The Charlottenburg Palace and its gardens are slightly out of the center of Berlin, but certainly worth the ride. The grand palace, one of the last signs of German royalty, has become a place of art, concerts, and peaceful walks through the gardens.
About Charlottenberg Palace
Charlottenberg Palace and it’s wonderful gardens. Image KizzieFK, via Flickr
The Charlottenburg Palace was originally built in 1699 by Sophie Charlotte, wife of the ruler of the area, Friedrich III. When she died, Friedrich named the castle and the surrounding area Charlottenburg, in her memory. The castle was expanded 70 years later by Frederick the Great. The enormous baroque-style garden surrounding the estate contains the Belvedere teahouse, as well as two Orangeries, which used to hold rare fruit trees and plants. Today, the Small Orangery contains a restaurant and a cafe, and the Greater Orangery hosts classical concerts during the summer.
The palace, as well as being beautifully built and kept up, contains enormous collections of artwork. The largest collection of French paintings outside France is kept here in the palace, while the Old Palace holds collection of rare porcelain from China and Japan, as well as the crown jewels. The buildings in the garden, such as the Belvedere and the Neue Pavillion, each have impressive art collections too. The mausoleum in the garden is a memorial to the Hohenzollern royal family, and contains marble statues of some of the family.
The famous statue of Friedrich Wilhelm I on his horse in the garden is also worth looking out for. The grand statue has four warriors chained to the base, representing the four classical personalities: choleric, melancholic, sanguine, and phlegmatic. The statue was removed from Berlin during World War II to protect it, and on its return, it sunk in the Tegeler See lake. It was recovered in the early 1950s and brought to Charlottenburg Palace.
There are two other museums across the street from the Charlottenburg Palace: the Berggruen Museum of modern art, and the Bröhan Museum for art nouveau. You can also take the train to the Olympic Stadium, and make a whole day of activities in the Charlottenburg area.
Visiting the Charlottenburg Palace
Impressive Charlottenberg. Image KizzieKF, via Flickr
The gardens and grounds of the palace are free of charge. Admission to the palace costs 12 Euro, which includes a guided tour or audio guides. The New Wing costs an extra 6 Euro, although it is currently being renovated, and closed until April 2014.
Taking photos is theoretically only allowed if you purchase a photo permit in advance, which costs 3 Euro. Taking photographs of the outside of the palace is permitted.
Tours of the Charlottenburg Palace are available, combined with other unique activities: