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The Urn of Alexander von der Mark, or not - Potsdam, Germany
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Bernd das Brot Team
N 52° 24.866 E 013° 04.156
33U E 368687 N 5808887
Quick Description: Sculpture of an urn as symbol of a real one 30 miles away.
Location: Brandenburg, Germany
Date Posted: 2/11/2019 2:15:49 PM
Waymark Code: WM102DW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 1

Long Description:

Potsdam's Neuer Garten (German for New Garden), is a vast area with several castles and countless statues, sculptures and monuments. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin."

Strolling through the park and checking the many sights, on our way to a small palace called Marmorpalais, we passed a mysterious urn. This seemed strange, as this was not a cemetery.

After some research and with the help of a German Blogger, here is what we found out:

In 1946, after the end of World War II, Russian military swept the Heiliger See Lake in Potsdam, Germany, for mines and unexploded ordnance. One of the more surprising finds was an empty marble urn.

The urn is believed to be the unofficial memorial for the unfortunate Duke Alexander von der Mark. Born in 1779, Alexander was the illegitimate son of Prussian crown prince Frederick William II and his mistress, Wilhelmine von Lichtenau.

When Frederick William II ascended to the Prussian throne in 1786, he knighted his favorite son and made him count of the House of La Marck, a Prussian dynasty that had died out in 1609. This act enraged the legitimate crown price, Frederick William III. A year later, when Alexander suddenly died at the age of eight, rumor had it that the crown prince had his half-brother poisoned.

Alexander was buried in a church in Berlin. Official etiquette prohibited his father from having a memorial for his son on royal property. Instead Frederick William II had an anonymous memorial in form of an empty urn placed near the Marble Palace, the residence of his mistress, Alexander's mother.

Immediately after Frederick William II's death in 1797, his son, the new king, had Wilhelmine von Lichtenau exiled and stripped of all her property. The urn was tossed into the nearby lake, where it remained for the next 150 years.

Title: Alexander von der Mark

Artist: Unknown

Placement Date: 8/1/1787

Website: [Web Link]

Type of Object: Urn

Location: Park of Marble Palace, Potsdam, Germany

Material: Marble

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