Spandau Citadel

Spandau Citadel  Spandau Citadel
Source:         Photographer: Brit Berlin

Spandau Citadel
Source:         Photographer: Georg Weimar

Whoever wishes to see the oldest building in all Berlin should save some time to visit the Spandau Citadel. Here stands the Julius Tower - built in the year 1200 and hence represents the oldest building in the city. The entire site is like a fortress, which was built around the Julius Tower in the years 1560-1595. The architectural design of the Citadel at that time was so advanced that even opponents commonly regarded it as impregnable. The planners and builders of the Citadel were oriented around Italian Bastions – which at the time were the most advanced in the world.

At first the Citadel served as the protected home for kings, princes and other nobility. Over the centuries however, it was finally dominated by military use. Thus the Citadel was used in both world wars as a military prison as well as accommodating state reserves.

Due to its incredibly robust and stable construction, the Citadel managed to survive the extensive bombing raids of World War II and sustained no major damage. Despite this, after the Second World War initially no one took up this historical site and hence the Citadel increasingly deteriorated and remained unused.

bigger map view

It was only in the 80’s that the impressive and varied history of this building was realised and work began to restore it. Since 1989 the Spandau Citadel has been re-opened to the public. However, it is no longer used for military purposes rather serves as a cultural centre in which numerous events take place throughout the year. An outdoor stage has also been integrated, on which the famous ‘Citadel Music Festival’ is hosted during the summer.

Furthermore a permanent exhibition is housed in the Citadel which, via impressive pictures and artefacts conveys the history of the building. Well worth a visit even if no cultural event is taking place.


Adress: Zitadelle Spandau, Zitadellenbrücke, 13599 Berlin

Openings: Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm


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