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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Potsdam
Map of Germany, position of the city of Potsdam highlighted

Coordinates: 52 ° 24 '  N , 13 ° 4'  E

Basic data
State : Brandenburg
Height : 32 m above sea level NHN
Area : 188.61 km 2
Residents: 180,334 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 956 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 14467-14482
Primaries : 0331, 033208, 033201Template: Infobox municipality in Germany / maintenance / area code contains text
License plate : P
Community key : 12 0 54 000
City structure: 9 districts

City administration address :
Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 79/81
14469 Potsdam
Website : www.potsdam.de
Lord Mayor : Mike Schubert ( SPD )
Location of the city of Potsdam in Brandenburg
Berlin Polen Freistaat Sachsen Freistaat Thüringen Sachsen-Anhalt Niedersachsen Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Frankfurt (Oder) Cottbus Potsdam Brandenburg an der Havel Landkreis Prignitz Landkreis Ostprignitz-Ruppin Landkreis Oberhavel Landkreis Uckermark Landkreis Barnim Landkreis Havelland Landkreis Potsdam-Mittelmark Landkreis Märkisch-Oderland Landkreis Teltow-Fläming Landkreis Dahme-Spreewald Landkreis Oder-Spree Landkreis Elbe-Elster Landkreis Oberspreewald-Lausitz Landkreis Spree-Neißemap
About this picture
The urban landscape of Potsdam

Potsdam [ˈpɔt͡sdam] is an independent city and with a good 180,000 inhabitants it is the most populous city and capital of the state of Brandenburg . Potsdam, located on the Havel , borders Berlin to the southwest and is a growth center in its metropolitan area , which has around 4.5 million inhabitants.

The city is known for its legacy as the former residence of the kings of Prussia with the numerous and unique palace and park complexes and the important bourgeois core city . The cultural landscapes were included in the list of the world cultural and natural heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 1990 as the largest ensemble of German world heritage sites . Potsdam has also been a UNESCO film city since 2019.

The Babelsberg film studio, founded in Potsdam in 1912 as the world's first major film studio, is one of the most modern centers for film and television production in Germany and Europe.

Potsdam developed into a European science center from the middle of the 19th century . Three public universities and more than 30 research institutes are located in the city.



Aerial photo Potsdam: In the foreground the Telegrafenberg with the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam , the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research , the German GeoForschungsZentrum and the branch of the Alfred Wegener Institute , in the middle the main train station with Potsdam Center Nord, half-left the city center with the Old Market .

Potsdam is located southwest of Berlin, to which it is directly adjacent, on the middle course of the Havel in a forest and lake landscape. It is characterized by the alternation of broad valley lowlands and moraine hills , such as the Saarmunder terminal moraine arc to the south . The highest point in the city is the Kleine Ravensberg at 114.2 meters. The deepest point is the mean water level of the Havel waters at 29  m above sea level. NN . The urban area consists of around 75 percent green, water and agricultural areas, 25 percent are built-up.

There are over 20 bodies of water in Potsdam. In the urban center, these include the Heilige See , the Aradosee , the Templiner See , the Tief See and the Griebnitzsee . The rural outdoor areas include the Sacrower See , the Lehnitzsee , the Groß Glienicker See , the Fahrlander See and the Weisse See .

The waters include the Potsdamer Havel , which connects many of the lakes, the Sacrow-Paretz Canal , the Teltow Canal , the Nuthe and the Wublitz . The Potsdam Havel flows at the Babelsberg lido at 29.4  m above sea level. NHN . Deposits from the Nuthe used to form parts of the Island of Friendship .

There are five designated nature reserves (as of 2018) and more than 50 natural monuments in the urban area .


Potsdam is located within the agglomeration of Berlin and has a catchment area of ​​around four and a half million inhabitants. It thus also belongs to the European metropolitan region of Berlin / Brandenburg , whose outer border is identical to that of the State of Brandenburg .

The following cities and municipalities border Potsdam, listing clockwise, starting in the northeast:

Berlin as well as Stahnsdorf , Nuthetal , Michendorf , Schwielowsee ( Geltow , Caputh , Ferch ) and Werder (Havel) (all districts Potsdam-Mittelmark ) as well as Ketzin / Havel , Wustermark and Dallgow-Döberitz in the district Havelland .

City structure

The city of Potsdam is divided into 34  districts , which are divided into 84  statistical districts .

A distinction is made between the older districts, which were formed from areas of the historic city and places that were incorporated at the latest in 1939 - these are the city center, the western and northern suburbs, Bornim, Bornstedt, Nedlitz, Potsdam-Süd, Babelsberg as well as Drewitz, Stern and Kirchsteigfeld - and the municipalities incorporated after 1990, which have had their own local councils elected by the population since 2003 as districts according to the Potsdam main statute - these are Eiche, Fahrland, Golm, Groß Glienicke, Grube, Marquardt, Neu Fahrland, Satzkorn and Uetz -Pairs. The new districts are mainly in the north of the city. For the historical course of all incorporations, see the corresponding section on incorporations and outsourcing .

Structure with statistical numbering:

Overview map showing the structure of Potsdam
1 Potsdam North 2 Northern suburbs
  • 21 Nauen suburb
  • 22 Hunter suburb
  • 23 Berlin suburbs
3 western suburbs
  • 31 Brandenburg suburb
  • 32 Potsdam West
  • 33 Wildlife Park
4 downtown
  • 41 Northern city center
  • 42 South city center
5 Babelsberg 6 Potsdam South
  • 61 Templin suburb
  • 62 Teltower suburb
  • 63 Schlaatz
  • 64 Waldstadt I
  • 65 Waldstadt II
  • 66 industrial sites
  • 67 Forest Potsdam South
7 Potsdam southeast
  • 71 star
  • 72 Drewitz
  • 73 Kirchsteigfeld
8 northern districts

56 districts, community parts and other settlement areas belong to Potsdam .

Inclusions and outsourcing

The urban area of ​​Potsdam was still relatively small until the end of the 19th century. In addition to the inner city, only the Teltower, Brandenburger, Berliner, Jäger- and Nauener suburbs belong to the city of Potsdam. Due to the increase in population and development, the urban area had to be expanded several times. This happened in several stages with the incorporation of neighboring manors or parts of them. The urban area grew from 893  hectares in 1836 to 1350 hectares in 1905. In 1928, the Sanssouci park with the castles and a large part of the island of Tornow (later Hermannswerder ) and six manor districts with Brauhausberg and Telegrafenberg were incorporated into the urban area. After that, the city area was 3,206 hectares. In 1935 Bornim , Bornstedt , Eiche and Nedlitz were incorporated, and in 1939 the industrial city of Babelsberg and other villages followed. In 1952, most of these communities became independent again as part of the GDR territorial reform . In October 2003, after two new incorporation processes as part of the state-wide district reform, the urban area reached its current size. The area of ​​Potsdam was increased by 60% through the incorporation of 2003 alone, but the number of inhabitants only by 12%.


Note: The places that no longer belong to Potsdam are shown in italics .

