DEMMLER, Georg Adolph
(b. 1804, Berlin, d. 1886, Schwerin)


German politician and architect. Demmler, the illegitimate son of a chimney sweep, drew his first blueprint of a house when he was only 14 years old. He studied architecture at the Academy in Berlin, where Karl Friedrich Schinkel was his mentor. Demmler went on to enter the civil service as a young architect in Mecklenburg. Within only a year he was promoted from being a simple master builder to working as court architect for the Grand Duke.

In fact Demmler was not even an architect. In those days his position was called "court building officer", and he left his mark on Schwerin like nobody else. He designed the great Marstall building, the mighty Arsenal near Lake Pfaffenteich, the Tudor-style façade of the Town Hall and, most of all, he re-built Schwerin Palace, planned to be the flagship of Mecklenburg and its Grand Duke. Before Demmler completed his plans, he travelled along the Loire in France for inspiration. That is why Schwerin Palace resembles Château de Chambord in some features.

He was said to be a difficult man to deal with, though Demmler was favoured by the Grand Dukes for quite some time and left his marks on the city. His architecture breaths the air of the great Prussian masters he studied with in Berlin: Schinkel, Stüler and Semper.

Even before the revolution of 1848 he committed himself socially. He fought above all for fair wages and sickness and accident insurance for workers and craftsmen, and began to sympathize with the labour movement. His connection to the socialdemocratic movement and his fight for workers rights finally put an end to his career.