Heiligendamm is the oldest seaside resort in Germany on the Baltic, developed in 1793 as the seaside meeting place of nobility and high society close to Frederick Francis I, Duke of Mecklenburg. It was elected as the location for the G8 summit due to its isolated location, in anticipation of protests such as those in Gleneagles and St Petersburg. The summit site has already been fenced off by a 12 km long barrier, costing an approximate EUR 12.4 million.
Heiligendamm, known as "White Town by the Sea", also used to be the summer getaway of the Russian imperial family, who also were related to the Dukes of Mecklenburg. For the occasion of the G8 summit, a former summer residence of the imperial family was demolished to make space for a media center.