Albert Einstein’s summer house originated as a gift from the city of Berlin for the scientist’s 50th birthday. The simple, wooden house located in the village of Caputh on Lake Templin is a little over nine miles (15 kilometers) southwest of Berlin. The home was custom-built for Einstein in 1929.
Although it was referred to as a “summer house,” Einstein actually spent most of the year living in this little house during his last years in Germany. He hosted a wide range of star-studded guests from the science world as well as the arts in his modest Caputh home, including Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, Heinrich Mann, and Käthe Kollwitz.
After Einstein was forced to flee the country when the Nazis took power in 1933, his abandoned summer house was briefly occupied by the Wehrmacht before being turned into a normal residential property. In 1979, the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s birth, the house was restored by the East German government and turned into a memorial site. Ownership of the house was eventually ceded to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2005 following Einstein’s original will.
Today, the house is used by the Einstein Forum for scientific events, workshops, and lectures to honor the legacy of Einstein. The separate garden house, a small annex building on the main property, is now used to house visiting junior scientists from around the world.
Know Before You Go
Caputh is just outside Berlin and is easily reached by bus or train originating from Potsdam's main station. Alternatively, it can be reached by a pleasant bike ride from Potsdam along the Templiner See (Lake Templin).
The interior of the house can only be visited with a tour, which costs €5 and runs every hour (in German). Some English tours also take place daily in the high season, but ask ahead to confirm. English documentation is also available on-site.