Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

Discovering the Majesty of Spandau Citadel in Berlin, Germany

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

Introduction to Spandau Citadel

Located in the heart of Berlin, Germany, Spandau Citadel is a historic fortress that holds centuries of rich history and architectural splendor. This imposing structure, nestled on an island surrounded by the River Spree, has been witness to the rise and fall of empires, wars, and the ever-changing face of Berlin. Visiting Spandau Citadel is like stepping back in time, offering a captivating journey through the annals of history.

The History of Spandau Citadel

Spandau Citadel has a storied past that dates back to the 16th century. Construction of the fortress began in 1559 under the orders of Joachim II, Elector of Brandenburg, and was completed in 1594. It was strategically positioned to guard the trading routes approaching Berlin, safeguarding the city’s interests.

Over the centuries, Spandau Citadel played a crucial role in shaping the region’s history. From defending against Swedish invasions during the Thirty Years’ War to serving as a military prison during both World Wars, the citadel has stood as a symbol of resilience and strength.

Today, Spandau Citadel stands as a testament to Berlin’s past, presenting visitors with an opportunity to explore its fascinating stories and architectural wonders. Let’s dive deeper into this historic gem:

The Architectural Marvels of Spandau Citadel

Spandau Citadel showcases an impressive mix of architectural styles, blending Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque influences. The sprawling fortress boasts towering red-brick walls and bastions, creating a formidable sight against the skyline.

As you enter through the main gate, you’re greeted by a massive courtyard known as the “Julius Caesar Yard.” This vast open space is adorned with beautiful gardens and historic buildings that reflect the citadel’s grandeur.

One of the architectural highlights is the mighty “Julius Tower,” standing at 120 feet tall. Visitors can climb to the top and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Berlin’s surroundings. The tower houses numerous exhibitions, providing an immersive learning experience about the citadel’s history.

The Historical Exhibitions

Inside Spandau Citadel, you’ll find several captivating exhibitions that offer insights into the fortress’s past. From ancient weapons and armor to interactive displays showcasing military tactics, these exhibits bring history to life.

One notable exhibition is the “Citadel Museum,” which traces the citadel’s history back to its origins. Discover the key events that shaped Berlin’s destiny and gain a deeper understanding of the fortress’s influence on the city’s development.

Another remarkable experience is the opportunity to visit the former prison cells. These somber spaces once housed prisoners of war and political detainees, including prominent figures like German communist leader Ernst Thälmann. Walking through these cells provides a sobering reminder of the hardships endured within these walls.

Events and Activities at Spandau Citadel

Besides delving into history, Spandau Citadel also offers an array of engaging events and activities for visitors of all ages. Throughout the year, the fortress hosts festivals, concerts, and theatrical performances that breathe life into its ancient walls.

One of the most popular events is the “Citadel Music Festival,” where renowned artists from various genres grace the stage. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, rock, or electronic beats, the open-air setting against the backdrop of the citadel creates a unique and unforgettable experience.

For those seeking more hands-on activities, Spandau Citadel provides workshops on historical crafts, where you can learn skills such as blacksmithing, pottery, and calligraphy. These immersive workshops offer a chance to connect with the past while honing your creative abilities.

Tips for Visiting Spandau Citadel

Plan Your Visit

Before heading to Spandau Citadel, it’s essential to plan your visit to make the most of your experience. Check the opening hours and any special events or exhibitions taking place during your desired date of visit. Arrive early to beat the crowds and allow yourself ample time to explore the fortress.

Guided Tours

Consider opting for a guided tour of Spandau Citadel. Expert guides provide fascinating insights into the history and architectural significance of the fortress, allowing you to truly appreciate its beauty and historical value. Guided tours also ensure you don’t miss any hidden gems within the vast premises.

Comfortable Shoes and Clothing

Exploring Spandau Citadel involves a fair amount of walking, so wear comfortable shoes to make your visit more enjoyable. Dress appropriately for the weather, as some areas of the fortress may be exposed to the elements.

Capture Moments and Immerse Yourself

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views and architectural details of Spandau Citadel. Take your time to absorb the historical ambiance, read the information plaques, and immerse yourself fully in the stories that echo within its walls.

Sample Local Cuisine

After a day of exploration, indulge in some local cuisine in the nearby Spandau district. With a variety of restaurants and cafes, you can savor traditional German dishes and relax before or after your visit to Spandau Citadel.


Spandau Citadel stands as a testament to Berlin’s vibrant history, offering visitors a chance to step back in time and immerse themselves in the tales of empires and conflict. With its awe-inspiring architecture, engaging exhibitions, and lively events, this fortress should be high on the list of anyone exploring the fascinating city of Berlin. Visit Spandau Citadel and unlock the secrets of the past while creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.


  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free