Charlottenhof Palace is located southwest of Sanssouci Palace. It is most famous as the summer residence of Crown Prince Frederick William (later King Frederick William IV of Prussia). 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 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.
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.
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.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.