Get lost in the majestic gardens and courtly rooms of yesteryear in some of Berlin’s many palaces.
“The Schloss is testament to the
era’s pomp.” Getting lost in the majestic gardens and courtly rooms of yesteryear, Annabelle Mallia imagines herself cast in the next remake of Pride and Prejudice.
With its contemporary feel, Berlin seems like no place for regal dreams, but it has plenty of Prussian castles and palaces to prove us wrong. For the imaginary princesses and princes out there, here is the list of my favorite royal retreats. The most famous and most majestic is Schloß Charlottenburg (Spandauer Damm 10-22), built at the end of the 17th century as a gift and summer home for Friedrich I’s wife, Queen Sophie Charlotte. With walls covered in decorative amber and a first-rate art collection, the Schloß is testament to the era’s pomp, while the surrounding gardens provide enchanting walks and panoramic views, including a mausoleum and the Belvedere teahouse’s pottery and porcelain collection. Lustrous gardens and waterside walks also feature at Schloß Glienicke (Königstraße 36). Standing on an island in the middle of Wannsee Lake, it was commissioned by Prince Carl of Prussia in 1826 and designed with classical elements reminiscent of Italian country houses. The large fountain at the front, decorated with golden lions, recalls the Villa Medici fountain in Rome. Located in the Grunewald forest is another noble abode, Jagdschloss Grunewald (Hüttenweg 100), built in 1540 for Electoral Prince Joachim II to practice his favorite sport of hunting. Here visitors can enjoy a romantic atmosphere and an impressive collection of paintings by Rubens, Lievens, and Cranach. Oozing with history, the moated Baroque palace of Schloß Köpenick (on the Schloßinsel) was built on a small island and surrounded by an English-style park with fluttering elms and ginkgo trees. Originally built in 1558, it served as a summer residence and hunting lodge for the Hohenzollern electors of Brandenburg and later as the palace of Friedrich I of Prussia. Archeologists have also found the remains of graves from the Stone Age and Slavic fortifications from the eighth century on the site. One of the best-preserved Renaissance military fortifications of Europe, Spandau Zitadelle (Am Juliusturm) was constructed at the end of the 16th century, and its appearance is very typical for this period, consisting of four bastions connected by four towering walls. Nowadays, the fortress need only fend off crowds flocking to the various music concerts held there.