Posts Tagged ‘Schloss Charlottenburg’

Schloss Charlottenburg – Urban Gem

Monday, December 5th, 2016

 

Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace) is one of the few remaining examples of the grand Hohenzollern palaces in the city of Berlin. The Hohenzollern ruled Prussia for nearly four centuries. During a British air raid in 1943, a bomb caused a fire, and the baroque and rococo palace burned to the ground. Demolition of Schloss Charlottenburg was planned, but after the East German government demolished the Berliner Stadtschloss, the city palace of the Hohenzollern in 1950, http://www.walled-in-berlin.com/j-elke-ertle/berliner-stadtschloss-to-humboldt-forum/ West German authorities decided to rebuild Charlottenburg Palace. The project took more than sixty years to complete.

 

Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace) in Berlin, photo © J. Elke Ertle, 2014. www.walled-in-berlin.com

Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace) in Berlin, photo © J. Elke Ertle, 2014. www.walled-in-berlin.com

Brief History of Schloss Charlottenburg

Construction of Schloss Charlottenburg started in 1695. At that time it was known as Lietzenburg. The palace was built as a summer residence for Sophie Charlotte, wife of the Elector of Brandenburg, Friedrich III. In 1701, after crowning himself Friedrich I, King of Prussia, the palace saw a significant expansion. After Sophie Charlotte’s death, the palace was renamed Schloss Charlottenburg. Architecture did not interest Friedrich’s son, Friedrich Wilhelm I, so that all construction stopped when he ascended the throne in 1713. In 1740 Friedrich II, also known as Friedrich the Great, commissioned an expansion of the New Wing (east wing) to complement the larger west wing.

Don’t miss when visiting Schloss Charlottenburg

At the entrance to the palace, a large equestrian statue of the Friedrich Wilhelm III, the Great Elector of Brandenburg, greets the visitor. The bronze was originally located on the Kurfuerstenbruecke, a bridge near the city palace. But during World War II, the statue was submerged in Tegeler See, a large lake in Berlin. Upon recovery in 1952, it was moved to the entrance of Schloss Charlottenburg. The four chained warriors at the base of the statue symbolize the four temperaments.

 

Statue of the Great Elector of Brandenburg, Friedrich Wilhelm III, at the entrance to Schloss Charlottenburg, photo © J. Elke Ertle, 2014. www.walled-in-berlin.com

Statue of the Great Elector of Brandenburg, Friedrich Wilhelm III, at the entrance to Schloss Charlottenburg, photo © J. Elke Ertle, 2014. www.walled-in-berlin.com

Altes Schloss

The central and oldest part of the palace is the domed Altes Schloss (Old Palace). It is topped with a statue of the goddess Fortuna. Among the treasures inside are the apartments of Friedrich I and Queen Sophie Charlotte, the Oak Gallery with family portraits of members of the House of Hohenzollern and the Porcelain Chamber with over two thousand pieces of Chinese porcelain.

 Neuer Fluegel (New Wing)

The Neuer Fluegel contains the private living quarters of Friedrich the Great and the apartments of Friedrich Wilhelm II. The two most striking rooms in the New Wing are the Weisser Saal (White Hall), a magnificent dining room, and the Goldene Galerie (Golden Gallery). The latter is a 138 foot-long ballroom decorated with mirrors and gilded rococo ornaments.

Schlossgarten

The extensive park behind Schloss Charlottenburg was created between 1697 and 1701 and designed by Simeon Godeau who also created the gardens of Versailles.

Belvedere

Towards the northern end of the Schlossgarten, near the river Spree, is Belvedere, originally a teahouse. It was built between 1788 and 1790, destroyed during World War II, reconstructed in the late 1950s and now houses a collection of eighteenth-century porcelain produced by Berlin manufacturers.

Belvedere in the gardens of Schloss Charlottenburg, photo © J. Elke Ertle, 2016. www.walled-in-berlin.com

Belvedere in the gardens of Schloss Charlottenburg, photo © J. Elke Ertle, 2016. www.walled-in-berlin.com

Mausoleum

The Mausoleum is on the western side of the Schlossgarten. It is a Doric temple that was built in 1810 as the burial place for Queen Luise. The mausoleum was later expanded to include the sarcophagi of other members of the royal family, including Frederick William II, Emperor William I and Queen Augusta.

 

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