Brandenburger Strasse , popular shopping street in the city center
Villa Stülpnagel at the New Garden
Bornstedt Crown Estate
Babelsberg Castle
Former parish date annotation
Babelsberg April 1, 1939
Bergholz-Rehbrücke April 1, 1939
July 25, 1952
October 26, 2003
Incorporation to Potsdam
Outsourcing from Potsdam
Incorporation to Nuthetal
Bornim August 1, 1935
Bornstedt August 1, 1935
Drewitz April 1, 1939
Oak August 1, 1935
July 25, 1952
January 1, 1962
December 6, 1993
Incorporation to Potsdam
Reclassification to Eiche-Golm
Outsourcing from Eiche-Golm
Incorporation to Potsdam
Fahrland April 1, 1939
July 25, 1952
October 26, 2003
Incorporation to Potsdam.
Outsourcing from Potsdam.
Incorporation to Potsdam
Geltow April 1, 1939
July 25, 1952
December 31, 2002
Incorporation to Potsdam
Outsourcing from Potsdam
Incorporation to Schwielowsee
Golm April 1, 1939
July 25, 1952
January 1, 1962
October 26, 2003
Incorporation to Potsdam
Reclassification to Eiche-Golm
Outsourcing from Eiche-Golm
Incorporation to Potsdam
Great Glienicke 1945
October 26, 2003
Outsourcing of the eastern part to Berlin,
incorporation of the remaining part to Potsdam
(with Schlänitzsee)
April 1, 1939
July 25, 1952
July 25, 1952
December 6, 1993
Incorporation to Potsdam.
Outsourcing from Potsdam.
Incorporation of Nattwerder
to Potsdam
Kartzow March 14, 1974 Incorporation to Fahrland
Krampnitz April 1, 1939
July 25, 1952
April 15, 1957
Incorporation to Potsdam
Outsourcing from Potsdam
Incorporation to Fahrland
Marquardt October 26, 2003
Nattwerder April 1, 1939
July 25, 1952
July 25, 1952
Incorporation to Potsdam
Outsourcing from Potsdam
Incorporation to Grube
Nedlitz August 1, 1935
(until 1925 Klein Glienicke )
April 1, 1938 Merger with Nowawes zu Babelsberg
Neuendorf April 1, 1907 Incorporation to Nowawes
New Fahrland April 1, 1939
July 25, 1952
October 26, 2003
Incorporation to Potsdam.
Outsourcing from Potsdam.
Incorporation to Potsdam
Nowawes April 1, 1938 Merger with Neubabelsberg zu Babelsberg
Mating January 1, 1961 Merger with Uetz to form Uetz pairs
Plantation house, manor district April 1, 1926
Potsdam-Gut, manor district April 1, 1926
Sacrow April 1, 1939
Sentence grain October 26, 2003
Tornow, manor district April 1, 1926
Uetz January 1, 1961 Merger with couples to form Uetz couples
Uetz couples October 26, 2003
Wilhelmshorst July 1, 1950
July 25, 1952
October 26, 2003
Incorporation to Potsdam,
outsourcing from Potsdam,
incorporation to Michendorf


Potsdam has a moderate climate , which is influenced by the Atlantic climate from the north and west as well as by the continental climate from the east. Extreme weather such as storms, heavy hail or heavy snowfall are rare.

The temperature curve corresponds roughly to the national German average. The seasonal temperature fluctuations are less than in the usual continental climate, but higher than in the more balanced marine climate of the coastal regions. The amount of precipitation is relatively low with an annual total of 590 mm. In Barcelona, for example, this is also 590 mm, whereas in Munich it is around 1000 mm. Since records began, Potsdam has experienced a white Christmas roughly every fourth year and in 2010 with the greatest snow depth of 23 cm. Annual mean temperatures have fluctuated between 6.5 ° C and 11 ° C since the beginning of the 20th century .

The climate research is on since about 1874 Telegrafenberg based in Potsdam. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research predicts an increase in average temperatures and a further decrease in precipitation for the next few decades in the Brandenburg region as part of global warming .

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: wetterkontor.de
Monthly average temperatures and precipitation for Potsdam
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 1.7 3.5 8.1 13.5 19.1 22.4 23.6 23.4 19.2 13.7 7.1 3.0 O 13.2
Min. Temperature (° C) −3.4 −2.7 0.0 3.4 8.0 11.5 13.0 12.7 9.8 6.0 1.7 −1.7 O 4.9
Precipitation ( mm ) 44 38 38 44 56 69 52 60 46 36 47 55 Σ 585
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.5 2.4 4.0 5.4 7.3 7.5 7.5 7.1 5.2 3.7 1.7 1.3 O 4.6
Rainy days ( d ) 17th 15th 12 13 12 12 14th 14th 12 14th 16 15th Σ 166
Humidity ( % ) 88 84 77 71 69 71 71 73 79 84 86 89 O 78.5
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: wetterkontor.de


The name “Potsdam” is possibly derived from the Slavic words “pod” (under) and “dubimi” (oak), which can be translated as under the oaks . In Sorbian the city is called ' Podstupim ', which means "preliminary stage" or "outpost". According to today's knowledge, this word meaning is the established etymology of the city name.

Origin and development in the Middle Ages

Donation deed from 993

The present urban area of ​​Potsdam was probably settled since the early Bronze Age. After the mass migrations , the Slavic tribe of the Heveller built a castle on the Havel opposite the confluence of the Nuthe in the 7th century .

The first documentary mention of the place took place in a deed of gift of the later Emperor Otto III. of the Holy Roman Empire to the Quedlinburg Abbey as Poztupimi on July 3, 993. The importance of the place was based on the control of the Havel crossing.

In 1157 Albrecht the Bear conquered the city and founded the Mark Brandenburg . Through Albrecht, parts of the former Nordmark became part of the Holy Roman Empire as the Mark Brandenburg. Potsdam was the south-eastern cornerstone of the Mark until the end of the 12th century. A German stone tower castle was built at the Havel crossing. In 1317 the city was first mentioned as a castle and above all a city under the name Postamp. Potsdam received city rights in 1345 and remained a small market town for the next few centuries. From 1416 until the end of the First World War in 1918 and the associated fall of the monarchy in Germany, Potsdam remained in the possession of the Hohenzollern family . The devastating Thirty Years War and two major fires devastated the city.

Prussian royal seat and boom

The Edict of Potsdam in 1685 enabled population growth after the Thirty Years War .

The absolutist era in Brandenburg began with the Electoral State Parliament in 1653, at which the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm restricted the power of the landed gentry . His reign was one of the most influential in the history of Potsdam. He bought the individual pledged urban areas together and decided to develop the city into his second residence next to Berlin. With the expansion of the city ​​palace and the beautification of the surroundings, a development spurt arose from 1660.

Only with the help of the Edict of Tolerance of Potsdam in 1685 could the regions be repopulated due to increasing immigration. Especially the persecuted Protestant Huguenots from France fled to the protection of the Brandenburg areas. Around 20,000 people took up the offer and helped the economy to flourish with their specialist knowledge.

The court and garrison church built in 1735 was considered a major work of the Prussian Baroque . View around 1900.

Under the soldier king Friedrich Wilhelm I , the city became an important garrison location. This led to a strong increase in the population and required the construction of new residential quarters as the first and second urban expansion. He also ordered the construction of the garrison church , the Church of St. Nikolai and the Church of the Holy Spirit , which from then on shaped the cityscape. In the newly created military orphanage in the Breiten Str. Children of members of the military were fed, taught and later trained.

The enlightened monarch Friedrich the Great (1712–1786) shaped the development of the royal seat of Potsdam.

His son Friedrich II ("the great") valued the ideas of the Enlightenment and reformed the Prussian state. He finally decided to make Potsdam a residential city in terms of the cityscape and then initiated massive renovations to the appearance of streets and squares. Among other things, the old market was completely redesigned and the town houses were given new baroque facades . Frederick II also had the later Sanssouci Park redesigned. His summer residence, the Sanssouci Palace , was built here from 1745 . The New Palais followed later . The city ​​palace and the pleasure garden in the city center were designed as its winter residence, the work of the architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff was particularly noteworthy here .

In 1806 Napoleon and his troops reached the city of Potsdam. The lasting effects of the occupation led to reforms in the state. After the end of the Napoleonic occupation, Friedrich Wilhelm III. the city from 1815 to an administrative center. Numerous government officials settled in Potsdam. In 1838 Prussia's first railway line went into operation with the Potsdam-Berlin line.

The increasing tensions of the pre- March erupted in the March Revolution of 1848. The people fought on the barricades in Berlin for a liberal constitution. In March, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV moved to the supposedly quieter neighboring city of Potsdam. When mutinous soldiers gathered in front of the New Palace and tried to free captured comrades, the uprising was quickly put down by Prussian elite troops. After the turmoil of the incomplete revolution, the restoration of the old balance of power was the predominant goal. Numerous ambitious building projects were pushed forward, including the Nikolaikirche and the Catholic Church of St. Peter and Paul . Potsdam had an airship port on the Pirschheide since 1911.

