Like Berlin/Cölln and Spandau, the Köpenick district in Berlin is the site of a very old settlement going back to the Late Bronze Age. In the middle of the 12th C. Jaczo de Copnic was made Prince, and in 1240 the first mention was made of the "Fortress of Koppenik" on the island south of the town. Covering an area of 127.3 sq. km/49.15 sq.
Köpenick Palace in Berlin occupies the site of a medieval Slav stronghold which is thought to have been the residence of Prince Jacza de Copnic. In the mid-16th C. the old moated castle, then ruinous, gave place to a Renaissance-style hunting lodge built by the Elector Joachim II. During the Thirty Years' War, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden took up his quarters here. Then at the end of the 17th C. the Great Elector had the house rebuilt in its present form by Rutger van Langevelt. In 1730 the palace was the venue of the court-martial, ordered by Frederick William I, of Crown Prince Frederick (later Frederick the Great) and his friend Lieutenant von Katte, who had helped Frederick in his attempt to escape from his father's control. Von Katte was condemned to death and, on the King's orders, executed in front of the Crown Prince. From 1849-1926 the palace was occupied by a teachers' training college.
Address: Gruenauerstrasse 17-21, D-12557 Berlin-Köpenick, Germany
Opening hours: 9am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Museum of Applied Art
Since 1963, the Köpenick palace in Berlin has housed a part of the earlier Museum of Applied Art founded in 1867 in the Berlin National Palace, the rest of which is to be seen in the present Museum of Applied Art in the Culture Forum. The Baroque interior of the palace, with magnificent stucco ceilings, provides a handsome setting for the collection of furniture, pottery and porcelain, glass, goldsmith's work, metalwork, leather articles, etc., which gives an excellent survey of 900 years of European applied art, from the Middle Ages to the present day. Particularly worthy of mention on the ground floor are some gold jewelry items belonging to the Empress Gisela (dating from c. 1000) and the front panel of a Gothic chest from Lower Saxony (c. 1300); on the first floor is the oak-paneled Renaissance Room with beautiful carvings and a magnificent coffered ceiling. On the second floor the visitor can admire the "Berlin Silver Buffet," a large collection of Baroque table settings, with artistic gold, silver and brass work by the Brothers Brill of Augsburg (c. 1690), which came from the Knights' Chamber of the Berlin National Palace. In the annex to the palace is a small gallery housing special exhibitions of work by contemporary artists. Also worth a visit is the Palace Chapel, built between 1680-90 to the designs of Johann Arnold Nering, where concerts are held. The park, which contains rare species of trees, was laid out in the 19th C. and has recently been reconstructed by Helmut Lichy. From the Lange Brücke (Long Bridge) leading to the island there is a splendid view of the moat and the Old Town.
Köpenick Old Town in Berlin's Köpenick district grew up on an island at the confluence of the Spree and Dahme, and has possessed its town charter since the early 14th C. Because of its many laundries it became known in the 19th C. as Berlin's "Washroom"; from 1871 onwards it also became the site of a number of factories. The locality of Kietz to the east, which became incorporated into Köpenick in 1898, has always had fishing rights. Several old 18th and 19th C. houses have been preserved in Alt-Köpenick-Strasse. To the west by Luisenhain lay the ships of the White Fleet.
Old Town Hall
In the center of the Köpenick Old Town in Berlin stands the Neo-Gothic brick building of the old Rathaus, built in 1901-04 to a design by Hans Schütte. The building has become well-known through "The Captain of Köpenick," the 57 year-old shoemaker Wilhelm Voigt from Tilsit. In 1906, wearing the uniform of a captain, he took command of twelve infantrymen from the military establishment by the Plötzensee, marched them to Köpenick, arrested the mayor and confiscated the town's treasury. In 1931 Carl Zuckmayer related the story of the Captain of Köpenick in his play of the same name, subtitled "A German fairy-tale in three acts."A short distance north of the Rathaus stands the Church of St Lawrence (St Laurentiuskirche), built by Butzke in 1838-41.
Map of Berlin Attractions