Charlottenhof Palace or Charlottenhof Manor (German: Schloss Charlottenhof) is located southwest of Sanssouci Palace in Sanssouci Park at Potsdam, Germany. It is most famous as the summer residence of Crown Prince Frederick William (later King Frederick William IV of Prussia). Today it is maintained by the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg.
The park area with its various buildings can be traced back to the 18th century. After it had changed hands several times, King Frederick William III of Prussia bought the land that borders the south of Sanssouci Park and gave it to his son Frederick William and his wife Elisabeth Ludovika for Christmas in 1825.
The Crown Prince charged the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel with the remodeling of an already existing farm house and the project was completed at low cost from 1826 through 1829. In the end, Schinkel, with the help of his student Ludwig Persius, built a small neo-classical palace on the foundations of the old farm house in the image of the old Roman villas.
With designs he created himself the artistically inclined Crown Prince participated in the planning process for the palace and surrounding park. He referred to this summer residence as "Siam", which at the time was considered "the Land of the Free", and to himself jokingly as the "Siam House architect".
Officially the palace and park were named Charlottenhof in honor of Maria Charlotte von Gentzkow who had owned the property from 1790 to 1794.
The interior design of the ten rooms is still largely intact. The furniture, for the most part designed by Schinkel himself, is remarkable for its simple and cultivated style.
The palace's most distinctive room is the tent room fashioned after a Roman Caesar's tent. In the tent room both ceiling and walls are decorated with blue and white striped wallpaper and the window treatments and bed tent and coverings continue that design. The room was used as a bedroom for companions and guests.
The blue and white theme is continued throughout on the palace's window shutters, it seems, in deference to the Bavarian heritage of then crown princess Elisabeth.
Between 1835 and 1840 the explorer and world traveler Alexander von Humboldt was invited and stayed in the tent room during the summer months.
The landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné was charged with the design of the Charlottenhof gardens.
He completely recreated the originally flat and partly marshy area into an English garden with trees, lawn and water features. He also linked the new park at Charlottenhof to the older one at Sanssouci from the time of Frederick the Great
- Paul Sigel, Silke Dähmlow, Frank Seehausen und Lucas Elmenhorst, Architekturführer Potsdam - Architectural Guide, Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-496-01325-7.
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