Potsdam Travel Blog› entry 5 of 9 › view all entries
I got up early this morning and met Skot, Jessica's new beau, for breakfast. He had a sore throat, so was having hot tea with vinegar as a remedy. It smelled horrid. Hope it worked! After a hearty breakfast, I was off to find my way to Potsdam. I walked over by the Zoo again for a chance to see Knut, the polar bear cub, but the lines were huge and I decided to pass. I was able to catch the S-Bahn train direct to Potsdam at the Zoo. It was cheap -- 2.10 euros and a 35 minute trip.
Potsdam is West of Berlin and is where the Schloss Sans Souci (the Versailles of Germany) is located, and is also the place where Stalin, Truman and Churchill met to plan the occupation of Germany after World War II came to an end.
The Sans Souci is within a larger area known as the Prussian Palaces. Various palaces and buildings are all over this area including the New Palace, the Oranagerie (for visiting royals), Schloss Charlotenhof, the Chinese Haus, and the University of Potsdam. It is very beautiful, and layed out -- just a huge place to cover on foot!
After I finished touring the Prussian Palaces, I tried to walk to the Schloss Cecilienhof -- the site of the Potsdam Conference among the leaders of the Soviets, the British and the Americans. It looked very close on the map, but it was not! I was starving, and as I walked along, finally found a bier garten to stop and have some lunch.
Cecilienhof was the summer palace of Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife, Cecile of Mecklenberg. There is a fairly good representation of how Truman, Stalin and Churchill (and later, Atlee) met here to agree on how to carve up Germany and Eastern Europe and how to deal with the issue of reparations for the war. They seem to imply that Stalin got the best of Truman and Atlee, in that Roosevelt had died and Churchill was voted out of office -- and the two of them had the most experience in dealing with the War and Stalin. I did get to see the table where the conference was held and the private quarters of each of the three leaders. It's pretty eerie to see history up close and personal like that!
I caught a bus back to Potsdam Central and then the train back to the Zoo stop -- all pretty easy now that I have the hang of it!