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Hunting Castle Museum Jagdschloss: Paintings at the Lake

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

The Jagdschloss is a magnificent building.

Situated beside a scenic lake where Berliners walk their pets, a grand Prussian edifice welcomes you. Here you will find the Hunting Castle Museum Jagdschloss and numerous treasured paintings.

A Visit Is Optional

At the edge of the expansive Grunewald forest stands the former hunting lodge of the Electors of the Mark of Brandenburg, part of which now serves as a museum. The beautifully restored 16th-century Renaissance-style building commands a splendid setting, immersing the visitor in a majestic yet rustic atmosphere.

The site is perfect for a Sunday stroll. Though somewhat remote, the place remains a popular resort in the capital's west, offering a blend of café culture and dog-friendly areas, set between nature and tradition.

After the Hohenzollern dynasty fell, the building was transferred to the Prussian Administration of State Castles and Gardens. While works from the private collections of the dethroned monarchs were displayed, the Hunting Castle Museum Jagdschloss did not open until the late 1970s.

Unsuspected Pictorial Treasures

The Hunting Castle (Jagdschloss) Museum offers visitors two separate sections. The ground floor features an exhibition on the castle's history, themed around hunting. Paintings portraying various monarchs engaged in hunts excellently convey the ambitions of Prussian power. However, the exhibition is relatively brief, and the few items on display, such as a musket, some magnificent seats, and other hunting trophies, are unfortunately often overlooked.

On the first floor, the museum unveils its wealth of art, showcasing numerous paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder, a master of the German Renaissance, and also impressive 15th and 16th century wood paintings. Given the museum's relative isolation and modest size, it's simply incredible to encounter these gems of oil painting, from Passion scenes to the now iconic portraits of Adam and Eve.

An Uneven but Successful Ensemble

Despite its small size, the collection proves to be quite surprising, with the Renaissance theme prevailing. Off-center, hard to reach, and sorely lacking in information or even interpretation, the museum's inherent quality alone doesn't make it a must-see for every Berlin visitor. The two exhibitions, while not antagonistic, don't seem complementary either. The hunting theme is skimmed over unconvincingly, while the richer exhibition also proves the least connected to its surroundings.

The staff's availability and kindness will be particularly appreciated by both the novice and the initiated. Ultimately, a visit to this museum should be considered part of a broader outing along the western lakes and the many classical or folkloric festivities organized throughout the year by the Jagdschloss administration.

Reasons to Visit

  • The absolutely beautiful setting

  • The combination of culture, gastronomy and tradition

  • The treasures of German oil painting

Reasons to Skip

  • The lack of public transport connections

  • The unconvincing hunting exhibition

  • A sterile interior space devoid of furniture

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