Charlottenburg was an independent city to the west of Berlin until 1920. Then it was made part of Groß-Berlin (Greater Berlin) and turned into a borough.
As a part of the changes to the boroughs of Berlin in 2001 Charlottenburg was joined with Wilmersdorf to make the new borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. In 2004, the new borough's districts were rearranged. The former borough of Charlottenburg was divided into the localities of Westend, Charlottenburg-Nord and Charlottenburg. In addition to that, Charlottenburg features a number of popular kiezes.
Charlottenburg celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2005.
Charlottenburg is located along the river Spree within the Berlin-Warsaw glacial valley, west of the Tiergarten park. The Straße des 17. Juni (17th June Street), former Charlottenburger Chaussee, which runs through the park, connects it with the historic centre of Berlin.
Frederick had a summer residence built for his wife by the architect Johann Arnold Nering between 1695 and 1699. In 1701, Frederick became the first Prussian King (Frederick I of Prussia), and he made the building much bigger
Just after the death of Sophie Charlotte, the village near the palace was called 'Charlottenburg' and the palace itself Schloss Charlottenburg, and the settlement was chartered as a town. The king was the town's mayor until Lietzow was incorporated into Charlottenburg in 1720.
Frederick's successor, Frederick William I of Prussia, rarely stayed at the palace. Frederick William even tried to end the town's privileges. It was not until 1740, at the coronation of his successor Frederick II (Frederick the Great), that the town's became important again. The eastern New Wing was built by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff between 1740 and 1747 as Frederick the Great's home. Later, Frederick II preferred the palace of Sanssouci, which he had partly designed himself.
After the defeat of the Prussian army at Jena in 1806, Charlottenburg was occupied by the French. Napoleon occupied the palace, while his troops camped nearby.
Recreational and residential areaEdit
In the late 18th century, Charlottenburg's development did not depend only on the crown. The town became a recreational area for the expanding city of Berlin. Its first real inn opened in the 1770s, in the street then called 'Berliner Straße' (now Otto-Suhr-Allee), and many other inns and beer gardens were to follow, popular for weekend parties especially.
Beside the palace, Charlottenburg is also home to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the Breitscheidplatz, the fomer West Berlin landmark, the Kurfürstendamm and the Zoo railway station as well as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, one of the three Berlin opera houses.