Charlottenburg Palace (German: Schloss Charlottenburg) is the largest palace in Berlin and the only royal residency in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. It is located in the Charlottenburg district of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf burough. The palace was built at the end of the 17th century and was greatly expanded during the 18th century. It includes much exotic internal decoration in baroque and rococo styles. A large formal garden surrounded by woodland was constructed behind the palace. In the grounds of the palace various buildings were erected, including a belvedere, a mausoleum, a theatre and a pavilion. During the Second World War the palace was badly damaged but has since been reconstructed. The palace, its gardens and the buildings in the grounds are major visitor attractions.
The original palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich III, Elector of Brandenburg in what was then the village of Lietzow. Originally named Lietzenburg, the palace was designed by Johann Arnold Nering in baroque style. It consisted of one wing and was built in 2½ storeys with a central cupola. The façade was decorated with Corinthian pilasters. On the top was a cornice on which were statues. At the rear in the centre of the palace were two oval halls, the upper one being a ceremonial hall and the lower giving access to the gardens. Nering died during the construction of the palace and the work was completed by Martin Grünberg and Andreas Schlüter. The inauguration of the palace was celebrated on 11 July 1699, Frederick's 42nd birthday.
The garden was designed in 1697 in baroque style by Simeon Godeau who had been influenced by André Le Nôtre, designer of the gardens at Versailles. Godeau's design consisted of geometric patterns, with avenues and moats, which separated the garden from its natural surroundings. Beyond the formal gardens was the Carp Pond. Towards the end of the 18th century, a less formal, more natural-looking garden design became fashionable. In 1787 the Royal Gardener Georg Steiner redesigned the garden in the English landscape style for Friedrich Wilhelm II, the work being directed by Peter Joseph Lenné. After the Second World War, the centre of the garden was restored to its previous baroque style.