The Prussian Royal House
An Introduction to the Dynasty
The new permanent exhibition at Charlottenburg Palace presents various aspects of the centuries-old rule of the Hohenzollern Dynasty.
For the first time, the SPSG is placing the Hohenzollern Dynasty at the center of a permanent exhibition in its rooms on the upper floor of Charlottenburg Palace (Old Palace), to open November 9th, 2018. It will be launched with a focus on four large thematic areas that shed light on the beginnings of the Dynasty and the 19th-century recourse to these roots, the rise of the Hohenzollerns from Nuremberg burgraves to German emperors, as well as the networking with other European dynasties and the Prussian military.
Among other things, the exhibition deals with the following questions: Who were the rulers on the Prussian throne? Where did they come from and what distinguished them? What caused their unprecedented rise – initially as electors in Brandenburg, then as Prussian kings and ultimately as emperors of the German Empire? And why was their fate sealed in 1918? Visitors learn answers to these and other questions beginning 9 November 2018.
Valuable exhibition pieces and a media station provide clear and insightful information pertaining to the Hohenzollern family. The outstanding showpiece is the Dynasty’s Crown Treasure, which consists of the royal insignia as well as the crown carcasses for the first King in Prussia, Frederick and his consort Sophie Charlotte. The imperial orb set with gems, the scepter and two precious ceremonial swords complete the treasure.
Another highlight is the monumental painting created in 1870 by Wilhelm Camphausen showing Frederick the Great astride a horse at the Battle of Leuthen, which is currently undergoing restoration in the room next door for visitors to observe. Until this work is completed, a nearly original-sized reproduction of the painting is on display in the exhibition. More paintings, medals, valuable objects of court culture as well as animations round out the presentation and convey an overview of the history and destinies of what was formerly one of the most powerful families in Europe.
The themes addressed here examine only one part of the multifaceted history of the Hohenzollern Dynasty. A continuation of the exhibition is scheduled to focus on Hohenzollern building activity and the landscape of palaces in Berlin and Brandenburg that resulted from this, but attention will also be devoted to questions of court etiquette.