In 1914, the last Prussian king and German Emperor Wilhelm II signed the declaration of war against the Entente powers in the New Palais . After the end of the First World War , the era of the monarchy also ended with the November Revolution and Wilhelm II fled to the Netherlands in 1918. The city of Potsdam lost its status as a royal seat for good.

Weimar Republic and National Socialism

The Einstein Tower , built in 1921, served to experimentally confirm the theory of relativity .

After the First World War in 1918, most of the Hohenzollern's extensive property in Potsdam became state property. The time of the Weimar Republic was marked by numerous disputes between the political and paramilitary forces in the state. The municipality, on the other hand, remained a place supported by wealthy citizens.

At the beginning of the Nazi era, Potsdam Day took place on March 21, 1933 . At the staged state act, Reich President Paul von Hindenburg shook hands with the new Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler . This should be understood as a symbolic gesture for an alliance between the old order and National Socialism. The constituent session of the Reichstag took place in the garrison church without the Social Democrats and Communists. The event was broadcast nationwide.

Hans Friedrichs had numerous settlements and barracks built in Potsdam.

City center destroyed by the air raid on Potsdam in 1945, photo 1947

The city center of Potsdam was badly damaged by an Allied bombing raid on April 14, 1945 in the final phase of the Second World War . The area between the Havel, the Alter Markt and the Bassinplatz was particularly affected . The main station, city ​​palace , long stable and garrison church burned out completely. Large parts of the north-eastern suburb near the Glienicke Bridge were also damaged in a similar manner . However, the area around the New Market , the Dutch Quarter and the northern parts of the old town have largely been preserved . Other buildings were damaged in the fighting during the last days of the war, such as the Holy Spirit Church and the Old Town Hall. On April 27, 1945, Potsdam was taken by the Red Army .

Potsdam was the target of a particularly large number of bombs in Germany. Up to the present day, newly discovered duds are defused and the population living in the area are evacuated on such occasions.

Occupation and German division

The Potsdam Conference of the victorious powers USA , United Kingdom and Soviet Union took place from July 17 to August 2, 1945 in Cecilienhof Palace , the residence of the last German Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia . The conference ended with the Potsdam Agreement , which sealed the German division and occupation in four zones.

In the GDR , Potsdam was the administrative seat of the newly founded Potsdam district from 1952 to 1990 . The socialist government had a split relationship with the legacy of Prussia. On the one hand, the cultural and artistic achievements were recognized, on the other hand, numerous buildings should be an expression of militarism . In 1951 the Karl Liebknecht University of Education was founded, from which the University of Potsdam later emerged. Due to the housing shortage, new districts such as Schlaatz , Waldstadt II and Drewitz were created, especially in the south of the city .

With the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, Potsdam lost its direct connection to the neighboring city (West) Berlin , while East Berlin could only be reached via rural detours and appeared "far away". The Wall thus interrupted urban life in Potsdam to a considerable extent. The small Berlin exclave Steinstücke remained isolated in Babelsberg. The crossing at Glienicke Bridge was used to exchange spies during the Cold War.

In 1966 the old town hall was rebuilt and expanded and then opened as a cultural center and opened to the public under the name of Hans Marchwitza House . Event halls, lecture rooms, a cinema and a restaurant were housed in it and thus served as a meeting place for various social associations and individuals.

After German reunification

Glienicke Bridge , symbol of unity and connection point between Potsdam and Berlin

With German reunification and the re-establishment of the state of Brandenburg in 1990, Potsdam became its state capital.

In 1990, large parts of the Potsdam cultural landscape were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site . In 1993 the city was able to celebrate its millennium and in 2001 hosted the Federal Garden Show under the motto “Garden art between yesterday and tomorrow” . On this occasion, the first 300 m long section of the city ​​canal , which was filled in in the 1960s, was exposed again in Yorckstrasse . In 2004 the city received the gold medal in the national competition Our city is blooming .

In 1999 and 2006, the city-political decision was made to declare the center of Potsdam a redevelopment area and to bring the city center closer to the situation before 1945 in terms of ground plan and elevation. The "cautious approach to the characteristic, grown historical townscape" decided in 1999 is to be implemented by the beginning of the 2020s, with the reconstruction of the bell tower of the garrison church .


Population development

Population growth from 1573 to 2018

From its first mention in 993 until the early modern era, the city of Potsdam remained a small city with a small and relatively constant population. Due to the devastation and famine of the Thirty Years' War, the population fell to a low point of 700 in 1660. After the development as a residential city in Brandenburg, the population increased significantly. With industrialization in the 19th century, the population tripled to 60,000 by 1900. On April 1, 1939, Potsdam became a major city through the incorporation of the town of Babelsberg, which has around 30,000 inhabitants, and other places. During the Second World War, the population decreased, but increased again in the following years.

Since German reunification , the population of Potsdam fell by 13,000 to 129,000 in 1999. Since 2000, however, there has been a steady recovery due to immigration and a comparatively high number of births. Incorporations in 2003 put the number of inhabitants on a higher basis. In the 2010s, population growth then continued even faster. In 2008 the 150,000th inhabitant was counted, and in 2017 the 175,000th. After several increases in population forecasts, the city of Potsdam has been assuming since 2018 that the number of inhabitants will rise continuously to around 220,000 by 2035.

In addition to the residents with main residence, around 7,000 people are also registered with secondary residence. With an average of 41.6 years, Potsdam had the youngest population of the German state capitals after Mainz and Kiel . The share of the foreign population in Potsdam was around 8.6% in 2018. In the same year, a total of 15,432 foreigners lived in the city.


Historical "three-church view": Heiliggeistkirche , Nikolaikirche and garrison church

At the end of 2018, 13.2% of Potsdam's residents were Protestant and 5.0% Catholic, while 81.8% belonged to other faiths or were non-denominational;

In 2014, 14.0% of Potsdam's residents were Protestant and 4.9% Catholic, while 81.1% belonged to other faiths or were non-denominational. 5.0% are Roman Catholics (increase of 0.7% since 2005), the number of Protestants has decreased in the period under review.


Evangelical Nikolaikirche on the old market

The history of Christianity in the city of Potsdam is shaped by the coexistence of religious communities. The city of Potsdam initially belonged to the Christian Propstei Spandau of the Diocese of Brandenburg founded in 949 . In 1541 the Elector of Brandenburg introduced the Reformation , making the city a predominantly Protestant city for centuries. The Lutheran creed was predominant , but the ruler and court had belonged to the Reformed Church since 1613 . From 1723 there was a French Reformed congregation, which received the French Church in 1753 .

In 1817 the two Protestant denominations within Prussia were united to form the Evangelical Church in Prussia ( "uniert" ). The Lutheran congregation and the Reformed congregation at Potsdam's garrison church made the start. The head ( summus episcopus ) was the King of Prussia as the sovereign church regiment . After further name changes in 1846 and 1875, the regional church called itself from 1922 the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union , whose church province in Brandenburg became independent in 1947 as the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg . In 2004 this church merged with the Evangelical Church of Silesian Upper Lusatia , which had also emerged from an old Prussian church province, to form the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia . The Protestant parishes of Potsdam belong to the Potsdam church district , whose seat (superintendent) is also in Potsdam. Since January 1, 2010 there has been the Sprengel Potsdam - renamed from the previous Sprengel Neuruppin - which encompasses the north-western area of ​​the regional church and - like the Sprengel Neuruppin - has its seat in the state capital. General Superintendent Heilgard Asmus has been at the helm since 2010 .

As a reaction to the unification of the Lutheran and Reformed churches to form the United Church , the original Lutheran Church in Prussia continued in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Prussia , which, however, was only able to be constituted in 1841 after a long period of persecution by the Uniate Evangelical Church and the Prussian state. This parish belongs to the Berlin-Brandenburg church district of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church .

