The largest palace in Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg is a jewel of baroque architecture. Completed in 1699, the palace was commissioned by Prussia’s first king Friedrich I as a summer house for his wife Sophie Charlotte. Initial plans consisted of only a single wing and central cupola, but following architectural developments elsewhere in Europe (particularly Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles), the palace was enlarged by two large side wings enclosing a central courtyard and an exquisite 135-acre garden.
One of Berlin’s favorite attractions, the palace offers the largest collection of 18th century French paintings outside of France, reflecting the Prussian royalty’s fascination with their creative neighbors. Architecture fans can also examine work by Prussia’s most significant architects; Andreas Schlüter’s equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm I, a belvedere designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans, and Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s designs for the mausoleum of Berlin’s beloved Queen Louise.
Spend the afternoon wandering through the palace’s baroque interiors and gamboling through the splendid greenery and you might even feel a bit like royalty yourself.