"Work in Progress" Potsdam by antistar
Potsdam Travel Guide: 388 reviews and 1,263 photos
It's been over twenty years since German reunification, and yet the building work continues in Potsdam. It's still not back to its glory days, but it's getting close. St. Nicholai's church looks fantastic, and brand new, but the Alten Markt square it sits in looks unfinished. But this is to be expected when Potsdam suffered heavy bomb damage during World War 2 and was neglected during Communism. In fact the East Germans attempted to remove much of the evidence of Potsdam's Prussian past. Given its recent history, it looks a damn fine city.
The post-war era was not good for Potsdam. It lay on the edge of West Berlin, cut off from the rest of the city in the East. There was no wall here, but passage to and from the West was virtually impossible. One thing its unique position gave the city, however, was intrigue. The Glienicke Bridge between former East and West Germany was a place for exchanging spies, and nicknamed, obviously, "Bridge of Spies". People like Gary Powers, the captured U2 pilot, were exchanged here, and it made many a scene in cold war era spy movies.
Apart from the Cold War, and the Potsdam agreement that led to it, the history of the city has been mostly tied with Prussian Royalty. They made the city their main residence, and with Frederick the Great they built the great palace of Sanssouci. This alone is Potsdam's greatest draw, and brings in tourists by the busload in the summer.
But Potsdam is more than just palaces. It has a pleasant city centre, with tidy streets organised in grid fashion in between the scattering of lakes that frame the city to the south and east. The city has a great variety of architecture, especially in its homes, due to it being a hotbed of immigration through the centuries. You can find examples of Dutch and Russian homes as you walk the elegant Prussian streets.
As Potsdam is almost a suburb of Berlin it would be strange to stay here and not visit the German capital. It's only a... more travel advice
St. Nikolai has always been a show-piece in Potsdam. It's gone through a number of remarkably different looks, all of... more travel advice
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Potsdam Travel Guide
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