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Charlottenburg Palace or Schloss Charlottenburg is the oldest and largest palace in Berlin. It was constructed towards the end of the 17th century and further expanded during the 18th century. Sophie Charlotte, who was the wife of Friedrich III the Elector of Brandenburg, commissioned the original building from a design by Johann Arnold Nering. The work was completed by Martin Grunberg after Nering’s death. Internal decoration is in the baroque and rococo styles.

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At the entrance of the palace stands a large equestrian statue by Andreas Schluter of the Great Elector. It was commissioned by the elector's son, king Friedrich I. At the base of the statue are four chained warriors symbolizing the four temperaments.

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After Sophie Charlotte’s death in 1705, Friedrich renamed the palace and its estate in her memory. Over the next few years the central section was extended and the largh domed tower added. On top the dome a wind vane in the form of a gilded statue designed by Andreas Heidt representing Fortune was added. An Orangery was also added on the west side of the palace.

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Within the surrounding gardens is a mausoleum which contains the sarcophagus of Friedrich Wilhelm II, and the Belvedere, a building competed in 1790 as a teahouse, and is now the location of the porcelain museum which contains an amazing array of Chinese and Japanese porcelain.

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The gardens, a popular attraction, were layed out in 1697 following the baroque style using geometric patterns. Since then, the gardens have undergone a number of transformations over the years, but following World War II, the central part of the gardens were restored back to the original baroque style.

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Two warriors adorn the gateposts to the Charlottenburg Palace

A hall on the upper floor was completed in 1746 of what is referred to as the “New Wing” and originally referred to as the Grand Gallery, was almost completely destroyed during World War II in an air-raid by allied forces. Restoration work was started in 1961 which lasted for over 10 years. The results of this highly detailed work is what we see today, with the “Grand Gallery” having been renamed the “Golden Gallery”.

Charlottenburg Palace