Schloss Charlottenburg | Charlottenburg Palace
Berlin’s showpiece schloss is one of the main sights in the Charlottenburg neighborhood. Initially a country house built for (the future) Queen Sophie Charlotte in 1695, it served as a summer residence for Prussian kings throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The grounds hold several distinctive, impressively restored buildings, including the Altes Schloss, with the sumptuous apartment of Friedrich Wilhelm IV and the baroque rooms of Friedrich I and Sophie Charlotte. The Neuer Flügel features a superb collection of works by Watteau in the Concert Room, and the Neuer Pavillon, designed by noted architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781‒1841), showcases an array of decorative arts and romantic paintings (some by Schinkel himself). If you don't care to traipse through the interiors, explore the lovely English-style gardens.
By Paul Sullivan, AFAR Local Expert
Christmas Market at Schloss Charlottenburg
In West Berlin, the square and park in front of Charlottenburg Palace turns into an annual Christmas market, or Weihnachtsmarkt. One of the city's largest, it's also one of the most scenic. A light show is displayed on the front of the palace walls, with vendors in front selling crafts and other wintery specialities. The Christmas Market at Schloss Charlottenburg also has an area for younger children to enjoy some small rides. For the adults, try the glühwein (mulled wine) from one of the many vendors. The mugs (shown here) make a great souvenir! The Christmas market typically runs from the last week of November to the last week of December.
By Adam Groffman, AFAR Local Expert
Construction of the Charlottenburg Palace began at the end of the seventeenth century, though most of the buildings date from the eighteenth century. Today it is the largest surviving palace of the Hohenzollern monarchs in Berlin. The palace originally sat in the village of Lietzow and served as a summer residence for the Hohenzollern kings, though the city has grown to include the palace and the surrounding area. After it suffered severe damage during the World War II, there were discussions of leveling the palace but instead it was meticulously restored. The interiors are a showcase of Baroque and Rococo design, while its grounds were laid out by a disciple of André Le Nôtre, who designed the gardens at Versailles.
By John Newton, AFAR Contributor
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