If you are on a quick trip to Berlin and don’t have time to visit the royal residence of Potsdam, Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace) is a good alternative.
You’ll find sprawling Baroque architecture, lavish interiors, and an elegant formal garden. The New Wing is especially worthwhile, boasting a beautiful „Friderician Rococo“ interior.
The palace was built in the tiny village of Lietzow under the first Prussian king, Frederick I, for the his wife, Sophie Charlotte. The palace (and village) were renamed Charlottenburg after the queen’s death, and remained a favourite summer residence for succeeding Hohenzollern rulers, many of whom made changes and additions.
Although it dates back to the 17th century, a visit to Charlottenburg Palace is in some ways a reminder of just how young Berlin is, and how quickly it grew in the 20th century. Charlottenburg only became a part of Berlin in 1920. What had been a sleepy village a half-day’s trip from Berlin had grown into a city of more than 300,000, its palace a centrally located tourist attraction.
Touring the palace, you can admire many of the original furnishings. The palace was badly destroyed in World War II, but the furniture had been removed for safekeeping, as it was from most palaces, including those that were never rebuilt.
In French châteaus like Versailles, the interiors were often plundered (or auctioned off) in the Revolution, but the palaces left standing. Here, by contrast, we have the interiors, but not the palaces.
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