Once, a Prussian queen called Sophie Charlotte resided in this fairy-tale castle, surrounded by intellects of all sorts. But nowadays Charlottenburg Palace is for all Berliners and visitors of Berlin to daydream in its parks and feel like royalty for a day. Discover the magical rococo style Charlottenburg Palace and learn about its legendary history.
When still a girl, Sophie Charlotte visited the French court with her mother, hoping that she would one day marry Louis of France. When Louis married Maria Anne Victoria of Bavaria, Sophie Charlotte was arranged to marry the heir of Prussia (former Germany). As wife of King Frederick III, Sophie Charlotte (1668-1705) became the first queen of Prussia. Frederick was so smitten with Sophie that he never made use of his mistress that lived in their palace. Their only child that would live to be an adult would become King Frederick William I of Prussia. Her older brother George would succeed the British throne in 1714 as King George.
People remember Sophia mostly for her special friendships with poets, scientist, musicians and philosophers, especially with her mentor Gottfried Leibniz, a prominent mathematician and philosopher. They corresponded frequently and Leibniz even lived at the court of Charlottenburg Palace for a while.
Sophia died of pneumonia in January 1705 at age 37. King Frederick named both Charlottenburg Palace and the Charlottensee after his beloved wife
When marrying Sophie Charlotte in 1684, King Frederick gave her a large piece of land in Lietze, then just outside of Berlin. The queen built her summer palace there, which builders completed in 1699. Sophie Charlotte named it Lietzenburg Palace, only after her death did King Frederick change the name to ‘Charlottenburg Palace’. Sophie Charlotte was a great lover of the arts and science and invited a huge number of artists, poets, scientists and philosophers to her palace.
Almost a century later, Queen Louise, wife of King Frederick William III, also left a generous mark on the castle. She and her husband were very popular with the people and were buried together in the palace’s mausoleum.
19th and 20th century
After the death of King Fredrick William and Queen Louise, German royalty more or less forgot the castle and in 1880 Prussia declared it was no longer a royal palace, and it would be open to the public from then on. The palace suffered greatly from bombings in the second world war.
Visit Charlottenburg Palace
Charlottenburg Palace is a true highlight of Berlin. Take a stroll in the royal gardens, where Sophie Charlotte would do with Leibniz and other scientists on numerous occasions. Go inside to take in the beauty of the Baroque style ballrooms, where extravagant parties took place. See the stunning silverware, glass and unique blue white porcelain that the court would use to serve the elite during lavish dinner parties. And have a gander at the crown jewels that Frederick the Great would have personally created and engraved for his beloved wife. It truly is a trip down royal memory lane.
Events at Charlottenburg Palace
Classical concerts at the Orangery
You can enjoy a delicious dinner and classical concerts by famous composers such as Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart like the kings and queens from the past did at Charlottenburg’s Orangery. The Berlin Residence Orchestra will play for you dressed in period costumes, whisking you away to the mystical royal times.
Tickets to the classical concerts at Charlottenburg Palace can be bought here.
School Class guided tours at Charlottenburg Palace
The Royal Gardens and Palace offer special themed tours at a discount for school groups. Inquire here for a dedicated tour for your age group.
Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace
Talk about a real Christmassy setting! Buy arts, crafts and delicious treats at Charlotteburg’s Palace Christmas market.
Charlottenburg Palace Opening Hours
Summer Season (1 April to 31 October)
Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 am – 5.30 pm
Winter Season (1 November to 31 March)
Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 am – 4.30 pm
How to get to Charlottenburg Palace
You can take public transport to stop at ‘Schloss Charlottenburg’ and walk from there. Check your best route from your location to Charlottenburg Palace here.
Spandauer Damm 10-22
D – 14059 Berlin