SIGHT­SEE­ING

Where Berlin - - Contents -

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.

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