In addition to the regional church parishes, there are several free churches, such as the Moravian Brethren .

Since Potsdam was a garrison town, there were numerous Catholic soldiers. In 1868 the Catholic Church of St. Peter and Paul was built . In 1821 the prince-bishop's delegation for Brandenburg and Pomerania was established. In 1930 the diocese of Berlin was established as a suffragan diocese of Breslau . After the Second World War, the territory of the ecclesiastical province of Breslau was separated and thus exempted , it was directly under the Pope . In the course of the reunification of the two German states, the Diocese of Berlin was elevated to the Archdiocese of Berlin in 1994 , to which the two parishes of Potsdam belong.

Russian Orthodox
Alexander Nevsky Memorial Church

The Russian Orthodox parish was established in Potsdam after 1716 through donations by Russian giants from Peter the Great to Friedrich Wilhelm I for his favorite regiment, the “ Tall Guys ”. In 1734 the king had the northern end of the Long Stable inaugurated as a garrison church without a tower for the now 300 parishioners. It existed, merging further and further, until 1809. In 1755, Friedrich II had the church building, which was no longer used, converted into a "comedy house". With the establishment of the Russian colony Alexandrowka in Potsdam, a new Russian Orthodox community was founded around the Alexander Nevsky Memorial Church . It belongs to the Berlin diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate and comprises around 1,000 believers.

The proportion of Christians decreased considerably during the time of the GDR (see: Christians and Churches in the GDR ). In 2014 more than 30,000 Christians of various denominations lived in Potsdam, which corresponds to 20 percent of the population. Of these, around 25,000 belong to the city's 22 Protestant and around 5,000 to the two Catholic communities in the city. The various free church communities together also number several thousand believers.


There are two Jewish communities in Potsdam . One belongs to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and in the 2010s had about 400 members. The second community is independent of the Central Council and is called the community of law abiding Jews . Potsdam is also the seat of the liberal Abraham Geiger College , the only rabbinical seminary in post-war Germany to date . The Old Synagogue in Potsdam was looted during the November pogroms in 1938 . The building was finally destroyed by bombing during World War II. Since then there has not been a synagogue in the city. As part of the redesign of Potsdamer Mitte, it was decided in 2018 to rebuild a synagogue in Schloßstraße .

Other denominations

Current numbers of Muslims , Buddhists or members of other creeds living in Potsdam are not available. A Muslim community has existed since 1998. Historically, Prussia has been tolerant in religious matters. The Prussian King Frederick the Great declared in 1740: “All religions are the same and guht, if the people, if they profess [publicly profess], are genuine people, and if Turks and pagans comb and wolf the country, so they want wier build Mosqueen and churches. "Although Friedrich later built mosques, but his father Frederick William I in the year 1739 a room of the Military orphanage as a prayer hall for 22 Muslim" Lange guys "and thus the first mosque on German soil set to let.


Administrative history

At the head of the city was a consul since 1345 and a mayor from 1450 . A city ​​council can be proven from 1465. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the council had four to five members, including the mayor. Later, the respective sovereign had a strong influence on the city administration. From 1722 there was a magistrate for the old town and the new town , headed by a city ​​director . In 1809 Potsdam became an independent city with a lord mayor at the head and a city ​​council as an elected body.

During the time of National Socialism this was dissolved and the mayor was appointed by the NSDAP .

After the end of the Second World War , the Soviet occupying power re-established the city council with a mayor in 1945. The council was determined by a unified list of the National Front in unfree elections.

After German reunification in 1990 Potsdam location different was the country - and federal authorities, including the Directorate III of the General Customs Directorate , the federal police headquarters and a branch office of the Federal Court , as well as numerous public bodies .

City of Potsdam

Potsdam town house, town hall

Potsdam has been an independent city in the state of Brandenburg since 1990 . The Potsdam city administration is based in the town hall on Friedrich-Ebert-Straße . The city of Potsdam officially appears under the name "State Capital Potsdam".

The mayor is elected every eight years, the city ​​council every five years in local elections. Mike Schubert (SPD) has been Lord Mayor of Potsdam since November 28, 2018 .

In 2014, the city's municipal debt was among the lowest in Germany.

badges and flags

DEU Potsdam COA.svg

Potsdam city coat of arms since 1994.

Description of the coat of arms : In gold, a left-looking, black-armored, gold-roughened red eagle. The upper edge of the shield is adorned with a vaulted five-pinned red wall crown.

Flag of Potsdam

The flag of the city of Potsdam is "two-stripe red and yellow with the coat of arms in the middle".

Reason: Potsdam's coat of arms shows a stylized variant of the Märkischer Adler on a golden shield. Today's coat of arms is based on a design by the director of the Berlin University of Applied Sciences for Advertising and Design with a branch in Potsdam, Werner Nerlich, from 1957. The Märkische Adler and the coat of arms date from the 12th century. The eagle first appeared in the statue of the Askanier Otto I from 1170, the son of Albrecht the Bear . The oldest surviving depiction of the eagle as Potsdam's heraldic animal dates from 1450 on a city seal. Since 1660, Potsdam, as a residential city, has been allowed to display the red Brandenburg eagle, previously depicted on a silver background, on a gold background. Today's color scheme is known from 1753. The symbol of the Märkischer Adler is widespread. It is part of many community and city coats of arms in the area of ​​the former Mark Brandenburg .

Town twinning

Due to its past, Potsdam is an international city, which is also reflected in the variety of city ​​partnerships . Similarities in history, architecture or significance to the twin cities can always be discovered. Even at that time, the partnership with what was then the West German capital, Bonn, had been remarkable since 1988, even during the time of German division. Potsdam maintains partnerships with the following cities:

PolandPoland Opole Poland since 1973
FranceFrance Bobigny France since 1974
FinlandFinland Jyväskylä Finland since 1985
GermanyGermany Bonn North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany since 1988
ItalyItaly Perugia Italy since 1990
United StatesUnited States Sioux Falls South Dakota , United States since 1990
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Lucerne Switzerland since 2002
FranceFrance Versailles France since 2016
TanzaniaTanzania Zanzibar Tanzania since 2017

Communal issues

The design of the cityscape, especially the reconstruction of the historical center, has been discussed in many layers since 1990. After 2014 there was controversy about the future use of the Lustgarten area and the demolition of various buildings in the city area.

The introduction of an environmental zone was discussed after 2010 to ensure compliance with limit values ​​for fine dust emissions . Since, in the opinion of the city administration, this would lead to higher overall emissions because of the associated diversion traffic, the EU environmental authority was asked to postpone it until 2015. The environmentally-oriented traffic control introduced in 2012 is intended to avoid exceeding limit values ​​for nitrogen dioxide and fine dust.

One of the economic and building policy problems facing the city of Potsdam is the declining number of building permits issued by the city administration despite the increasing demand for housing (as of 2018). In addition, the municipal utilities are struggling with recruiting problems in certain areas.

country Brandenburg

Brandenburg State Chancellery

Potsdam is the capital of the state of Brandenburg . The state parliament of Brandenburg has its seat in the city. The state government and the Prime Minister of Brandenburg are housed in the Brandenburg State Chancellery and have moved into their location at Heinrich-Mann-Allee 107. Numerous ministries are distributed throughout the city. The constitutional court of the state of Brandenburg is located at Jägerallee 9-12.

The Brandenburg parliament had its seat since the re-establishment of the country in 1990 in the building of the former royal military school on the Brauhausberg. Since the building no longer met the requirements of a modern parliament, the state parliament decided to build a new building on the site of the former city ​​palace on the Alter Markt . After the moderator Günther Jauch had set the first sign in 2002 with the new construction of the Fortunaportal , the city council decided in 2005 to rebuild. Since 2010, the city palace has largely been rebuilt with the original facade by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff , which the billionaire and SAP founder Hasso Plattner donated. In 2014 the state parliament was officially opened with the new building with a modern interior.

