Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Besides being Europe’s most extensive and picturesque landscape of rivers and lakes, Brandenburg has an involved and fascinating past. Once part of the Roman province of Magna Germania, the region went on to become the Northern March, then one of the electoral states of the Holy Roman Empire, the seat of the Kingdom of Prussia, and also the core of the German Empire. Potsdam, the state’s capital, is home to numerous parks and palaces constructed between 1730 and 1916 and not surprisingly inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It was in one of these palaces, the Cecilienhof Palace – the most recently built, that world leaders met in 1945 to discuss the future of post-war Europe.

10 Things to See in this Neoclassical Heaven

Potsdam has a notable place in the history of both Germany and Europe. Today it is the capital city of the German state of Brandenburg but until 1918 it was here that the Prussian Kings and German Kaisers had their summer residences.  During the 20th century, it was here that the Nazis staged a ceremonial event where President Paul von Hindenburg and the new Chancellor Adolf Hitler shook hands symbolising a coalition between the old guard and Nazism. Twelve years later in August of 1945 Truman, Churchill and Stalin met in Potsdam to discuss the future of postwar Europe, a meeting which ended with the Potsdam Agreement and the Potsdam Declaration.

Create Your Brandenburg Itinerary & Travel Lists

Archaeology & History Sites in Brandenburg

Slawenburg Raddusch

The Slavic castle of Raddusch is a reconstruction of a typical Slavic refuge castle. The circular structure, with its 7m high walls, has been rebuilt on the site of its 9th/10th century original following the results of archaeology recovered during excavation. Inside the castle there is a restaurant and a permanent exhibition with spectacular displays showing the archaeology of the area, Lower Lusatia, from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. During the summer, there is a programme of events with Slavic re-enactors.

Sanssouci Palace

Sanssouci Palace was Frederick the Great’s favourite place to retreat to, particularly in summer. It was his wish to be buried here. A wish that was finally granted in 1991 when he was reburied on the highest terrace of the vineyard in front of the Rococo style palace. Constructed between, 1745 and 1747 based on the ideas and sketches of Fredericks, today the elegance and grandeur of the interior is achieved with the use of original furnishings. Sanssouci, French for without worry, is the most famous of all the Hohenzollern palaces in Potsdam.

Orangery Palace

Inspired by Villa Medici in Rome and the Uffizi in Florence, the Orangery Palace is the last and largest of the royal places in Sanssouci Park. The style of the palace is a clear reflection of King Frederick William’s IV love of Italy and Italian architecture. Constructed between 1851 and 1864, the two wings of the palace are still used to overwinter plants susceptible to the harsh winters. The central section, known as the Raphael Hall, houses 19th century reproductions of the Renaissance painter Raphael, made by Prussian  artists. The palace had both servant’s quarters and guest apartments; the latter of which were lavishly decorated.

Waldsiedlung Wandlitz

In a forest setting in Bernau bei Berlin, but closer to Wandlitz (hence the name) is the former housing estate used by members and candidates of the  East German SED Politburo from 1960 to 1989. The likes of Honecker, Ulbricht, Mielke and Krenz lived here. Today the houses look basic, but for the time and in Eat Germany these were luxurious residences in a high security complex that included an event hall, a shop (that had luxury items from West Berlin) and a nuclear bunker. After reunification the settlement became a rehabilitation centre and a residence for senior citizens. It is a popular day trip from Berlin for hikers.

New Palace

Built between 1763 and 1769 Neue Palace was Frederick the Great’s last palace in Sanssouci Park. It was also the official residence of the last German Emperor, William II. Before Kaiser William the palace was not a royal residence, rather it was built, at the end of the 7 Year’s War, to host state events and accommodate official guests. The magnificence of this large palace was intended to convey Prussia’s power, wealth and victory after the war. The palace has over 200 rooms, some of which have recently been restored and can be visited today. Highlights include the Grotto Hall, the Marble Hall and the Concert Hall.

Memorial for the Victims of the Euthanasia

The State Hospital in Brandenburg an der Havel on Neuendorfer Str. was one of six centres in the country where the weak, ill and handicapped were killed, the so-called Euthanasia Action T4. Brandenburg’s hospital was the first of these killing centres because of its strategic position and ready infrastructure. In the first few months of 1940 some 9,000 vulnerable men, women and children were killed. Much of the site has been destroyed, one surviving building now houses municipal administrative offices, and a memorial centre is housed in an adjacent building.

Roland Statue, Brandenburg an der Havel

A Roland statue has stood in Brandenburg an der Havel since 1402. These had become popular in towns across northern Germany during the reign of Charles IV. They stood for the town’s civic freedom and the protection afforded to the town by the king. The current sandstone statue, which stands over 5 m tall, was erected in 1474. It was erected in the market place of the New Town, but re-erected at its current position in front of the Old Town Rathaus in 1946 as the New Town had suffered considerable damage in WWII.

Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen

From 1936 to April 1945 Sachsenhausen was used by the Nazi regime as a concentration camp. It mainly held political prisoners, and a number of high profile individuals were interned here. Including the wife and children of the Crown Prince of Bavaria. The camp was equipped with a medical experimentation centre and a gas chamber, the remains of which can still be seen. After the war this area was in the Soviet Zone, and the camp was used by them to house enemies of the Soviet state from August 1945 to the spring of 1950 – Special Camp Nr. 7.

Schloss Boitzenburg

This late 19th century neo-Renaissance castle has had a chequered past. Today it is a children’s and youth hotel, but before this it was a convalescent home for the National People’s Army of former East Germany. For much of its history the castle was the ancestral seat of the von Arnim family, who were responsible for the building we see today. Earliest mention of a castle on this site dates to 1276. But the land and the castle has changed hands many times, with successive owners building a new castle.

Museums & Art Galleries in Brandenburg


Present-day Brandenburg-an-der Havel has its origins in the early 900s AD, known then as Brandenburg. Slawendorf is a contemporary reconstruction of a typical 11th century Slavic village. In around 10,000 square metres 11 huts have been built based on information about their size, design and the construction materials used gathered from archaeological excavations in the area. Visitors are invited to see how bakers, weavers, potters and carpenters once lived and worked here.