Berlin: Liebermann Villa on Wannsee Beautiful Gardens of German Impressionist Painter

We had two days in Berlin during an unseasonably warm spell in May. Rather than trying to rush through the highlights of five museums during our free afternoon, we focused on one small and beautiful spot, the Liebermann Villa on the Wannsee. Max Liebermann was a painter from a rich Jewish family in Berlin. He spent his summers in the Netherlands for most of his career and painted peasants in a style similar to early Van Gogh. He became increasingly interested in Impressionism and learned the techniques from his own personal collection of impressionist paintings. As he got older he wanted a closer place to spend his summers and built a villa with beautiful gardens on the shore of the Wannsee. He also became a very successful portrait painter and rose to become President of the Prussian Academy of Arts during the Weimar Republic. He lived long enough to see the Nazis come to power and resigned from his post. He died in 1935 and the Nazis seized the house from his widow. The house became a hospital and then a diving club, but has been restored with its gardens and a collection of his paintings on the upper floor. There is also a nice café. The gardens lead to the lake covered in sailboats when the weather is warm. It took about half an hour to go by train from the Potzdamer Platz to the Wannsee station. The number 114 bus goes in a loop along the lakeshore to the villa. The house of the notorious Wannsee conference that planned the Holocaust is up the street. This richest part of West Berlin was a great contrast to the neighborhood in East Berlin, too far east to be on our maps, where our hotel was located.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
5742 posts

Thanks for this report. It sounds like the Liebermann villa is a nice contrast to the horrors planned in the Haus der Wansee-Konferenz.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
5059 posts


"...the richest part in West Berlin...." If you want to visit a rich area in (West) Berlin, you're not too far from it, the area of Zehlendorf.