Because of the classicist white buildings lining its beach promenade, the town is also known as the "White Town by the Sea" (Die weiße Stadt am Meer). Today, the area by the sea is occupied by a five-star hotel. A narrow-gauge steam railway, known as the "Molli", links Heiligendamm with Kühlungsborn and Bad Doberan.
On June 6 to 8, 2007, Heiligendamm's Kempinski Grand Hotel hosted the 33rd summit of G8 leaders. As a result thousands of anticapitalist activists blocked the roads to Heiligendamm and an estimated 25,000 anti-globalization protesters demonstrated in nearby Rostock.
Its first guest in 1793 was the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg Frederick Francis I; he made the resort fashionable. Between 1793 and 1870, Johann Christoph, Heinrich von Seydwitz, Carl Theodor Severin, and Gustav Adolph Demmler created a veritable Gesamtkunstwerk for bathing and lodging. Heiligendamm was always the most elegant seaside resort in Germany. Nobility from throughout Europe used it as a summer getaway well into the 20th century.
After the Second World War, the buildings of Heiligendamm were used as sanatoria and recovery ward. When Mecklenburg became part of the communist GDR, some of Heiligendamm's famous buildings were demolished and replaced by more utilitarian structures. After the German reunification in 1989/1990, a group of investors bought most of the buildings and undertook a major programme of refurbishment. A new company, the Kempinski Grand Hotel, opened in spring of 2003 - it uses six historical buildings. Development has led to some conflict with residents, as main streets and cycle paths have been removed or rerouted. Also again some of the famous buildings were demolished - more than in GDR-time (for detailed information see the German wikipedia).
BALTIC COAST PARTY POLITICS ; the G8 Summit Comes to Heiligendamm Next Month. Just What Does This Traditional Seaside Resort on the North Coast Have to Offer the Leaders of the World's Richest Countries? Claire Wrathall Takes a Look
May 13, 2007; When it comes to demanding guests, they don't get much more exacting than the leaders of the G8 countries and their security...