Charlottenburg Palace (German: Schloss
Charlottenburg) is the largest palace in Berlin, and the only surviving royal
residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. It is
located in the Charlottenburg district of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf
The palace was built at the end of the 17th century and was greatly expanded
during the 18th century. It includes much exotic internal decoration in baroque
and rococo styles. A large formal garden surrounded by woodland was added behind
the palace, including a belvedere, a mausoleum, a theatre and a pavilion. During
the Second World War, the palace was badly damaged but has since been
reconstructed. The palace with its gardens are a major tourist attraction.
The palace and grounds are a major visitor attraction. For an admission charge,
parts of the interior of the palace are open to visitors, including the Old
Palace (Alte Schloss) and the New Wing (Neuer Flügel). The Old Palace contains
many rooms with baroque decoration, and includes a room called the Porcelain
Cabinet, which holds thousands of porcelain objects. On special display are the
crown jewels and the royal silver and fine porcelain tableware. The New Wing
includes the opulent rococo State Apartments of Frederick the Great and the more
modest Winter Chambers of Friedrich Wilhelm II.
The formal and informal gardens are freely open to the public. For an admission
charge, the Mausoleum, the Belvedere and the Neue Pavilion are open to visitors.
The Mausoleum contains the graves of, and memorials to, members of the
Hohenzollern family. The memorial to Queen Luise includes her reclining effigy,
which is made from Carrara marble and was designed by Christian Daniel Rauch.
Also open to the public are the Belvedere, which contains a collection of Berlin
porcelain, and the Neue Pavilion, which houses a collection of arts and crafts
of the period when Schinkel was active.
A large equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm I is the focus of the palace
courtyard. This was designed by Andreas Schlüter and made between 1696 and 1700.
From 1703, it stood on the Langen Brücke (now the Rathausbrücke) but was moved
to a place of safety in the Second World War. On its return after the war, the
barge carrying it sunk and it was not salvaged until 1949. In 1952, it was
erected on its present site. Across the street of the palace are two more
museums, the Bröhan Museum, which contains art nouveau and art deco articles,
and the Berggruen Museum, which houses modern art, in particular works by
Picasso and Klee.