Charlottenburg Palace Gardens
The Elegant Choreography of a Royal Residence
Charlottenburg Palace is a richly faceted setting of royal garden design, which aims to inspire its visitors and provide them some relief from the capital city’s hectic pace. Its creation began in 1695, guided by the clever and worldly electress, Sophia Charlotte. She commissioned Siméon Godeau, a pupil of the famous court gardener of Versailles, André Le Nôtre, to lay out the most modern garden in the German-speaking world. Thereafter, she was able to travel by water in majestic pleasure yachts from the Berlin Palace to Charlottenburg, where she enjoyed celebrations with music, dance and fireworks, or philosophized with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, while strolling through the rare and majestic arrays of flowers in the gardens.
The Baroque grounds, designed in the French style, soon went through their first expansion, because Sophia Charlotte, first Queen in Prussia as of 1701, had to expand her court. Frederick the Great preserved the artfully choreographed grounds, while his successors laid out a landscaped garden in keeping with English models that has largely survived to the present. Following the destruction of World War II, efforts were undertaken to return the ambience in proximity to the palace to that of the erstwhile Baroque garden, to restore the painterly vistas of the landscape garden, and to create new areas for modern-day use: a children‘s playground, for instance.
Thus, today a stroll through the gardens at Charlottenburg Palace is a walk through 300 years of garden design – and to other buildings deserving of a visit. They include the Belvedere, the small garden palace near the Spree River, with its precious KPM porcelain; the mausoleum of Queen Luise; and the New Pavilion built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel – all fittingly set in a decorative garden reinterpreted in recent times.
A compact guide to the palace gardens and their buildings may be ordered here.
Charlottenburg‘s palace gardens are a world renowned example of garden design. Please help us to maintain the park as a place of culture and recreation.