On the west side of Berlin is the magnificent baroque Charlottenburg Palace (or Schloß Charlottenburg if you’re local), the largest palace complex left in Berlin.
In 1684 when Sophie Charlotte of Hanover married Duke Friederich III (later King Friedrich I), he gifted her the village of Lietze/Lutzow and the large estate nearby. The latter became the site of her grand summer palace; originally known Lietzenburg Palace it was completed in 1699. This was Sophie Charlotte’s own private residence, where even her husband needed an invite to visit. With her passion for the arts, it quickly became a ‘court of muses’ where artists, poets and muses came to stay.
Following her death in 1705, the palace and grounds were renamed Charlottenburg in her honour. King Friedrich’s son and grandson ensured that the estate was maintained during their reigns, with Friedrich II in particular adding several new additions such as the Orangery and a new wing. The next two successors also made additions and altered some of the already existing rooms, but it wasn’t until the death of Queen Luise in 1810 that another large monument was built, this time being the mausoleum. This also became the resting place of several members of the family after a few extensions.
After Luise, the palace wasn’t often used by the royal family, and 70 years later wasn’t even part of the families list of residences. Following extensive damage during WII, much of it had to be rebuild.
A large part of Charlottenburg Palace’s estate is made up of its Baroque gardens, designed in 1679 by Simeon Godeau who took lots of his influences from the gardens in Versailles. It also features a large Carp Pond, a belvedere, the mausoleum and large formal gardens arranged in geometric shapes.
Access is available via ticketed entry. You can buy tickets for separate parts of the palace or buy a ticket for all of it, however be mindful that some buildings open at different times or on different days. The garden is free to visit.
There is a small cafe on site.