The stately homes and gardens of Prussia invite guests to travel for themselves back in time to the grandiose era of prince electors, kings and emperors in their former residences at Berlin and
Potsdam. These testimonies to sophisticated architecture and garden design have been restored to a splendour that attracts millions of admiring visitors each year from Germany and around
the world. It is the task of the Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten (Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation) Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG) to maintain these works of art and make them accessible to the public in a variety of ways.
While keeping their principal residence in Berlin, members of the Hohenzollern dynasty built a number of palaces and gardens near the town and along the River Havel from the 17th century
onwards. In the 19th century, garden designer Peter Joseph Lenné grouped several of these ensembles into an extensive park landscape.
In 1990, UNESCO included this total art work, which reaches from Sanssouci via the New Garden and Sacrow to Pfaueninsel and Glienicke in Berlin, among the world's listed natural and cultural heritage sites. This park landscape in Potsdam and Berlin is consequently a cultural legacy of international significance, and an inspiring place for people from all over the world who share a love for art, architecture and gardens.
Apart from their artistic value, however, the palaces have been the scene of major historical events. In summer 1945, for example, Schloss Cecilienhof hosted the Potsdam Conference, where the Allies debated Germany's future. Schloss Schönhausen served as the official seat of the East German President and the guest house for state visitors to the GDR, until the country's Round Table met here following the peaceful revolution of 1989.
The complete landscape of Prussian stately homes and gardens consists of over 300 built complexes and almost 800 hectares of garden. 37 buildings are open to the public on a regular basis. In Potsdam, the major palace museums in the Sanssouci gardens include Schloss Sanssouci and the New Palace, the Orangery Palace and Schloss Charlottenhof.
The New Garden is the setting for both Schloss Cecilienhof and the Belvedere on Pfingstberg, while Schlossgarten Babelsberg frames the grand Imperial Palace.
In Berlin there is plenty to explore in the palace and gardens at Charlottenburg and Schönhausen, at Schloss Glienicke and on Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island), and in the hunting lodge at Grunewald.
A visit to the stately homes and gardens in Rheinsberg, Caputh, Königs Wusterhausen, Paretz or Oranienburg can be combined with an unforgettable excursion to enchanting cultural landscapes
outside the German capital.
For SPSG, recent years have been dominated by extensive restoration projects in our stately homes and gardens. Thanks to the tremendous expertise of our staff, but above all to financial support from Federal agencies and the States of Brandenburg and Berlin, not to mention countless private benefactors, our visitors are now once again able to enjoy the full spectrum and abundance of evolving artistic output in Prussian Brandenburg.
Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg
D – 14414 Potsdam
Contact and Booking (Visitor's centre): +49 (0)331.96 94-200