Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg

The district of the Queen: Sophie Charlotte gave the district its palace and name.

– © Scholvien

Electress and subsequently Queen Sophie Charlotte (1668-1705) is the namesake of this district. And no wonder because one of the hallmarks of the district and the whole of Berlin was built for her - Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace). But apart from nobleness, the middle class district has more to offer as a walk around the area will show.

Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) and Schlosspark Charlottenburg

An English travel guide has something special to say about Charlottenburg -."Don’t miss it!" Kurfürstendamm, Schloss Charlottenburg, Berggruen Museum and Gedächtniskirche. According to the guide, the church is a must-see. It was opened in 1895, bombed in November 1943 and the 68 metre tower that was in danger of collapsing is currently being restored. But of course, the bombed roof will continue to remain a monument of World War II. But apart from the Gedächtniskirche, the best way to discover Charlottenburg is on foot. For example, in Schlosspark Charlottenburg, the oldest park in Berlin and Potsdam. Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Elector Friedrich III, created the park in 1697 in the style of the French Baroque at the same time as the construction of the palace that served as her summer residence. Its special appeal is the wealth of variety in the 55 hectare palace park. Narrow paths and wide walkways run through the green area, broken by watercourses and a sweeping carp pond.

The museum for photography and "Schleusenkrug"

Both Boris Pasternak (Dr. Zhivago) and Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita) liked to walk in the Schlosspark. Because after the October Revolution of 1917, many Russians fled to Berlin and turned Charlottenburg into "Charlottengrad". They all arrived at Zoo Railway Station. From there, the Jewish photographer Helmut Newton later fled from the Nazis. From the train, he took a final look at the former officers' mess in Jebenstraße. Shortly before his death, he established the Helmut Newton Foundation there, where regular exhibitions take place. The Museum for Photography is located on the upper floors. Nearby, very close to the elephant pen at the zoo in the middle of Tiergarten, you will find Schleusenkrug, one of Berlin's best beer gardens that is full of atmosphere.

Shopping around Savignyplatz

Once you have recharged your batteries, we recommend some shopping around Savignyplatz. The starting point is Savignyplatz train station. But beware, in Grolmanstraße you may get stuck in one of the long-established artist bars such as "Zwiebelfisch" or "Florian" or spend time celebrity spotting in Paris Bar on Kantstraße. Once you have seen enough stars, why not visit the antique shops on Pestalozzistraße. There are also several galleries in the neighbourhood as well as book shops that specialize in Berlin in the twenties. The Margot Schoeller book shop, however, is known for its extensive range of English books. In between there are cafes, boutiques, wine shops, frame makers, gilders, a record shop and a store selling film posters. At Pestalozzistraße 14, you can feel something from the district's past. Hidden behind an unspectacular façade is the Jewish synagogue that was built in 1912 and almost undamaged during World War II.

If this article has aroused your interest to discover more about the boroughs of Berlin in general, then there are plenty of local neighbourhood stories available for you to read in our travel guide Going local, which you can order online here.