One of many reasons why a visit to Potsdam and the State of Brandenburg is so rewarding is because the depth of the tourist offer here never ceases to amaze. For instance, when travelers stop at the Villa Schoeningen, they will find both a great way to relax and a wonderful way to take in a living history icon. Here, visitors can gaze across the waters of the river Havel and lake Glienicker See, where Potsdam and Berlin meet, and they can also learn about the Cold War, which so thoroughly defined this spot from 1961 to 1989.
The Villa Schoeningen was built from 1843-45 by Ludwig Persius, the architect to the King of Prussia Frederick William IV, for Kurd von Schöning, an officer in the Prussian army. The mansion, which was constructed in the Italian style, is located adjacent to Glienicke Bridge. This “Bridge of Spies” point become very important in the 20th century because it became the post-war boundary between the American and the Soviet sectors. This place became a notorious exchange point of spies and was followed with worldwide interest. The Glienicke Bridge became an internationally famous symbol of German division and the Cold War.
Inside the Villa, the permanent displays house a historical exhibition on the story of Glienicke Bridge during the Cold War. In the exhibition the horror of totalitarian regimes comes to life. In addition to the permanent exhibition on German history in the Cold War, Villa Schoeningen hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. The idea is to show art, which deals with the issues related to the place, such as the Cold War, German division and reunification, totalitarianism, democracy and freedom.
About this important and powerful place, Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “The changing pool of German history — full of pain and suffering, full of happiness and joy — will continue to await visitors to the Villa Schöningen. T he history of this house, which lies directly on the Glienicke Bridge, the dream and trauma of our once divided and now united nation are reflected in a special way.”
As well as providing a lesson in history and delivering epic views, the museum is also a great spot to enjoy a day at the cafe and in the beer garden.
12:00 - 18:00
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