Berlin without Potsdam is like Paris without Versailles. A royal residence since the 17th Century, Potsdam boasts not only spectacular palaces, but a fascinating Cold War history as well!
For nearly three centuries, the scenic town of Potsdam just outside Berlin was the residence of the Prussian kings, princes, and German emperors of the House of Hohenzollern who created a fairy-tale landscape of palaces, gardens, and churches that ranks among the most beautiful in Europe.
Our walk takes you past the dreamlike castle of Babelsberg and up to the lakeside Marble Palace with its Greek temple ruins. See an idyllic Russian village before exploring the quaint little 18th Century Dutch quarter. No surprise that Potsdam has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage status.
But the cruel realities of 20thCentury history intervened in 1945. Visit the grounds of Cecilienhof Palace, scene of the Potsdam Conference,where an American president, a Soviet dictator, and a British prime minister sat down to shape the future of Germany and Europe after World War II, ushering in the Cold War. Cross the “Bridge of Spies”,where Gary Powers was traded in 1962 and see the former Stasi prison,run by the East German secret police.
The tour ends back in the 18thCentury. Finish in the enchanting surroundings of Sanssouci Park and Palace,created by Frederick the Great.You can then explore Sanssouci on your own or accompany the guide back to Berlin.