Secrets of Schloss Charlottenburg: a royal weather vane

Charlottenburg Schloss, and a weather vane built for a king

Look carefully, and eventually you'll spot it. A tin horse on a stick, protruding for no apparent reason from the roof of Charlottenburg Schloss.

It looks like a toy, and in a sense, it is. A weather vane created especially for King Friedrich I (1657–1713), who was particularly fond of knowing exactly which way the wind was blowing.

Keep watching, and you'll see the figure twirl in the breeze. Admittedly, its rather plain appearance doesn't seem particularly royal, but inside the palace something far grander takes place.

Ornate wind dial in Schloss Charlottenburg palace, Berlin

Image credit: Flickr HEN-Magonza

The metal shaft passes through the roof and down into King Friedrich's former bedroom. There, on a wall, an ornate baroque dial records the horse's movements, each change in the wind displayed on a golden compass.

And that, without doubt, is a weather report fit for a king.

See also:
The golden girl of Schloss Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg's hidden village

Windhorse weather vane: Schloss Charlottenburg, Spandauer Damm 20-24, 14059 Berlin. You'll find the 'wind horse' on the garden side of the palace, above a balustrade on the right-hand wing.

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