Charlottenburg Palace | Accidentally Wes Anderson

Charlottenburg Palace


Berlin, Germany | C.1713

Photo Credit: Ana Laura Zuddio

A stroll through the estate of Charlottenburg Palace is kin to stepping back in time almost 300 years. Also known as Schloss Charlottenburg it is the largest palace in Berlin. Over the centuries, the palace has been residence to multiple royal families all who have added their stylistic and ceremonial preferences to the estate.

The original palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of the Elector of Brandenburg, Friedrich III in what was then the village of Lietzow. Named Lietzenburg, the palace was designed by Johann Arnold Nering in baroque style. When Sophie Charlotte died in 1705, Friedrich lovingly named the palace and its estate Charlottenburg in her memory.

Among the greatest highlights of the eclectic Baroque Old Palace are the Porcelain Cabinet, the Palace Chapel and the bedchamber of Frederick I. The crowning tower was built in 1700 and is the central structure of the large palace complex that was commissioned by the art-loving Queen Sophia Charlotte and her husband Frederick I.

When Friedrich I died in 1713, he was succeeded by his son, Friedrich Wilhelm I whose building plans were less ambitious, although he did ensure that the building was properly maintained. The palace underwent a series of upgrades through the rule of four more Friedrich’s into the 1800s. After Friedrich Wilhelm IV died, the only other royal resident of the palace was Friedrich III who reigned for 99 days in 1888.

The palace was badly damaged in 1943 during the Second World War. By 1951, the war-damaged palace was still in bad shape and it was feared that it be demolished like other grand structures around it.

However, strenuous efforts by the hands of Margarete Kahn, the Director of the State Palaces and Gardens, the palace was saved and rebuilt to its former condition, with a new addition of a gigantic modern ceiling painting by Hann Trier. Thanks to her efforts the former summer residence continues to be one of the most important attractions in the German capital.

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