Security agencies

Service coat of arms of the command and control command of the Bundeswehr

Potsdam has had an eventful past as a location for military facilities since the end of the 17th century. The respective commanders were numerous: from the Prussian to the imperial army , Reichswehr , Wehrmacht , Red Army to the NVA and now to the Bundeswehr .

As the second residence of the Prussian kings (next to Berlin), the city was expanded into a garrison town by the soldier king and the soldiers were mainly quartered in town houses. At times, soldiers made up almost half of Potsdam's residents. Military installations dominated for a long time the urban landscape and the structure of the population, so that Alexander von Humboldt the city as "bleak 1854 barracks town called". The Lange Kerls , the Prussian guard soldiers with above-average body size, the 1st Guard Regiment on foot and the Infantry Regiment 9 , from the latter, many accomplices in the assassination attempt of July 20, 1944 were recruited.

Potsdam is the seat of the Federal Police Headquarters (police officers of the Federal Police)

In 1945 the Red Army - and later the National People's Army - took over the majority of the barracks. Until 1991, Potsdam was also the location of the 34th Artillery Division of the Soviet Army Group in Germany . After German reunification, an army of the previous size was no longer necessary. The numerous, for the most part historically and architecturally significant, barracks and military facilities have since been given new uses.

Since 2001 the command and control command of the German armed forces has had its headquarters directly at the wildlife park in front of the city limits in Geltow . Around 500 general staff officers are employed there.

The Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr (ZMSBw) has been located in the Villa Ingenheim on the banks of the Havel in Zeppelinstrasse since 2013 . Military historical research on German history is carried out here; the ZMSBw has around 120 employees. The Military History Museum of the Bundeswehr in Dresden is also subordinate to the ZMSBw .

The Federal Police Headquarters has been based in Potsdam since 2008 . The higher federal authority is directly subordinate to the Federal Ministry of the Interior and exercises the official and technical supervision of the federal police.


Key figures

In 2016, Potsdam generated a gross domestic product (GDP) of 6.671 billion euros in its urban area and thus ranked 54th in the ranking of German cities according to economic output and thus has a share of 10% in Brandenburg's economic output. In the same year, GDP was 39,293 euros per capita (Brandenburg: 26,887 euros, Germany 38,180 euros) and thus above the regional and national average. For each employed person it was 60,422 euros, the number of which was around 110,400. Due to the proximity to Berlin, the economy is developing very dynamically. In 2016, the city's GDP grew nominally by 3.1%, in the previous year the growth was 4.7%. Potsdam is part of the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region, which has a GDP of more than 180 billion euros.

Around 81,500 Potsdam residents had a job subject to social security contributions in the same year, around 1200 more than in the previous year. The unemployment rate in December 2018 was 5.6% and thus below the Brandenburg average of 5.9%. Average disposable income and real business tax revenues have been rising steadily since 2000.

Location and quality of life

The positive development of Potsdam since 1990 can u. a. can be traced back to the location as a cultural, service and research center, which made it possible to adapt to the requirements of a modern market economy with higher educational levels. The business location is one of 15 regional growth centers in the state of Brandenburg and is therefore specifically promoted. In addition, the geographical location in the metropolitan area of ​​Berlin is attractive for companies to settle in. The connection to infrastructures such as the motorway, train routes and airports is constantly being expanded.

In the Future Atlas 2016, the independent city of Potsdam was ranked 85th out of 402 districts, municipal associations and independent cities in Germany, making it one of the places with “high future prospects” and first place within Brandenburg. In a study by ZDF on the quality of life in 401 German rural districts and urban districts, Potsdam took fourth place in 2018.

Technology and commerce

The former Garde-Ulanen-Kaserne , seat of the Deutsche Kreditbank AG

In 2016, more than 13,000 businesses were registered in Potsdam, which corresponds to an increase of almost 380 compared to 2015. Research-related companies have settled in and around Potsdam due to the large number of research institutes. The Potsdam region is one of the leading biotech locations in Germany. It can point to a positive development and with a total of 160 companies and 3,200 direct employees is one of the most important biotechnology locations in Germany. In total, the industry and its affiliated organizations employ around 12,000 people in the region.

One of the larger private individual investors of the past is Oracle , which opened a branch in Potsdam in 2001. Right next to it, one of three VW design centers worldwide was built. The Toll Collect consortium has a location in Potsdam. In 2006, the Katjes company set up a “glass candy factory” at the Babelsberg production site. In the 2020s, an important location for the digital economy across Europe is to be developed in Potsdam's southern inner city .

The largest employers in Potsdam in 2018 include a. the University of Potsdam , the City of Potsdam, the Stadtwerke Potsdam , the AOK Nordost , the Mittelbrandenburgische Sparkasse , the State of Brandenburg and the Investment Bank of the State of Brandenburg . One of the main listed companies based in Potsdam is the real estate company Deutsche Industrie REIT AG.

Film and media

Studio Babelsberg , one of the most modern film studios in the world

The Babelsberg Film Studio in Babelsberg , founded in 1911, is the oldest large-format film studio in the world and at the same time the largest film studio in Europe in terms of area. It is best known for its legendary early films like Metropolis and The Blue Angel . The Babelsberg film studio is one of the leading international centers for film and television productions.

The entertainment programs regularly recorded in Potsdam include the television series Gute Zeiten, Bad Zeiten (as of 2019).

Headquarters of the UFA

The UFA , a subsidiary of the media group international Bertelsmann , one of the currently most actively traded German companies in the field of telecine and TV productions and is based in Potsdam. The Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg , a film funding company for the states of Berlin and Brandenburg, is also based in the city.

In Potsdam the daily newspaper Potsdamer Neuesten Nachrichten , the Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung with the Potsdam regional section and the regional edition of the Tagesspiegel appear .

The Berlin-Brandenburg radio broadcasts from Potsdam-Babelsberg. The radio stations Antenne Brandenburg , Radio Fritz and Radio Eins as well as the television programs Brandenburg aktuell and zibb are produced there. In Potsdam there is also the local television station PotsdamTV as well as the local radio station 89.2 Radio Potsdam and the children's station Radio Teddy .

The events magazine has been published monthly since 1997 and contains events and gastronomic tips. The monthly family magazine PotsKids has been around since 2004 ! , since 2010 the monthly magazine friedrich .


Metropolis-Halle , multifunctional hall of the Babelsberg film park

Tourism is of great importance for Potsdam. The number of visitors has been increasing continuously since the 1990s.

In 2016, more than 400,000 visitors stayed in the city over a million times. In 2018 there were 58 hotels and guest houses with around 5900 beds in Potsdam.

The Babelsberg media city is home to the Babelsberg Film Park, a theme park that brings visitors closer to the world of film with a studio tour of the site, as well as exhibitions, stunt shows, backdrops and props from numerous well-known productions. The Filmpark recorded 330,000 paying visitors in 2016. With around 330,000 visitors annually, Park Sanssouci is the second major attraction in Potsdam.

Potsdam has also developed into a popular location for meetings, congresses and wedding celebrations.


The IHK Potsdam is headquartered in Potsdam and represented a total of 77,738 member companies in West Brandenburg in 2018. The Potsdam Chamber of Crafts represents the interests of 17,399 craft businesses (as of 2017) in the Potsdam Chamber District.


After predominantly existing buildings in Potsdam had been renovated since the 1990s, the integrated guiding building concept has been in effect since 2010 , according to which the city is to get back its former, classicist city center in many places through rebuilding projects. Thus, on the Old Market , the city palace as the seat of the Brandenburg state parliament re-established, as well as to the Barberini Palace as a museum Barberini . In 2017 the reconstruction of the garrison church began. In the long term, the city ​​canal should also be exposed again. The urban development areas on Bornstedter Feld and in the Speicherstadt are under construction (status: 2018). In the Krampnitz district , carbon dioxide-neutral housing developments for 7,000 inhabitants are to be built in the 2020s. In 2018 there were 20,737 residential buildings in Potsdam. The number of apartments in the city in the same year was 90,111 (+1,581 compared to the previous year).

