Layers of Time
At no other Prussian residence are the traces of time from German history so visible and in such close proximity to one another.
The house was used from 1740–97 as the summer residence of the Prussian queen Elisabeth Christine. Frederick the Great’s wife, who stayed at the palace regularly for over fifty years, significantly shaped its development. Outstanding 17th and 18th century interior décor has been preserved in many areas. The magnificent ballroom and elegant stairways survive as do valuable wall coverings and luxurious furnishings in the queen’s living quarters and state rooms. The richly stuccoed ballroom is the only late Rococo space in Berlin preserved in its original form.
During the National Socialist period Schönhausen served as a main depot for so-called “degenerate art.” Several thousand works of art confiscated by the National Socialists were stored here, before being sold abroad to acquire foreign currency.
After World War II the palace served as the official residence of East Germany’s (GDR) head of state, Wilhelm Pieck. The office of president was abolished after Pieck’s death in 1960 and replaced with a state council based on the Soviet model. Schönhausen House remained the preeminent government building in the GDR under Walter Ulbricht until 1964. After the palace’s conversion to a state guest house, it accommodated high-ranking official guests of the GDR government, such as Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, Fidel Castro and Mikhail Gorbachev. Wilhelm Pieck’s office and a guest apartment convey an authentic impression of the self-image practiced by the Socialist Unity Party (SED) dictatorship.
Additional information on the division of Germany can be found at the Berlin Wall Memorial website www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de.
How to get there
Stop "Tschaikowskistr. (Berlin)"
Very limited parking.
We recommend that buses arrive via Ossietzkystraße. This is a bicycle street and has an access for residents, which in this case can also be used to get to Schönhausen House.
Summer Season | April to October
|Tuesday - Sunday:||10:00 - 17:30|
Winter Season | November to March
|Monday - Friday:||closed|
|Saturday / Sunday:||10:00 - 16:00|
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Summer season: Can be viewed with a guided tour from Tuesday to Friday / Weekend: individual tour
Winter season: Can be viewed with a guided tour.
For organisational reasons, there may be waiting times. We ask for your understanding.
On public holidays, weekend opening hours apply unless otherwise stated.
- Audio Guide German
- Audio Guide English
- Sehbehindertenführung (Audio)
- Deutsche Gebärdensprache
- Leichte Sprache (Audio)
- Audio Guide German for children (age 6-10)
Visitor Centre Historic Windmill in Sanssouci Park
An der Orangerie 1
Visitor Centre New Palace in Sanssouci Park
Am Neuen Palais 3
Phone: +49 (0) 331.96 94-200
SPSG | Gruppenservice
contact form for booking requests
Phone: 0331.96 94-222
Fax: 0331.96 94-107
- wheelchair access
There is a lift in the Palace, the restrooms are barrier-free.
For conservation reasons, it is unfortunately not possible to use prams / baby strollers in the exhibition rooms.
Please note: No luggage or baggage may be left in the entrance area of the palace for security and safety reasons.
A limited number of lockers are available for smaller pieces of baggage (up to 35 x 35 x 50 cm).
In the surroundings you will find the following dining options:
in the Schönhausen Estate
360 degree panorama
Ballroom in Schönhausen House
© Reinhardt & Sommer