Built by King Friedrich I in 1699 as a summer palace for his wife Sophie Charlotte, 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.
What to See
Today, various parts of the grand palace are open to the public: 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.
There is 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.
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 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
U-Bahn: Richard Wagner Platz),
Website of the Charlottenburg Palace
Nearby attractions: Bröhan Museum (art nouveau and art deco articles Berggruen Museum (modern art, in particular works by Picasso and Klee)