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Home Towns

Potsdam, Germany

Potsdam is is the capital of the German Federal State of Brandenburg. It is famous four its history and its architecture. Volker lived here on and off between high school, military service, college and sea voyages from 1976 until 1995.

In 2007, we spent three weeks in Germany and took a lot of time to explore this beautiful town. Too much to fit on one page, so, here is our (still growing) table of content:

Our Potsdam Pages

Our Favorite Pictures

All our Potsdam sites are very detailed and may contain more information than you are interested in.

If you just want to see our favorite pictures, click here.

History is the stuff that is far away and always happened without you. Here we try to show that it actually can be fun. See the town rise from a bronze-age fortress to the residence of the Prussian Kings, living through everything from the Thirty-Years-War to the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall.

Click here to dive into 1,000 years of Prussian history.
Castle Tour

At our first day in Potsdam, we took a boat toor over four of the lakes surrounding Potsdam.
We got a unique view at a number of Potsdam's castles.

Click here to take the boat toor with us.

City Palace

Built as a fortress in 993, demoted to a barn around 1600 and turned into a real castle after 1700, the City Palace was the winter residence of Prussian Kings and German Emperors for over 150 years. It burned out during World War II, was demolished in 1959 and is about to rise in old glory by 2012.

Click here to see past, present and future of Potsdam's oldest castle.
Royal Stables

Built in 1685 as an arboretum, the Royal Stables are the oldest building complex in town and
the only original remains of the City Palace. Today, they host Germany's oldest Film Museum.

Click here to see Potsdam's oldest building and one of its most interesting museums.

Pleasure Garden

A park with 300 years of history, during which it was built, decommisioned, rebuilt, bombed, demolished, buried, forgotten, accidentally unearthed and finally restored. It was once part of the
City Palace and contains some of the few original remnants of the castle.

Click here to visit Potsdam's oldest park.
New Market Square

Potsdam's New Market Square is one of Europe's best preserved examples of Baroque architecture. It has been beautifully restored and looks again like it did one and a half centuries ago.

Click here to check out this 150 years old square.

General von Steuben Monument

Close to New Market Square is a statue of one of the most famous
persons of America's Revolutionary War.

Click here to find out how this statue ended up in Potsdam.

Friendship Island

This 150 year-old park is located on a small island in River Havel.
It hosts a cafe, a botanical garden and a sculpture park.

Click here to visit Potsdam's most popular inner city park.

Old Market Square

Throughout the last 400 years, Potsdam's Old Market Square went through the same turmoil as the rest of the town and has seen – and survived - its fair share of fire, bombs and wrecking balls. Originally, part of the City Palace, the square is now the historic center of town.

Click here to visit Potsdam's historic center.
Saint Nicholas Church

Since 1375, at least five different churches stood at this place. They have seen everything from the Reformation to the bombing raids of World War II and have endured more reconstruction than any other building in town.

Click here to visit Potsdam's oldest church.
Above Saint Nicholas Church

The newly reconstructed St. Nicholas Church offers an unobstructed view over
Potsdam from a height of 113 feet.

Click here to enjoy a bird-eyes view over Potsdam.

Roman Obelisk

In 1755, the Old Market Square was redesigned and got a Roman-Italian attire. This obelisk, marking the center of the square, was part of it.

Click here to see one of Potsdam's three obelisks.

Old Town Hall & Knobelsdorff-House

These buildings at the east side of the Old Market Square were built in the 1750s, but the history of the area is a lot longer. Potsdam's first town hall was built here in 1524.

Click here to check out more of the Old Market Square's history.


For the last 250 years, Greek titan Atlas on top of the Old Town Hall has not only carried the world on his shoulders but also has endured everything that nature and history could throw at him – from battles with gravity to battles with Russian artillery.

Click here to see one of Potsdam's most popular landmarks.
Theater and Germinabogen

There are two other buildings close to the Old Market Square (and closely related to it too): Potsdam's new Theater and an assisted living facility at the grounds of one Potsdam's oldest churches.

Click here to see two of Potsdam's most modern buildings.
Potsdam's Gates

Like all old towns in Germany, Potsdam used to have a sturdy city wall. There were five gates
in the wall, three of which are still standing today.

Click here to check out Potsdam's historical gates.

Church of Peace

In the middle of town, at the outskirts of Sanssouci Park is a place of quite and tranquility -
a 150 year-old church, modeled after a High Italian monastery.

Click here to find some peace.

Havel Bay

A small bay formed by river Havel was once the location of a small fishing village. Today,
it presents some of the most interesting pieces of architecture in town.

Click here to see a Mosque that isn't a Mosque.

Wide Street

Breite Straße (Wide Street) is one of Potsdam's main streets. It has some of the
most beautiful baroque buildings in town.

Click here to see the best the Baroque had to offer.

Garrison Church

Until 1945, the center of Wide Street was Potsdam's most famous church, the Garrison Church.
It was destroyed in World War II but is coming back piece by piece.

Click here to learn about Potsdam's most famous church.

Unity Square

Built on reclaimed land at the location of a former swamp, this is the oldest of Potsdam's
downtown squares and a piece of well appreciated green in the middle of town.

Click here to check out Potsdam's oldest square.

Basin Square

Once an elaborate basin with a pavilion in the Center and later demoted all the way to just a
parking lot, the history of the largest of Potsdam's Baroque squares has been ever changing.

Click here to check out Potsdam's largest square.

Dutch Quarters

Potsdam's Dutch Quarters were built between 1733 and 1740 to attract Dutch artisans to move to the Prussian residence. Today, they are beautifully restored and are one of the town's main tourist attractions.

Click here to see the largest conglomeration of Dutch houses outside of Holland.
Russian Colony

This colony, called Alexandrovka, was built in 1825 by King Frederick William III to honor his friendship with Russian Tsar Alexander I. Originally, the 12 houses were inhabited by the members
of a Russian choir that was part of the King's military.

Click here to check out the colony and the oldest Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe.
Pfingstberg Belvedere

This little Italian renaissance castles was originally designed by King Frederick Wilhelm IV, but was never finished. After having been a ruin for decades, it has now been beautifully restored.

Click here to visit the latest addition to Potsdam's castle scene.

Star Quarter

The "Star" was the largest new deveolpment in Potsdam during the Communixt years. Volker's family has been living here for more than 30 years.

Click here and discover a part of Volker's past.

Great Star & Hunter's Castle

The municipal area "At The Star" was named after the "Great Start", a star-shaped intersection of 16 trails in the former Royal hunting grounds. Next to the "Great Star" is the smallest of the 11 castles, the Prussian Kings have passed onto Potsdam.

Click here to discover an almost forgotten part of the town's history.

And if that is still not enough, here you can dig even deeper:

Links and Sources

Of course, we know so much about Potsdam, because we paid attention at school.

If you don't believe it, check out the sites that tought us. Special thanks to Potsdam-Wiki and the History-Manufactury!

Ascanians, Bavarians, Luxembourgians, Hohenzollern, a Swedisch King, a French Emperor and a Russian General; the list of those who shaped Potsdam's history is long.

At six pages total, we introduce all those who are responsible for this historic mumble-jumble.
International Architecture

Brandenburg was always proud of its multycultural traditions and the state's capital reflects that. A stroll through town is like a journey around the world.

We put together a number of examples of Potsdam's diverse architecture, which was inspired by buildings on five continents.

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