Click the Brandenburg Flag for a German translation
Für eine deutsche Übersetzung dieser Seite einfach die Brandenburger Flagge anklicken

Home Towns - Potsdam, Germany

The Old Market Square


This site is part of our Old Market Square page, which is part of our Potsdam, Germany site. Click left the left turn sign to return to the Old Market Square site or the u-turn sign to get back to our Potsdam Start Site.

St. Nicholas Church, Obelisk and Old City Hall

Plaque depicting achitect von Knobelsdorff

The old market square got its current shape in the 1750s under the reign of King Frederick the Great. The King was a cosmopolitan monarch and tried to display prominent pieces of the world's architecture in his residence. Thanks to "The Old Fritz", Potsdam today proudly displays examples of French, Italian, Russian, English, Turkish, Chinese, Egyptian and even Australian architecture. And it all started here:

During one of his visits in Italy, the King's architect, Georg von Knobelsdorff noticed Obelisks that the Romans had brought from Egypt and decided to add this feature to the multinational design of the Potsdam.

The first obelisk, erected in 1747 at the entrance to Sanssouci Park, was modeled after original Egyptian obelisk. In 1755, a Roman forefront designed by von Knobelsdorff was built for St. Nicholas Church. At the same time, this obelisk was erected.
The obelisk was damaged during the last battles of World War II. In 1969 it was removed for restoration. It returned to its old place in 1979. The four antique statues at the base are still the originals, made by scupltor Gottlieb Heymüller. The four medallions at the bottom of the obelisk, one on each side, originally depicted Prussian kings. After the war, when the House of Hohenzollern had fallen out of favor in East Germany, they were changed to depict four of Potsdam's most influential architects: Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, Friedrich Ludwig Persius and Carl Phillip Christian von Gontard.
Click the left turn sign to return to the Old Market Square site
or make your pick form the menu below.

Back to Potsdam Page

Back to Home Towns

Back to Germany Page

Back to English Main Page

Back to Start Page