace was named Bellevue as its view reached the tower of Schloss Charlottenburg before the viaduct of the Berlin Stadtbahn was built nearby in the 1880ies. It was the first Neoclassical building in Germany, characterized by its Corinthian pilasters, with wings on either side ("Ladies' wing" and "[River] Spree wing"). The only room that kept its original decoration is a ballroom on the upper floor designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans, the architect of the Brandenburg Gate. The Palace is surrounded by a park of about 20 hectares.
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