For the local implementation of the UN Convention on “the Rights of the Child”, the city has been bearing the UNICEF seal of child-friendly communities since 2017 .

Road traffic

Potsdam is connected to the federal motorway network in the west and south by the Berliner Ring of the A 10 with the Potsdam motorway triangle and in the east by the A 115 (also known as AVUS in the Berlin urban area ) .

Several federal highways run through the city area, such as the B 1 , B 2 and B 273 . The city is on the German-Dutch holiday route Oranier Route .

The state road L 40, which connects Potsdam with the federal highways B 101 , B 96 and B 179 , opens up the southern Berlin area via Stahnsdorf , Teltow , Mahlow , Schönefeld to Berlin ( Treptow-Köpenick ) and is called Nuthe-Schnellstraße in the Potsdam urban area .

Motorization in Potsdam 2010 2014 2017
Registered cars (as of January 1st) 63,356 67,631 71,937
Commercial cars (as of January 1st) 6,066 6,873 7,794

The density of private cars in the city was 376 cars per 1000 inhabitants in 2014, below the Brandenburg average of 510 cars. A total of 82,830 motor vehicles were registered in Potsdam in 2017 (+10,306 compared to 2010).

Bicycle traffic

The city has been pursuing a cycling concept since 2008 that is constantly being renewed. In 2014, around ten percent of all trips in Potsdam were made by bicycle. 177 km of bike lanes or cycle paths are available within the city (as of 2016). There is a parking garage for bicycles at the main train station.

Potsdam is connected to a number of long-distance cycle routes , including the R1 European cycle path (runs from France to Russia), the Amsterdam-Berlin long-distance cycle path, the Havel cycle path (runs from the source to the mouth), and the Berlin Wall cycle path (runs along the former Berlin Wall once around what was then West Berlin ), the Alter Fritz cycle path (round trip to the sights of the city) and the F1 Havelsee tour.

Local transport and local buses

ViP tram

The public transport (public transport) operate in addition to the S-Bahn several tram and city bus lines of Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam GmbH (ViP). The Havelbus Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH operates more than 200 regional buses from Potsdam to the Potsdam-Mittelmark district , the Havelland district and, together with the VG Teltow-Fläming, to the Teltow-Fläming district . A ferry connects Hermannswerder with the residential areas on the north-western bank of the Havel. All lines can be used at uniform prices within the Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB).

From Berlin, Potsdam can be reached with the BVG bus line 118 . At night, Potsdam can be reached from Berlin 's Nikolassee S-Bahn station with the N16 bus.

The main station is the hub of all bus and train lines.

Rail transport

Several railway lines run through the urban area. The connections between Potsdam and Berlin are the routes most frequented by commuters in the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region.

Central station with S-Bahn and regional trains

The Berlin-Potsdam Railway (Stammbahn) was the first railway line in Prussia. It created a connection between Berlin and Potsdam via Zehlendorf . In 1845 the route was continued to Magdeburg . In the Potsdam area there are five train stations and stops on this route and the parallel S-Bahn route: Griebnitzsee , Babelsberg , Potsdam Hauptbahnhof , Charlottenhof and Park Sanssouci .

The Berlin-Blankenheimer Railway (Wetzlarer Bahn) , which opened in 1879, touches the city area in the east with the Potsdam Medienstadt Babelsberg station and the Potsdam-Rehbrücke station on the Potsdam city limits. The important Seddin marshalling yard south of Potsdam is also on this route . Its easternmost section leads straight through the Grunewald and has a connection to the Berlin light rail via the Berlin-Charlottenburg train station . After the main line between Berlin-Zehlendorf and Griebnitzsee was interrupted in 1945 , all regional and long-distance traffic between Berlin and Potsdam runs on the Stadtbahn.

The Wannseebahn was laid out in 1874 as a suburban line, on the section between the Berlin-Wannsee train station and today's city limits, the long-distance line of the Berlin-Blankenheimer Railway runs parallel. In 1891 the suburban tracks of the Wannseebahn were completely separated from the long-distance tracks. Since 1902 Potsdam has been accessible via suburban tracks on the Grunewald route with direct suburban trains from the Berlin Stadtbahn . In 1928, the electric S-Bahn was started on the suburban tracks.

Potsdam (Potsdam & Spandau)
Pirschheide 1960/93 main station
1960/93 main station
Deer Bridge
Deer Bridge
media City
media City
red = railway lines from and to Berlin
purple = Berlin outer ring
green = only S-Bahn
gray purple = only freight traffic
brown = disused main line

The Jüterbog – Nauen railway as part of the bypass line went into operation in the Potsdam area between 1902 and 1908. The line crossed the railway line to Magdeburg in the Park Sanssouci station (formerly: Wildpark ). Their section north of the Golm train station merged into the Berlin outer ring . After 1945 a connecting curve was created that made direct journeys from the south to Potsdam Stadt train station (since 1999 Potsdam Hauptbahnhof) possible. The section between Potsdam and the junction with the Berlin-Blankenheimer railway near Seddin was expanded to become the main line , over which transit trains even ran from southern Germany to west Berlin at times .

The Berlin outer ring with its dam through the Templiner See was opened in 1956. Here is the (closed in 1999) upper part of the temporary (1960–1993) Potsdam Central Station (since 1993: Potsdam Pirschheide). Other stations on the outer ring in Potsdam are the Golm train station and the Marquardt stop. The connection of Potsdam to long-distance rail traffic has been severely limited since most long-distance trains have been on the high-speed line Hanover-Berlin since the mid-2000s .

Regional express and regional train lines run from the city in the following directions:


Steamer Gustav in the "New Voyage"

Potsdam is affected by the Lower Havel waterway . It is the most important east-west connection for inland shipping between the Oder , Berlin and the Elbe . Freight shipping uses the Sacrow-Paretz Canal . The port at the Long Bridge in Potsdam is used by the ships of the company Weisse Flotte Potsdam and guest boaters from shipping companies from Germany and other European countries. In the season there is a daily scheduled service from the port at the Long Bridge to Wannsee , Spandau- Lindenufer and the Greenwich promenade on Lake Tegel . as well as in the direction of Caputh , Ferch and Werder . In the Alte Fahrt der Havel on the Freundsinsel there are jetties for private water sports.

Air traffic

Potsdam is connected to international air traffic via Berlin-Tegel Airport, around 25 kilometers away, and Schönefeld Airport, around 40 kilometers away .


Main location of the University of Potsdam, with the Communs at the New Palais


Potsdam is an internationally renowned university city with three public universities. In total, more than 25,000 students were registered in the universities in the 2018/19 winter semester. Almost a third of the population has a university degree or a technical college degree , the proportion of university graduates is 17 percent and thus exceeds the national average of 9 percent.

The University of Potsdam was founded in 1991 as the University of the State of Brandenburg. Predecessor institutions were the Brandenburg State University and the University of Law and Administration Potsdam-Babelsberg. The university is spread over the three main locations Am Neuen Palais , Golm and Griebnitzsee and has a total of over 20,000 students. At the private Hasso Plattner Institute for Software System Technology, you can acquire a bachelor's or master's degree in IT systems engineering. These degrees are also awarded by the University of Potsdam.

The Film University Babelsberg , Germany's only media academy with university rank

The Film University Babelsberg is the oldest and largest media university in Germany and has been a university since 2014. It was founded in 1954 as the German Academy for Film Art and since 1985 has been called the University of Film and Television "Konrad Wolf". The university campus is located on the premises of the Babelsberg film studio and is currently visited by around 800 students. The annual Sehsuchter , an international student film festival , is organized at the university . The EMS Electronic Media School trains journalists.

The Potsdam University of Applied Sciences is a young university that was founded in 1991 by the state of Brandenburg. It is attended by over 3500 students.

