Get a glimpse of the lives of an upper-class family at the close of the 19th century - and nowhere better than at the Schloss Britz.
Strictly speaking, it isn't a real castle at all, as ‘Schloss’ would suggest. The stately home is actually Berlin's oldest surviving manor, nestled in a two-hectare site in the Neukölln district. When you stroll through the baroque park, past the Milchmädchen fountain and Berlin's oldest ginkgo tree, time seems to stand still, suspended in the past.
Built at the beginning of the 18th century, the manor house first served as a residence for Prussian ministers of state and then passed into bourgeois ownership. The architect Carl Busse, who also designed the Glienicke hunting lodge, among other projects, saw to it that the building was retrofitted to fashionably French specifications. Since 1924, it has belonged to the city of Berlin and served for some time as a guest house, children's home and for housing refugees until it was opened to the public in 1989.
Anyone visiting the castle today feels as if they were a guest in the home of a wealthy Wilhelminian family, complete with a dignified master's bedroom and a ladies' parlor adorned with flowers. The floors, wallpaper, paintings and furniture are all from the 19th century or have been faithfully reconstructed.
Even the animals – horses, cows, goats, sheep, chickens and honey bees – are kept in the park, as would have been customary. Time has not stood completely still, however: there are concerts, theater performances and performative formats held regularly in the historic banquet hall, on the open-air stage and in the Kulturstall, an indoor venue housed in an elongated brick building that was once a stable.