Potsdam Things to Do

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    by GentleSpirit
  • Tomb of Frederick the Great
    Tomb of Frederick the Great
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    view from the bridge
    by GentleSpirit

Most Recent Things to Do in Potsdam

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    Church of St. Peter and Paul

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 23, 2014

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    Church of St. Peter and Paul

    The Church of St. Peter and Paul towers above the eastern end of Brandenburger Straße. The most conspicuous distinguishing mark of the yellow brick building is the Italian-style campanile with a height of almost 60 meters.

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    Brandenburger Straße

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 23, 2014

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    Brandenburger Stra��e
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    The city of Potsdam is really blessed with many listed buildings: there are more than 2,000 in the city's official files. The term 'historic city center' is not only applicable to the Holländische Viertel (the Dutch Quarter) and the Second Baroque city expansion, but also to the Weavers' Quarter in Babelsberg.

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    St. Nicholas' Church

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 23, 2014

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    St. Nicholas' Church
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    St. Nicholas' Church ( or St. Nikolaikirche) is an Evangelical church on the Alter Markt ("Old Market Square").

    The Protestant St. Nicholas' Church is one of the most important buildings in the era of German classicism.

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    Old City Hall

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 23, 2014

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    Old City Hall
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    The Old Market Square is bounded by the Potsdam Advanced Technical College, the Nikolaikirche, the Old Town hall, the Knobelsdorff house and the river Havel.

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    KGB Prison- Leistkowstrasse-Memorial

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 25, 2013

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    After the Potsdam Conference some 100 houses near the New Garden were cordoned off and used by Soviet forces. The headquarters of the KGB in Potsdam is nearby this site behind large walls, housed in a former boarding school.

    The house at 1 Leistkowstrasse was previously the property of the Evangelical Ecclesiastical Benevolent Society, which is once again the owner following the liberation of what was once the German Democratic Republic. This house was used as a remand prison for the Soviet Counterintelligence (SMERSH). Until 1955, the prison also housed Germans suspected of membership in subversive organizations. After that it was mostly for Soviet military. By the end of the 1980's, the building was used as a storehouse. In 1994, the Red Army withdrew from Germany.

    The building has been preserved for historical memory. It shows the inhuman conditions prisoners were held under, perhaps showing the greater penchant towards ruthlessness and brutality by the KGB than is evident in the Stasi-run facilities. Relatively little is recorded about those who were imprisoned here since this information was of course with the Soviet Military. There were only 36 cells here and following interrogation, that often lasted months, the prisoners were transferred to Vorkuta or other Soviet Gulag prisons. Some were transferred to serve their sentences at camps in Gemmany, Torgau and Sachsenhausen being the main ones.

    Tuesday to Sunday from 14 to 18 clock
    Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 18 clock by appointment: Guided
    closed Monday

    Admission free

    There is also a guided tour available that looks at the Military/intelligence complex known as Military Town #7, which this prison was part of. Registration is necessary and a group fee of 55 euros will be charged (groups of 19)

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    Christmas Market

    by antistar Updated Sep 12, 2013

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    Christmas Market, Potsdam
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    The main Christmas Market in Potsdam stretches for about a kilometer down Brandenburger Strasse right in the centre of the old town. It's open from the 27th November until the day after Christmas. Another market of note takes place at the Sanssouci Palace. There are also a couple of markets that reflect Potsdam's multicultural history, like the Dutch Market (Sinterklaas) on the 11th and 12th November in the Dutch Quarter.

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    St Nicholas Church

    by GentleSpirit Updated Jun 23, 2013

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    St Nicholas Kirche

    One of the first things we saw when we got into Potsdam proper was St Nicholas Church on the Alter Markt (the old town square) next to the Altes Rathaus.

    The exterior is simple, austere classicist style of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the Prussian architect famous for many Classicist and neo-gothic masterpieces in the area. Started in 1830, the church was not finished until around 1850. Damaged during World War II and later by Soviet artillery fire, the church was consecrated again in 1981. After the years of Communist neglect, it is now looking quite nice:)

    Admisssion
    Monday-Saturday 9 am-9pm
    Sunday from 11:30 am

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    Orangerie

    by GentleSpirit Updated Mar 29, 2013

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    This Castle was built in the years 1851-64 by Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the so called Romantic on the Throne. It is built in Renaissance style and borrowed significant styles from Rome and the Vatican.

    Interestingly, the royal apartments had an extra set of rooms that were specifically for the use of Alexandra, wife of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Why? Well, Alexandra was born Princess Charlotte of Prussia. She was the favorite sister of Friedrich Wilhelm IV. Interestingly, both Nicholas and Alexandra were third cousins, being great great grandchildren of Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia.
    : should not be confused with Nicholas II and Alexandra (who was Alexandra of Hesse-the last Tsar of Russia)

    The difference between this and San Soucci is enormous, one exudes power the other exudes playfulness. This also despite the fact that the power behind the Orangerie was that of a weakened imperial power rather than the growing imperial power of Friedrich and San Soucci.

