Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin

  • 01 of 05

    History of Schloss Charlottenburg

    Schloss Charlottenburg Berlin
    ••• Wolfgang Scholvien/visitBerlin

    Built by King Friedrich I in 1699 as a summer palace for his wife Sophie Charlotte. The palace and surrounding neighborhood is named after the beloved Queen. Schloss Charlottenburg is not only the oldest, but also the largest Prussian palace in Berlin.

    Surrounded by a baroque-style park (Schlossgarten), the palace is famous for its ornate furnishings and its collection of 18th century French paintings, the largest of its kind outside of France.

    In the 18th century, the kings of Prussia have resided here and the palace has been greatly expanded. During the Second World War, Schloss Charlottenburg has been badly damaged, but was painstakingly reconstructed to its former splendor in the 1950’s.

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  • 02 of 05

    What to See within Schloss Charlottenburg

    Schloss Charlottenburg interior
    ••• cheryl mendenhall

    Today, various parts of the grand palace are open to the public with audioguide:

    You can tour the Old Palace (Altes Schloss), which is filled with baroque rooms, silverware chambers, and a Chinese and Japanese porcelain collection with thousands of porcelain objects.

    The New Wing (Neuer Flügel), designed in 1746, houses the opulent private chambers of King Frederic.

    Sadly not included is the Amber Room (Bernsteinzimmer). Once described as "the eighth wonder of the world", Friedrich Wilhelm I gave the room to Tsar Peter the Great as a present in 1716.

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  • 03 of 05

    What to See on the Schloss Charlottenburg Grounds

    Charlottenburg Palace
    ••• cheryl mendenhall

    The large equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm I dominates the courtyard. Designed by Andreas Schlüter and dating back to 1696, the statue has led an interesting life; first on a bridge (Langen Brücke - now Rathausbrücke), hid during WWII, sunk in the river and finally erected in its current position in 1952.

    There is also the lovely Belvedere Tea House in the palace gardens, which has been transformed into a porcelain museum; the former palace theatre is now home to a museum of prehistoric archaeology, displaying treasures of the Troy excavations carried out by Heinrich Schliemann in the 18th century.

    You can also visit the somber Mausoleum, which contains the graves of members of the royal family.

    For a pleasant ending to your palace tour, head to the Orangery buildings, which used to be home for thousands of citrus trees; the buildings have been turned into an airy restaurant and a concert space for classical music.

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  • 04 of 05

    Schloss Charlottenburg Christmas Market

    Schloss Charlottenburg Christmas
    ••• Erin Porter

    A highlight of the crowded Berlin Christmas market season, a palace makes for a magical background. Pointed white tents are lite in bright colors and semi-permanent wood structures provide the ever-present pyramid and ski lodge feel. The smell of GlühweinSpanferkel and Gebrannte Mandeln perfume the air as visitors cheerily jaunt the grounds.

    In the back of the palace, the grounds are transformed into a Winterwald (winter forest) for children, complete with nostalgic carousel, swing and a small railway. A Märchenzelt (fairy tale tent) offers holiday-themed arts and crafts.

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  • 05 of 05

    Visitor's Information for Schloss Charlottenburg

    Schloss Charlottenburg collection
    ••• cheryl mendenhall

     

    • Opening Hours: Open daily (except Old Palace closed on Monday, New Wing closed on Tuesday) 10 am - 6 pm April-October; 10 am - 5 pm November-March. The gardens are open for free daily from dawn to dusk.
    • Admission: 12 euros adults, 8 euros children for a tour of the old palace and auxiliary buildings; 6 euros adults, 5 euros children for the new wing only
    • Address: Spandauer Damm 20-24 (near Luisenplatz),Berlin
    • Phone: 320-911
    • U-Bahn: Richard Wagner Platz),
    • Website of the Charlottenburg Palace
    • Nearby attractions: Bröhan Museum (art nouveau and art deco articles) and Berggruen Museum (modern art, in particular works by Picasso and Klee).