There are only few better places in Berlin for a Sunday afternoon stroll than the Castle Park Charlottenburg.
The Schloss Charlottenburg itself was constructed at the end of the 17th century as a summer residence for the Countess Sophie-Charlotte, future wife of Friedrich Wilhelm III, at a site then about 5 miles/8km outside of the city itself.
In the early 18th century the Schloss was upgraded to a royal palace, and glorified with the addition of a 135-acre/55 hectare park, including a French Baroque garden complete with an Ehrenhof (Memorial Courtyard). One can never accuse the Prussian nobility of stinting when it came of the good things in life!
The Castle Park Charlottenburg is laid out in two distinct sections. Its front section is a model of Baroque symmetry, with an immaculately groomed parterre. The far larger rear section is designed as a landscape garden. Within its Karl Friedrich Schinkel-designed Doric Mausoleum lie the remains of Friedrich Wilhelm II and his Queen Luise.
When Queen Luise died in 1810, her mausoleum was immediately built from a Heinrich Gentz design. Friedrich William III joined her in 1840. Final changes were made to the structure in 1894 to make room for Kaiser Wilhelm I and Augusta, his wife. Several more royals are entombed in a crypt beneath the mausoleum, including, touchingly, the heart of Freidrich William IV, encased in Brandenburg granite at his parents’ feet.
The Castle Park is full of other enchanting surprises, with its colored gravel walkways, shaded avenues, carp pond, and bridges. Orange trees and fountains simply accentuate the perfection! Everywhere you turn you’ll see prime picnicking real estate, and might succumb to the temptation to imagine yourself one of the 18th-century Electors!
The Park’s classical Pavilion, also by Schinkel, is a treasure trove of early 1800s sculpture and fine and applied artworks, some of which are Schinkel’s own creations.
At the same time architect Karl Langhans was adding a theater to the Palace’s west wing, he built a teahouse in the Park. The teahouse is now a Belvedere with a permanent display of royal porcelain. Enrich your fantasy with a picture of yourself joining those long-ago royals in sipping tea from a very delicate and expensive tea set!
First off, they're closed on Mondays! Other than that...
April to October: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Tuesday to Sunday
November to March: 12:00PM to 5:00 PM Tuesday to Sunday.
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...grab it, relax, enjoy!
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