Mausoleum in Charlottenburg’s Palace Gardens
Queen Luise’s Temple for Eternity
Of particular interest is the mausoleum in the northwestern palace garden that King Frederick William III had built in the shape of an ancient temple for his wife Luise, who died young. It contains Christian Daniel Rauch’s tomb monument for the queen – a masterwork of 19th century German sculpture.
In 1810, immediately after the death of his beloved Luise, who was highly esteemed by the people, the king commissioned this structure to be built according to his own concepts and sketches. Its planning lay in the hands of the architect Heinrich Gentz; Karl Friedrich Schinkel participated in an advisory role.
When Frederick William III died in 1840, his successor, Frederick William IV, had the mausoleum structurally changed for the first time, under the direction of Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse. The attachment of a transept with an apse invoked a Christian reinterpretation. The building was enlarged again following the deaths of Emperor William I in 1888, and his wife Augusta in 1890, whose marble sarcophagus by Erdmann Encke has also been part of the mausoleum since 1894.
In a crypt beneath the memorial hall that is closed to the public are the tombs of Frederick William III’s second wife – Auguste von Harrach, Princess of Liegnitz – and Prince Albert, the youngest son of Luise and Frederick William III, as well as the heart of Frederick William IV, whose body is buried in Potsdam’s Friedenskirche (Church of Peace).
A compact guide to the palace gardens and their buildings may be ordered here.