Prussian Palaces. Colonial Histories.

Biographies and Collections

The former palaces and gardens of the Hohenzollern dynasty make Germany’s colonial past visible and tangible today. Attesting to this history are an 18th century portrait of a young Black boy, possibly Fredrick Ludwig (1708 – Date of death unknown), whose father was brought to the Berlin royal court through the slave trade. Another example are the glass beads produced on Peacock Island that were used to purchase slaves and colonial trading goods. With a special exhibition at Charlottenburg Palace, the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG) is facing the colonial histories of its collections.

Colonial practises and structures can be traced throughout earlier centuries, before German colonialism of the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as afterwards. In this light, the special exhibition is looking to explore the connection between Germany’s longer colonial history and how they persist today. Based on the scant information that has been preserved over time, the special exhibition attempts to reconstruct the biographies of people after they were forcibly brought to Berlin and Potsdam. These biographies highlight both the ways they were able to socially assimilate and how they resisted the conditions of their lives at court. In addition, the exhibition examines non-European works in the collections that have long been interpreted within strictly European frameworks. As a result, these works were culturally re-appropriated and alienated from their original uses.

The exhibition themes were developed together with various experts in a joint process over the course of five workshops. An artistic intervention in the courtyard of Charlottenburg Palace by Nando Nkrumah brings further positions to the exhibition, while the artists Emeka Okereke, Lizza May David, Patricia Vester, the interpreter and cultural scientist Marianne Ballé Moudoumbou und the art historian Dr. SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda offer important and critical counter perspectives to the historical objects displayed in the exhibition rooms.

The exhibition in the New Wing is complemented by a tour through a series of rooms in the Old Palace; Traces of colonial history in the permanent display of the palace are referenced there. This special exhibition is part of the annual theme for 2023 called “Elector – Emperor – Colonies.” Thus, the SPSG is taking an important step in its ongoing work on this theme that will continue beyond the coming year.

04.07.2023 - 31.10.2023


Charlottenburg Palace – New Wing
Spandauer Damm 10-22
14059 Berlin

To the info page of the venue

How to get there

Public Transportation

Stop "Luisenplatz/Schloss Charlottenburg (Berlin)"

vbb-online | Timetable information »


Paid parking spaces for cars and buses.

Opening Hours

4 July to 31 October 2023
Valid: 04.07.2023 - 31.10.2023
Monday closed
Tuesday  - Sunday: 10:00 - 17:30

Admission Prices

Evening ticket

valid from 4.30 p.m. Admission, available only on site at the palace register

Price : 10.00 reduced : 6.00

charlottenburg+ Ticket

Valid for a single visit to all the SPSG museum institutions in the Charlottenburg Palace Gardens incl. special exhibition on one day.

On sale at all palace registers, at the visitor centers and online. When purchasing tickets a fixed admission time for Charlottenburg Palace will be booked as well.

Further information

Price : 19.00 reduced : 14.00

charlottenburg+ Family Ticket

Valid for up to 2 adults and up to 4 children belonging to the same family aged 18 or younger. Valid for a single visit to all the SPSG museum institutions in the Charlottenburg Palace Gardens incl. special exhibition on one day. On sale at all palace registers and at the visitor centers. When purchasing tickets a fixed admission time for Charlottenburg Palace will be booked as well.

Further information

Price : 25.00

Free admission
for annual ticket holders

Further information (in German)

Price : 0.00

Discount promotion

With a regular ticket of the special exhibition, visitors receive reduced admission to the following palaces / vice versa, visitors with a regular ticket of these palaces receive reduced admission to the special exhibition: New Palace, New Chambers of Sanssouci, Rheinsberg House, Königs Wusterhausen Hunting Lodge, Oranienburg Palace Museum, Caputh House

Information on free admission and concessions


  • wheelchair access

Exhibition flyer

App / Multimediaguide

In the app "Charlottenburg SPSG" (available free of charge in the App Store or Google Play Store) we offer the following tours of the exhibition in English:

  • Tour of the Exhibition in the New Wing
  • Tour of the Exhibition in the Old Castle

We recommend downloading the app from home before your visit.


Prussian Palaces. Colonial Histories.
Places, Biographies and Collections
Ed: Generaldirektion der Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg
168 Seiten, 95 most col. Ill.
in english
23 x 15 cm, Softcover
Publication date 4. July 2023
ISBN 978-3-95498-738-2
18,00 €


Further colonial references in the palaces and gardens

Information boards installed at the following locations on the occasion of the special exhibition show further colonial references:


New Palace (Garden side and interior rooms)
New Chambers of Sanssouci
Chinese House in Sanssouci Park
Orangery Palace (Terrace)


Oranienburg Palace Museum


Rheinsberg House

Königs Wusterhausen

Königs Wusterhausen Hunting Lodge




Einführungsfilm | Schlösser. Preußen. Kolonial. Biografien und Sammlungen im Fokus | SPSG

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