Take a long journey back in history with a visit to the Spandau Citadel, one of the best preserved renaissance fortresses remaining in Europe.
The history of the Citadel goes back to at least 1197, the earliest mention of Spandau Castle at the junction of the Havel and Spree rivers. In the early 13th century the Julius Tower was added to help defend the castle. Between 1559 and 1594 the four-bastioned fortress was built around the tower to defend the city of Berlin.
Zitadelle Spandau, as it is called in German, has lived through a number of conflicts over the centuries. In 1675 it was besieged by the Swedes. In 1813, seven years after being surrendered to the French under Napoleon, it was taken back by Prussian and Russian fighters, but not without considerable damage that had to be restored. Although it was used as a defense at the end of the Second World War, it escaped bombing because Soviet forces negotiated its surrender.
Visiting the Citadel is an immersive experience. Many visitors enjoy an entire day exploring the historic site.
We suggest starting with the museum as it will give you a strong point of reference for understanding and exploring the rest of the property.
If you are able, be sure to climb the 153 steps to the top of the Julius Tower for spectacular views of the fort, the river, the countryside and the city beyond. This activity is included in your admission and available during all opening hours.
Another fascinating thing to see at Spandauer Zitadelle are the bat vaults. Over 10,000 bats winter in the brick walls of the citadel every year making this one of the most important winter habitats for bats in all Europe. In early spring there are popular guided bat tours.
In more recent times, the Citadel has become a cultural and event center. Music festivals and concerts and other events are scheduled on a regular basis. Most music events are scheduled in the evenings, so they don't normally impede on the regular opening hours. Too see what's happening visit the events tab on the official website.
Facts For Your Visit
Official Website: ZitadelleFee: Yes
Many tourist attractions are temporarily closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Please verify any opening hours below with the attraction before visiting.
- Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Tuesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Thursday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Category: Castles Museums
Am Juliusturm 64
Phone: +49 30 3549440
Jim B. Oct-27-2010
Well.... so much potential, so much FAIL. Now, granted I visited midweek in October so there were no festivals or concerts happening... but really. A site... Read More
Wyatt G. Aug-18-2018
One of the best preserved Renaissance fortresses in Europe, Spandau's Citadel was built from 1559-94 on an island at the intersection of the Havel and Spree... Read More
Chris C. Mar-01-2009
In the Zitadelle complex is a ritter restaurant, where they serve the same food which they would serve knights in the 15-16th century. It is immensely great... Read More
Accommodations near Zitadelle:
How to get to Zitadelle by U-Bahn
Nearest U-Bahn Line(s): U7
Nearest U-Bahn Station(s): U Zitadelle
From Zitadelle Station on the U7 line it is only a 5 minute walk west on Am Juliusturm to the entrance.
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