Charlottenburg Castle is the largest and most significant palace ensemble in Berlin. He was one of the favorite castles of seven generations of the rulers of these lands – first the Brandenburg Electors, then the Prussian kings and the German Kaisers of the Hohenzollern. Each generation added something new to the decoration of the castle, expanding and building up both it and the adjacent park.
The construction of Lutzeburg Castle (as Charlottenburg was originally called) began in 1695, in the then village of Lützow, seven kilometers from Berlin, as the summer residence of the Fürrich Iurie and his wife Sophia Charlotte of Braunschweig and Luneburg. The young wife of Frederick came from the rich and noble kingdom of Hanover, and even claimed to be the bride of the son of the French king Louis XIV. But for various reasons, I had to be content with a small Brandenburg and his widowed elector at that time, although later the husband obtained the crown of Prussia for Sofia Charlotte.
Sophia Charlotte was brilliantly educated, made friends with the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, spoke French, English and Italian, played musical instruments and had a beautiful voice, participated in opera productions. But all these advantages were not enough to build harmonious family relationships. The marriage was unhappy, and the queen was rarely honored with a visit to her husband. True three children Charlotte Friedrich brought.
Charlotte Castle Lutzeburg became the main residence. It was she who laid the foundation of both the castle and the huge park that sprawls around the residence. At the age of 36, Sofia Charlotte dies from a complicated sore throat. After her death, according to royal tradition, renames the palace in Charlottenburg in her honor.
Under the rule of the son of Sophia Charlotte and Frederick I, Frederick William I, the castle comes to some desolation, a free-standing opera house was given under the material for the construction of the school.
But already their grandson, Frederick II, or Frederick the Great, makes Charlottenburg his residence. Frederick the Great loved the palace; he reminded him of his childhood years and his grandmother. It builds up the second floor, the rooms are decorated with rich finishes. In 1744, Frederick II decided to build his own palace in Potsdam, and the next generation moved to Charlottenburg.
Friedrich Wilhelm II’s nephew and heir, Frederick William II, is rebuilding Chinese, Etruscan rooms and a winter office in the new outbuilding. From 1788 to 1791, the architect Karl Gottfried Langhans rebuilt the new greenhouse and theater building.
His son, Frederick William III and his wife Louise also preferred to live in Charlottenburg. Furniture for the crowned couple was made by the famous architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
Each generation brought something new to the appearance of the castle, in accordance with the then fashion. So it turned out to be a building that bears the features of baroque, rococo, classicism.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the castle was used as an infirmary, and during the Second World War it was destroyed. They even discussed plans for building this place with other objects, which, fortunately, they refused. The castle was restored, and now it is a wonderful example of the castle of the royal family of the Hohenzollerns restored with historical accuracy.
The palace has restored historic rooms and interiors – a white hall, a ceremonial golden hall, residential quarters. The walls of the palace are decorated with paintings by French masters from the royal collection.
Golden Hall of Charlottenburg Palace, © GoldenKey Real Estate
In the lobby of the new outbuilding is a collection of sculptures.
The castle ensemble is complemented by a beautiful park, which was broken by a specially invited Sophia Charlotte from Versailles, Simeon Godet, according to the most modern rules of garden art. Palace festivities were held here with music, dancing and fireworks. The area of the park is 55 hectares. The winding river is crossed many times by bridges, and it’s nice to walk along park paths today. Later, the Belvedere salon was built on the territory of the park, which today houses a collection of royal porcelain, the Louise mausoleum and the new Karl Shinkel pavilion.