In addition to the state universities, the city has also had the privately run University of Applied Sciences for Sport and Management Potsdam and the church and private University of Applied Sciences Clara Hoffbauer Potsdam since 2009 .


Science Park Potsdam-Golm ( AEI )

The city of Potsdam has developed into a research location since the middle of the 19th century. In no German city are there more research institutions per inhabitant than in Potsdam. The scientific potential extends to more than 30 research institutions in the fields of spirit and society, geosciences and the environment, biology and life, and physics and chemistry, including three Max Planck Institutes and two Fraunhofer Institutes . Many of the institutes are affiliated with the University of Potsdam.

The research institutes include the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research , the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research , the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces , the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology , the Max -Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), the Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam , the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics , the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies , the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research , the German Institute for Nutritional Research in Bergholz- Rehbrücke (part of the municipality of Nuthetal ) and the center for contemporary historical research on the Neuer Markt. The city of Potsdam is also a “corporate sponsoring member” of the Max Planck Society.


World heritage

Sanssouci Palace in the Rococo style with vineyard terraces

As early as 1990, the Potsdam palaces and parks were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the joint application of both German states . Since then, the parks Sanssouci , Neuer Garten , Babelsberg , Glienicke and the Pfaueninsel with their castles and, since 1992, the Sacrow Palace and Park with the Heilandskirche have been part of the world cultural heritage. In 1999, the Potsdam World Heritage was expanded by 14 monument areas, including Lindstedt Palace and Park , the Russian colony Alexandrowka , the Belvedere on the Pfingstberg , the Kaiserbahnhof and the observatory at Babelsberg Park . The world heritage extends to around 500  hectares of parks with 150 buildings from the period from 1730 to 1916. The Berlin-Potsdam cultural landscape is thus the largest of the German world heritage sites.

The ensemble meets the requirements of the UNESCO criteria I, II and IV. It is first and foremost a unique artistic achievement, a masterpiece of the creative spirit (I). It has had a significant impact on the development of architecture, town planning and landscaping (II). It is also an outstanding example of architectural ensembles or a landscape that represent significant periods in human history (IV).

Castles and Gardens

Side article: Architecture of Potsdam under Friedrich Wilhelm IV.

Baroque Neues Palais , the largest palace in Potsdam

Potsdam is best known as the city of palaces and gardens. The Berlin-Potsdam cultural landscape includes almost 20 castles or palaces. The most prominent sight and landmark of the city is the Sanssouci Palace with its parks. According to his own sketches, the Prussian King Frederick the Great had a small summer palace built in the Rococo style between 1745 and 1747 . The location of the summer residence in the southwest of the residential city of Berlin is reminiscent of the function of Versailles in relation to Paris.

The New Palace is the largest palace in the city of Potsdam. It is located at the western end of the Sanssouci Park. Construction began in 1763 after the end of the Seven Years' War by Frederick the Great and was completed in 1769. It is considered to be the last significant palace complex of the Prussian Baroque . Friedrich planned it solely for representational purposes. Over 200 rooms, four ballrooms and a rococo theater were available. Over 400 statues from the ancient world of gods decorate the facade and the roof balustrade. Because of its size and rich decorations, Friedrich called the complex a "fanfaronnade", which means something like boasting or showing off.

Orangery palace in the style of the Italian Renaissance

The Orangery Palace on the ridge between Klausberg and Sanssouci Palace was built between 1851 and 1864 by the "Romantic on the Throne", Friedrich Wilhelm IV. The construction of the Orangery Palace was linked to the planning of a triumphal street. At the triumphal the boulevard should begin at the Belvedere on the Klausberg end. Differences in height should be compensated by viaducts. However, because of the political unrest of the March Revolution and the lack of financial resources, the gigantic project was never completed. The Orangery Palace was built with a front length of 300 meters in the style of the Italian Renaissance , based on the architectural model of the Villa Medici in Rome and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Marble palace in the style of early classicism in the New Garden

In the Potsdam New Garden , close to the shore of the Holy See, Friedrich Wilhelm II had the Marble Palace built between 1787 and 1792 . The architects Carl von Gontard and from 1789 Carl Gotthard Langhans created a castle building in the style of early classicism . The red brick marble palace is a two-story building with a square floor plan. Because of the beautiful view, a round temple was placed on the flat roof of the cubic structure. One of the eye-catchers is the white castle on Pfaueninsel .

The Italian-looking Belvedere Palace on the Pfingstberg in the north of Potsdam is also an important part of the Potsdam palace landscape. Built between 1847 and 1863 according to plans by Friedrich Wilhelm IV , it offers a view from a height of 100 meters over the cultural landscape surrounding Potsdam up to the Berlin television tower. The Belvedere on Pfingstberg has only been open to visitors in its original form since 2005: At the time of the division of Germany, it was closed due to its location near the KGB headquarters at the foot of the Pfingstberg and fell into disrepair. Only the later founders of the Förderverein Pfingstberg in Potsdam e. V. made sure from 1987 with their tireless commitment that it could be restored.

In addition to the palaces, Potsdam has seven park landscapes. The most famous garden is the Sanssouci Park . At the instruction of Frederick the Great, the desert mountain was cultivated in 1744 by the creation of vineyards. Due to the expansion to the west, a dead straight 2.5 km long main avenue was formed up to the New Palais. The sights in Sanssouci Park are numerous. In addition to castle buildings, pavilions, temples and sculptures, there is also the botanical garden on the area, as well as the historic mill , around which a legend spans.

Belvedere on the Klausberg , north of the Sanssouci Park

The New Garden was built from 1787 onwards. In keeping with the spirit of the times, it was supposed to reproduce a modern garden architecture and stand out from the shapes of the Baroque Sanssouci Park. Modeled on nature, the design emphasized the landscape character. The trees and plants should appear naturally uncut in free form. The most famous buildings are the Cecilienhof Palace and the Marble Palace, but also a small pyramid, a sphinx at the Egyptian portal of the orangery and an obelisk can be discovered.

View from the Babelsberg Park to the Great Curiosity in Berlin

Peter Joseph Lenné and Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau designed the Babelsberg Park . The hilly terrain sloping towards the Havel was converted into a park landscape in 1833. In addition to the two castles in the park, the 46-meter-high Flatow Tower offers a view of the city. The park experienced its deepest break with the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The border area was not allowed to be entered and overgrown, it is cultivated and accessible again. There is a student dormitory of the University of Potsdam in the park.

The Stern Jagdschloss was built from 1730 to 1732 under the soldier king Friedrich Wilhelm I, who was an enthusiastic hunter, especially a passionate supporter of par force hunting. These were hunts in which the mounted hunters tracked down the game with a large pack of dogs and rather chased it to death before it was shot. For this purpose, the soldier king had a huge hunting area - the Parforceheide - enclosed at the gates of Potsdam, which was criss-crossed with 16 aisles, all of which intersected at an intersection. On the resulting star of the road, he had Dutch builders build a small hunting lodge in the style of Dutch exposed brick houses. At the same time, the first experience was gained for the later construction of the Dutch Quarter. Incidentally, it was the soldier king's only palace in Potsdam.

The Friendship Island is located in the center of the city. The island got its name around 150 years ago from an inn located there. At the suggestion of Karl Foerster , the Karl Foerster Garden was created here in 1938–1940 , the first show and viewing garden for hardy flowering perennials, ferns and grasses. The oldest garden in the city of Potsdam is the Lustgarten , which the Great Elector had laid out in front of the former city palace in 1660. As part of the 2001 Federal Horticultural Show, it was restored in a modern form. The Potsdam Wildlife Park is known as "Lenné's forgotten garden". It was established in 1843 and is over 875 hectares in size. It can be reached via the Potsdam Park Sanssouci train station, known for the Kaiserbahnhof. The Volkspark Potsdam is the newest park in the city. It was laid out for the 2001 Federal Horticultural Show on a former military site in Potsdam-Bornstedt. The biosphere established there is a tropical hall with around 20,000 plants.

