Current language: English

Spandau Citadel

  • Spandau Citadel
  • Zitadelle Spandau
  • Spandau Citadel

    The Julius Tower of the Spandau Citadel

  • Spandau Citadel

The Spandau Citadel is not only one of the best-preserved fortresses of the Renaissance period in Europe, but also an impressive event location for concerts and Renaissance fairs.

As one of the best-preserved Renaissance fortresses in Germany, the Spandau Citadel offers visitors an impression of how people tried to protect themselves from enemies in the 16th century. Once visitors have passed the small bridge over the moat, the view opens up to numerous historic buildings. The oldest parts of the fortresss complex date from the Middle Ages. Today, the citadel is a museum and event location, hosting a wide range of cultural events in its historic setting.

The Julius Tower: Berlin's Oldest Secular Building

Among all the buildings of the fortress comples, the Julius Tower stands out in particular. Considered the landmark of Berlin's Spandau district, it was built the early 13th century and is probably the oldest building in the city, but definitely the oldest secular building. The Julius Tower was named after Joachim II's son-in-law, Duke Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and was the fortress's last refuge. For many years it also served as a dungeon for state prisoners. Until 1918, the Imperial War Treasure - reparation money from France after the 1870/71 war - was stored here under strict guard.

Slavic Origins of the Spandau Citadel

During Slavic times, the place where the Spree flows into the Havel was a militarily significant site, especially as it was possible to cross the river here. Archaeologists have excavated remains of a Slavic castle, which was replaced by a stone fortress in the 12th century after the Ascanians took power. The margraves often stayed at Spandau Castle and did their best to promote the adjacent merchant settlement.

Adjacent Palas

The adjacent palas, the actual residential building, dates from the 15th century. The decision to extend the fortress according to the most modern aspects of fortification architecture was made in 1559, justified by the Elector with the protection of the citizens of Spandau and his court in nearby Berlin. The plans were drawn up by Francesco Chiaramella de Gandino. The first construction supervisor was Christoph Römer before the Italian architect himself took over the construction. The palas was completed in 1594 under Count Rochus zu Lynar. Its buildings are laid out in a square with four bastions at its corners: King, Crown Prince, Brandenburg and Queen.


Map view

A map view follows. Skip map

City map

End of map view

Am Juliusturm 87
13597 Berlin
Opening Hours
Friday to Wednesday from 10 AM till 5 PM, Thursday from 1 PM till 8 PM
Last admission 30 minutes before closing time.
The Zeughaus, the exhibition halls Bastion Kronprinz, Exerzierhalle, Westkurtine, the Gothic Hall, the Jewish Tombstones, the Italian Courts and the open space are accessible for wheelchair users. Accessible restrooms are available.
Admission Fee
€4.50, reduced fee €2.50 Euro, free for children under 6, family ticket €10

Public transportation

Related Content

Schloss Charlottenburg

Castles, Palaces & Mansions

As the former Prussian capital and royal residential city, Berlin has a noble past that numerous castles still tell of today.  more

Sommer in Spandau

All about Spandau

Separated from the rest of Berlin by the Havel River, the district of Spandau has a very special kind of atmosphere and a distinct local patriotism.  more

Source: Jaron Verlag | All texts, photographs and graphics on this site are protected by copyright. They may not be copied, reproduced, translated or used in any other way.

Last edited: 30 October 2023