Babelsberg Palace

Summer home of the First German Emperor, constructed in English Gothic revival in 1835

TravelCurious Tip

Be sure to check the palace’s website before you go - it has been undergoing renovations since 2013, and is sometimes closed to the public.

15 miles south-west of central Berlin is the lovely Babelsberg Palace. Set in nearly 300 acres of lush wooded parkland, next to the glittering Havel river, it feels a world away from the clamour of the German capital and makes for an ideal day trip if you’re looking to unwind. It was commissioned in 1833 by Prince Wilhelm, who would later become Kaiser Wilhelm I. A team of architects headed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel - who had earlier designed Berlin’s Neue Wache - were tasked with designing the new royal residence, and they opted for a dramatic Neo-Gothic approach.

Walking in Paradise

Closely resembling a number of English Tudor palaces, Babelsberg’s imposing walls are reminiscent of a defensive fortification, with strong flanking towers and lancet windows adding to a formidable first impression. It’s not all about might and power, though — the palace is surrounded by a beautifully designed garden. Here you can find dazzling flowerbeds, terraces, mosaics, and a large Gothic fountain. Wandering along the meandering footpaths in the sunshine, it’s easy to see why Wilhelm used Babelsberg as his summer residence for many years.

A Darker Past

Be sure to visit Flatowturm Tower, which rises dramatically above the gardens and can be reached with a short walk along the pathways. From here you can get a lovely view of Glienicke Castle Park the Glienicke Bridge, which once achieved international media attention as the “Bridge of Spies” - the site chosen for the exchange of captured secret agents from either side of the iron curtain.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Berlin
Dutch Quarter
The Dutch Quarter is a neighbourhood of 169 beautifully preserved red Dutch brick houses, built from 1733 to 1740
It is now one of the most-visited cities in Germany, home to magnificent palaces and elegant gardens.
Glienicke Bridge
Famous as the site of many Soviet/ American spy exchanges throughout the cold war
Schloss Cecilienhof Palace
The location of the Potsdam conference. Where Churchill, Truman and Stalin partitioned post-war Europe in 1945
An old Russian colony, created in 1826-27 upon the request of Frederick Wilhelm III
Stasi Prison
A former East German prison, which cruelly remanded political prisoners secretly for decades

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