Why go?The former residence of the Prussian kings with its magnificent palaces and stunning parks takes you back to the days of baroque splendor. If you are interested in culture, you can enjoy UNESCO World Heritage Sites including "Schloss und Park Sanssouci" (Sanssouci Palace and Gardens), "Neues Palais" (New Palace), "Schloss Cecilienhof" (Cecilienhof Palace), "Schloss Babelsberg und Park" (Babelsberg Palace and Gardens), "Schloss Charlottenhof" (Charlottenhof Palace), and the "Marmorpalais" (Marble Palace).
Potsdam first became important in the 17th century when Prince Frederick William decided that the city of Berlin did not provide sufficient scope for his desired level of prestige. In Potsdam, he saw a remarkably fine location with wide-branching, usable waterways surrounded by rolling, arable land. Not least of all, the sovereign had access to rich hunting-grounds here.
In the 19th century, renowned landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné unified the palaces and gardens into the harmonious landscape that the UNESCO placed on the list of World Heritage Sites in 1990. Lenné used areas of created landscape and the unique topography to unite the town and adjoining royal palaces. Despite the urban development of the 20th century this landscape still exists and can still be seen. From the European perspective the Potsdam cultural landscape is a unique example for the creation of a landscape against the intellectual background of the monarchical idea of state.
Schloss Cecilienhof (Cecilienhof Palace) in the "Neuer Garten" (New Garden) was the last Hohenzollern palace, built for the crown prince during the years 1913-1917. The end of monarchy in 1918 was another hard blow for the town, which so far was shaped by the Royal Court, garrison and administration. After WW II ended, from the end of July until the beginning of August 1945, the Potsdam Agreement was negotiated and signed between Churchill, Truman and Stalin in the "Schloss Cecilienhof".