The city of Potsdam has about 150,000 inhabitants and is located near Berlin. The palaces and gardens of Potsdam belong to one of the most outstanding cultural landscapes in Germany and are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The most famous sight and landmark of the town is Schloss Sanssouci and its surrounding park. The palace was built in the 18th century as a summer residence for the Prussian king Frederick the Great and was later extended with further buildings such as New Palace (Neues Palais), Marble Palace (Marmorpalais) and the Orangery Palace (Orangerie). Together, they attract millions of visitors every year.
It was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century as the last Hohenzollern palace, came to prominence with the Potsdam conference. The Allies met here in August 1945 to decide on Germany’s future. The conference room with its large negotiating table and the offices are preserved in their original state.
Amongst the most beautiful parts of Potsdam’s historic district is the Dutch Quarter (Holländisches Viertel). It was built around 1740 to attract Dutch craftsmen to Berlin. The quarter consists of a closed ensemble of buildings with about 150 brick houses and accommodates many pleasant shops, cafes and restaurants which invite its visitors to stroll through the streets.
Also part of Potsdam’s World Heritage Site is the Russian colony Alexandrowka, which is made up of 12 farmsteads with picturesque wood houses. Peter Joseph Lenné constructed them in a typical Russian style to house former Russian prisoners of war who had excelled as singers and had been sent to entertain the troops during the war against Napoleon.
The Filmpark can be recommended to movie lovers. It was founded 20 years ago on the premises of what is now Studio Babelsberg. Many well-known movies (e.g. Metropolis) have been shot here. Visitors can take a glimpse behind the scenes and discover the tricks of the filmaker’s trade.
Potsdam not only possesses a large cultural landscape, but is also rich in natural beauty. A wide range of lakes, rivers and parks invite the guest to linger and relax.
All in all, Potsdam is well worth a visit.