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Castle Grunewald in Grunewald forest with Cranach-Collection
Jagdschloss Grunewald © SPSG, Foto: Leo Seidel

Jagdschloss Grunewald

The royal hunting estate

Jagdschloss Grunewald is located next to Grunewaldsee. It houses works by Lucas Cranach and is the oldest Renaissance palace hall in Berlin.

The hunting lodge is not only Berlin’s oldest palace building, but also has a unique Renaissance hall. And in its lakeside and woodland surroundings, it’s not just a place for aristocrats to enjoy after hunting. Take a look for yourself at Jagdschloss Grunewald.

The “Jagdschloss Zum Grünen Wald”

In what is now the borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf, directly by the lake called Grunewaldsee, Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg set up a hunting lodge, and his mistress lived there permanently for several years. In 1542, work began on the “Jagdschloss Zum Grünen Wald”. The water castle in the early Renaissance style was designed by the master builder Caspar Theiss. Over the years, it lost its character as a water castle as the moats were filled and the lake was lowered. The main building was constructed on two storeys with tower-like corner wings facing the lake. A relief sculpture of a stag decorates the entrance, showing that the palace is a hunting lodge.

Modernisation of the palace

The palace was not converted to a baroque building until 1699 under Friedrich Wilhelm. King Friedrich I of Prussia had the façade painted a brilliant white, and also added many baroque elements between 1705 and 1708: decorated stucco ceilings and fireplaces to keep warm in winter. The doors and windows were also modernised and an additional storey built.

Under Frederick the Great and his successor Friedrich Wilhelm II, the palace became less significant, as the Hohenzollerns were not keen hunters. Around 1800, it was given the name it still has today. Not until the 1820s did regular hunting events revive the lodge and the surrounding area. But everyone was talking about it after 1891, when Kaiser Wilhelm II turned it into a pleasure palace.

Exhibitions at Jagdschloss Grunewald

In keeping with the spirit of the Renaissance, Elector Joachim commissioned portraits, passion scenes and paintings from the renowned artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, and later his son, Lucas Cranach the Younger. Jagdschloss Grunewald now has a permanent exhibition with the works of these important painters. Another exhibition features portraits of the rulers of Brandenburg and Prussia, and many historical royal hunting trophies.

The lodge and its grounds have been the location for many well-known films and series, including Creature with the Blue Hand, Wild Geese 2 and Schloss Einstein.

Opening hours (additional information)
1st Apr - 31st Oct  
Tue - Sun 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
1st Nov - 31st Mar  
Sat, Sun 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.*

* Guided tours only. Closed on Mondays. Last admission 30 minutes before closing time. Ruler Herrschergalerie in winter!

Find further information here