The Cecilienhof Palace (German: Schloss Cecilienhof), the last of the Hohenzollern palaces, was erected between 1914 and 1917, during The Great War, on the banks of the Havel river in the New Garden, at Potsdam. In the wood-panelled Great Hall of the palace the Potsdam Conference was held from July 17 to August 2, 1945.
It was based on plans by Paul Schultze-Naumburg (1869-1949) and built for the Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife Cecilie, who came from the Royal House of Mecklenburg. They had previously resided in the Marble Palace. Preceding the building was a long phase of planning that involved constantly altered drafts and various possible locations, until finally it was decided to abandon the not very up-to-date designs in neo-Baroque style. Instead the Royal clients opted for a large, modern country house in a harmonious garden setting.
It is a magnificent creation with characteristic use of half-timbered elements following the tradition of an English country house. With great skill Schultze-Naumburg structured the palace complex around several inner courtyards. This played down its actual size and allowed it to be effortlessly integrated into the New Garden. The atmospheric interiors feature designs and furnishings of striking quality. Historical styles are used unobtrusively for the decoration of the rooms. The main staircase above the Great Hall was created in Danzig Baroque style, the wood being gifted by the City of Danzig to the royal couple. The decor for the Crown Princess's private cabinet, used as a stateroom, was designed by architect Paul Ludwig Troost, famous for his designs for the interiors of passenger liners. He was also responsible for nearly all of the Royal couple's private rooms.
- Leuthauser, Gabriele, & Feierabend, Peter, editors, Potsdam - Palaces and Gardens of the Hohenzollern, Konemann, Koln, 1996, pps:268-279. ISBN 3-89508-238-4