It was built between 1695 and 1699. Prince Frederick I gave the order to build it for his wife Sophie Charlotte. Following the death of the queen in 1705 the king decided to name the palace after her, Charlottenburg. In the following years it became the king’s summer housing.
In 1740, King Frederick II ascended the throne and lived in the palace for some time.
In 1952, a monument by Andreas Schlöter was placed here, with the prince riding his horse in the garden entrance to the palace.
Today visitors can view the permanent exhibit for Baroque furniture, ceramics, and other displays about the lifestyle of Prussia in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The palace has managed to maintain its ancient vibes, however throughout the years many architects have made changes to it.
Between the years 1702-1713 a Swedish architect Eusander von Gette added a building, a chapel and a greenhouse for oranges. In 1711 a statue was erected for the the goddess of fortune, Portuna, on the central roof.
In 1740, during Frederick II's stay in the palace, the royal architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff added the ‘new wing,’ continuing the main building from its eastern side.
In the year 1790 an addition was made to the "orange greenhouses" - the "Little Oranges," and in the years that followed a theater was also added, the Belvedere in the Palace Park, a Mausoleum and a Schinkel pavilion.
In World War II the palace was destroyed. Restoration and reconstruction of the rooms were based on photographs taken from before the war.
During the air raids of World War II, and during the Battle over Berlin, the palace gardens were almost completely burned.
The palace gardens were only partially reconstructed. Those who were restored remained in the formal French style, as they were in the 17th century, and the parts that were far from the palace were restored, but in English style. Today the palace gardens are used by the residents and the entrance to them is free.
Entrance to the gardens is free to the general public.