Cecilienhof Palace was built from 1914 to 1917 for Crown Prince William and his wife, Cecilie von Mecklenburg-Schwerin, as a gift from Emperor Wilhelm II. It was based on English Tudor-style buildings featuring half-timbered walls, bricks and numerous decorative chimney stacks. Construction work on the palace was interrupted when the First World War broke out, and the royal couple only moved into the residence in August 1917.
After the defeat and fall of the German Empire, the crown prince followed his father's footsteps into exile, but returned as a private citizen much later in 1923. Cecilie, however, refused to follow her often-unfaithful husband into exile and lived in the palace alone with her six children for many years. While living alone, she found her refuge in music and organized private concerts with reputed musicians and conductors: Bronislaw Huberman, Wilhelm Kempff, Elly Ney, Wilhelm Furtwängler and the young Herbert von Karajan. She lived in the palace until 1945, but had to leave eventually because of the advancing Red Army near the end of World War II.
After the end of the war in Europe, the Potsdam Conference - attended by Stalin, Churchill and Truman - was held in the palace from July 17 - August 2, 1945. Here, Churchill and Truman also defined the terms of surrender together for Japan.
Currently, the palace is home to a museum and a hotel. In 2007, it was the site of the G8 Foreign Ministers Summit.
We’ll leave by coach for Cecilienhof Palace. You’ll be able to visit the princess’ private writing room, the Red Salon (used by the Soviet delegation as a study during the Potsdam conference), the Great Hall, the Smoking Room (used by the American delegation) and the library (used by the British delegation).
After our visit, we’ll return to the ship by coach.
Duration: approx. 3:00
- Good walking shoes are recommended.
- The order of the visits can change.
- Times are approximate.
- These excursions are not proposed for all the cruises and depend on the itinerary.
- If the minimum of 25 participants is not reached, the excursion may be either cancelled or proposed at another rate, depending on the number of participants (to be paid for on board).
- The excursions on the first evening and the morning following boarding are only guaranteed for the passengers who have booked the excursion before the cruise.