The sailor’s home of the Hohenzollern family

Emperor WIlhelm II was most enterprising; his subjects mockingly called him the “Reisekaiser” (“travelling emperor”). By land and by sea he travelled for an average of 200 days every year. With his steam-powered yacht “Hohenzollern” he cruised the Mediterranean to Corfu, Italy, Turkey or Palestine. He particularly enjoyed his journeys to the Nordic countries and had his sailors station on the bank of the Jungfernsee rebuilt in the Norwegian dragon style. The architect who selected a restaurant in Kristiania as his model, had the building’s parts prefabricated in Norway before they were put together in Potsdam.
From “Kongnaes”, i.e. “the king’s land tongue”, the imperial family happily cruised to their Berlin palace on theirsalon steamers. For the mini frigate “Royal Louise” the sailor’s station served as her home port.




Out of his admiration for everything English Prince Carl signed the bill of sale for the castle at Glienecke as ”Sir Charles Glienecke“. Walking on a mosaic of his initials designed by Friedrich Schinkel the visitor enters the castle. The anglophile prince not only loved English racehorses and introduced coursing. he also had a preference for Italy. Glienicke was transformed into an Italian villa by Schinkel, the landscape gardener Lenné created gardens with a distinctive mediterranean ambience. Switzerland, another highly fashionable destination at the time, also attracted the prince. Coming back from a journey to Switzerland in the summer of 1861 he decided that he wanted to recreate the Swiss countryside opposite todays Königstraße in Klein-Glienicke. He bought land on a large scale, had the humble houses demolished and mansions built in an alpine style instead. Romantically arranged boulders and artificial rock formations were placed to create a pictoresque mountain scenery equal to that of Switzerland. The river Bäke flowed through this idyll as a mountain rivulet and only the cows were missing.
But the GDR and its border protection did stop at nothing. Six of the formerly approximately ten Swiss cottages hampered border security and were subsequently pulled down after 1961.



The politics of flowers

Red geraniums were used to form the five-pointed Sowjet star in the courtyard of Cecilienhof palace. Stalin probably had it made to tease the other negotiators as Churchill and Truman had to cross this yard and pass by the star every day. Gardeners commissioned by the Sowjets planted this bright symbol in the weeks before the Potsdam conference. Stalin was the organiser of this meeting that was held between July 17th and August 2nd to regulate political relations after the war.
The pentagram – mathematically the Sowjet star belongs into this category – is a very old symbol invested with a multitude of meanings. And the star that since 1923 adorned the flag of the Soviet Union was charged with significance, too. It should light the way to worldwide communism and as a symbol of the international labour movement its points represented the five continents.