    Admission and Hours:
    May 15 through October 15: Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm
    Observation tower:
    April 1 through May 14: Saturdays and Sundays only, 10am - 5pm
    May 15 through October 15: Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm
    Admission- 3 euro

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    Cecilienhof Chateau

    by GentleSpirit Updated Feb 24, 2013

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    The Cecilienhof Palace was the last residence built by the Hohenzollerns. It was built by Kaiser Wilhelm II for his son, the Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife, Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

    At first you have to look twice, it looks more like a hunting lodge than a palace proper. That is because it is modeled on an English Tudor mansion. Started in 1915, it was not completed until after World War I, and by then it was almost too late. The Kaiser went into exile in 1918, the Crown Prince followed him to the Netherlands after signing abdication documents. Crown Prince Wilhem was to return to Germany after assuring that he would not get involved in politics. Cecilie stayed at Cecilienhof until the Russians came in 1945. She and Prince Wilhelm are buried at the Hohenzollern Castle near Stuttgart.

    Cecilienhof gained great fame when the wartime Potsdam Conference was held there among the victorious Allied Powers. Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin and Harry Truman were the principals. Today you can visit the same garden where the famous picture was taken.

    During the Cold War years Cecilienhof was an officers club for the Soviet Army and a memorial site. From 1960 onwards it was a hotel. Today, Cecilienhof is a museum and a 4 star hotel.

    hours
    April through October: Tuesday - Sunday, 9am - 5pm
    November through March: Tuesday - Sunday, 9am - 4pm

    admission
    4 euro

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    Historic Mill at Sansoucci

    by GentleSpirit Updated Feb 18, 2013

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    Before the construction of San Soucci there had been a mill here that had been famous throughout the area. This was built in about 1745 for Frederick the Great. The second mill was built in 1787 on a Dutch prototype to replace the existing mill. I wonder if the fact that an important group of immigrants to Potsdam was from Holland was more than coincidence?

    The windmill was damaged severely during World War (April 1945). Typical of the Communist government, it was left neglected. The decision to restore the windmill was made and proceeded in 1983. Because of lack of resources the project was again abandoned until after reunification.

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    Lindenstrasse Prison-Gedenkstätte

    by GentleSpirit Updated Feb 18, 2013

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    Located in an ordinary residential neighborhood in the historic center of Potsdam, this building (Lindenstrasse 54-55) might have no raised no alarm as to its true function. From 1810 onwards this building served as a prison. A new wing being constructed in 1910 to house 100 additional prisoners. It now serves as a museum and to bear witness to the horrors committed under totalitarian regimes. It is not only intended to expose some of the inhumanity that occurred here but also serves as a place of reflection

    Under the Nazis, political detainees were housed here. There was a sterilization court.

    From 1945 to 1952 the Soviet KGB took over the prison and used it to house political prisoners.
    Until 1989, the Lindenstrasse prison was administered by the East German State Security office (Stasi)

    More than anything else the museum tries to emphasize "political justice" over time and the basic denial of human rights under absolutist regimes.

    Tuesday - Sunday, 9am - 5pm
    Every first and third Saturday in the month 9am - 5pm
    Closed on public holidays.

    Admission in 2010 was 1.5 euros

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    The Glienicke Bridge

    by GentleSpirit Updated Feb 18, 2013

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    view from the bridge
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    The Glienicke Bridge is famous because it is where a lot of spy exchanges used to take place. This was the last bridge connecting what used to be East Germany with West Germany.

    Back in the day, the border was at the midpoint of the river, so any boats had to undergo thorough checks by the East Germans. The guides didn't tell us about all the escape attempts using swimming or some version of an underwater craft, though I'm quite sure there were plenty of them.

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    Tomb of Friedrich the Great

    by GentleSpirit Written Feb 18, 2013

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    Tomb of Frederick the Great

    For a guy that ran a country and an empire you would expect a big,ornate tomb that spoke about how much power and wisdom he had in life. Right?

    Friedrich was known to be meticulous about planning for his death, some sources say he was almost obsessive about it. He wanted to be buried in his beloved San Soucci, out in the garden next to his favorite dog.

    A quote from Friedrich:
    I have lived as a philosopher and wish to be buried as such, without circumstance, without solemn pomp, without splendour. I want to be neither opened nor embalmed. Bury me in Sanssouci at the level of the terraces in a tomb which I have had prepared for myself... Should I die in time of war or whilst on a journey, I should be buried in the first convenient place and brought to Sanssouci in the winter). (1769)

    After several moves that included temporary placement in a salt mine during the war, Friedrich was buried at on the first terrace above the vinyards at his beloved San Soucci. He was buried on August 17,1991 with full honor guard from the German Army.

    It is a totally unpretentious, simple tomb. An interesting counterpoint to the palace, just a few steps away that is so ornate.

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    New Town hall

    by Raimix Written Jan 11, 2013

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    Potsdam now has two town halls - one of them is old, new you called just New town hall. This one is not associated with medieval times, it was built in 1902 - 1907. Nowadays it is used for city authority purposes.

    Building houses even 478 rooms, also library, it has an inner yard.

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    Church of St. Peter and Paul

    by Raimix Written Jan 11, 2013

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    It is the first Potsdam's Catholic church, built in 1870. It means, that not so much Catholic people were living in this land till the middle of 19th century. Church looks neo - Romantic style, with some Byzantine elements.

    Church houses Antoine Pesne painter, famous for Baroque and Rococo paintings.

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Potsdam Things to Do

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