Quarters and squares

Since its expansion as a residential city, Potsdam has been a European city. This is also reflected in the culture and architecture. In addition to numerous architectural styles from different epochs, there are also residential houses based on the Dutch and Russian style, which were built for former settlers. Exotic buildings like the Chinese house from the 18th century or the Swiss houses in Klein Glienicke from the 19th century corresponded to the zeitgeist . The Kongsnæs sailor station was built in the Norwegian style (largely destroyed in 1945) and the Cecilienhof Palace in the New Garden in the English country house style . Although the city has a history of over a thousand years, no buildings from the Middle Ages have survived. With their ambitious building projects, the respective regents showed their preference for culture and technical performance.

Gabled houses in the Dutch Quarter

In order to attract Dutch craftsmen to Potsdam, the soldier king Friedrich Wilhelm I had the Dutch Quarter built between 1733 and 1740 . The master builder Jan Boumann , who was one of the first settlers , was given the management. The centrally located and self-contained quarter consists of 134 houses made of red brick, which are divided into four blocks by two streets. The quarter is bordered by the Nauener Tor and the Peter and Paul Church .

Russian colony Alexandrowka

In the north of the city, the Russian colony Alexandrowka was established in 1826/1827 for the last twelve Russian singers in a choir. Peter Joseph Lenné gave the complex the shape of a hippodrome with an inlaid St. Andrew's cross . Due to the family and friendly relations between the Hohenzollern and Romanow houses , the colony was named as a memorial to the memory of Tsar Alexander I , who died in 1825 . The settlement consists of a total of thirteen half-timbered houses. The outer walls of the free-standing one- and two-story gabled houses are clad with semicircular tree trunks and are reminiscent of Russian log houses. The Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Memorial Church, built for the colonists, is nearby on Kapellenberg. Directly opposite, in the Volkspark, is one of the last Lenin monuments in Germany.

The weavers' quarter of Nowawes in today's Babelsberg with the Friedrichskirche in its center was built by Frederick the Great in 1751 for Bohemian Protestants. Frederick II granted the religious refugees freedom from taxes and religion. The mostly five-axis weaver houses were each inhabited by two families. The king gave instructions to plant nut trees to use the wood for the production of guns. From 1780, the forest administration planted mulberry trees for silkworm breeding.

The old market is the historical center of the city. The buildings of the city ​​palace with stables and pleasure garden , the Nikolaikirche , the old town hall and the Barberini palace were once built here. A striking hotel tower was also built here during the GDR era. During this time, the destroyed city palace left a large gap in the city, which could be closed again through its reconstruction, the rebuilt Barberini Palace and the newly built Humboldt Quarter . A new petition linden tree is also back in the middle of this ensemble.

The New Market from the 17th and 18th centuries is one of the best preserved baroque squares in Europe. Jan Boumann set up the council scales in its midst. In the southwest of the square is the former coach stable, in which the House of Brandenburg-Prussian History is located. The Kabinetthaus at Neuer Markt 1 was a city palace. In it the later King Friedrich Wilhelm III. and Wilhelm von Humboldt born. There are a number of cultural and scientific institutions in the buildings on the Neuer Markt. The new market is hidden behind rows of houses.

The Luisenplatz connects the pedestrian area of the Brandenburg Road with the avenue to the entrance of the park Sanssouci on Green Grid . In the middle of the 19th century, the Luisenplatz was landscaped by Peter Joseph Lenné and provided with a fountain basin with a fountain in the middle. In the 1930s, the garden gave way to a conversion to a parking lot and the associated paving. The small Brandenburg Gate has stood between Luisenplatz and Brandenburger Straße since 1770 , a few meters east of it the music box sculpture by Gottfried Höfer .

City gates

As a garrison town, Potsdam had a city ​​wall , which, however, did not serve as a fortification, but rather was primarily intended to prevent the desertion of soldiers and the smuggling of goods. The city wall connected the city ​​gates , three of which are still preserved: the Brandenburg Gate , the Nauen Gate and the Jägertor . The limit of the so-called Accise- and Desertations-Communikation was only in 1718 under Frederick William I built. Only a few remains of the city walls have survived. Three city gates are no longer preserved. The Teltower Tor stood on the southeast side of the Long Bridge . The former Berliner Tor was almost completely destroyed in 1945, only one side wall remained. Only a single obelisk has survived from Neustädter Tor .

The Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam

The Brandenburg Gate, not to be confused with the Berlin landmark of the same name, was built in 1770. After the end of the Seven Years' War , the original gate was demolished and replaced by a monumental new building as a symbol of victory. At the instruction of Frederick II, the Arch of Constantine in Rome served as a model . The gate has two builders and therefore two faces. Carl von Gontard designed the city side, his student Georg Christian Unger took over the field side.

The oldest preserved gate is the Jägertor . It was built in 1733 and was one of the exits to the north. It got its name after the electoral Jägerhof in front of the city. The architrave and crown are made of sandstone, while the rusticated pillars are made of plastered brickwork.

The much larger Nauen Gate dates from 1755 and was built on the direct order of Frederick II. It is unclear whether he wanted to create one of the first examples of neo-Gothic style originating from England on the European continent, or to remind of “his” Rheinsberg Castle . The square in front of the Nauener Tor is a meeting point for Potsdamers and their guests with many cafés, restaurants and bars. A tram line runs right through it.



The round table in Sanssouci . Friedrich listens to Voltaire
painting: Adolph von Menzel , 1850

From the time of the first settlement to the end of the Middle Ages , only a few cultural traces have been preserved. During excavations on the Old Market , the remains of a Slavic castle and fewer houses were found. Even after the German conquest, Potsdam remained a small town with local handicrafts and art. A cultural boom went hand in hand with the establishment of a second royal seat by the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm from the 17th century. The stables of the city ​​palace from 1669 are therefore one of the oldest preserved buildings .

The immigration of well-educated French Huguenots from 1685 promoted cultural development in Brandenburg and Prussia. A French quarter was built in the city of Potsdam. The French Church was preserved from this period .

Alongside Berlin, Potsdam developed into a cultural center in Prussia. Frederick the Great valued the ideas of the Enlightenment and promoted science and art. He was the first in Europe to end the censorship of non-political sections of the newspapers and stated that "gazettes should not be annoyed if they are interesting". The important Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire was invited to the court of Sanssouci at the request of the king in 1750 and stayed until 1757.

After 1945, Potsdam became a center of culture and science in the GDR , whose socialist state government wanted all citizens to have access to cultural and social life. According to the program, society should be brought up on the model of the USSR. In all areas of society, exploitation and the pursuit of profit should end. Historical buildings and traditions have been neglected.

After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the cultural life in Potsdam developed dynamically after initial hesitation. The proximity to the cultural metropolis of Berlin had an invigorating effect. The increasing interest in the city led to numerous reconstruction initiatives, which were also expressed through a pronounced patronage. In this way, the cultural landscape was able to develop steadily.


Film director Fritz Lang and cameraman Curt Courant (center) during the shooting, 1929

The Babelsberg film studio has been one of the most important film centers in Germany and around the world since the Weimar period . The UFA turned there documents the history of film such as Metropolis , The Blue Angel or the Feuerzangenbowle and the DEFA later films like The subject , Trace of Stones or The Legend of Paul and Paula . Since the late 20th century, the film studios have focused primarily on national and international cinema and television productions such as Sonnenallee or Die Fälscher and Homeland or Babylon Berlin .

Museums and collections

The Potsdam museums cover a wide variety of topics. The city has a variety of fine arts in the form of paintings and sculptures.

The incredulous Thomas von Caravaggio in the picture gallery

The main works can be viewed in castles or museums. The paintings are mainly distributed in the picture gallery . The picture gallery was built at the request of King Friedrich II between 1755 and 1764. It is located east of the Sanssouci Palace and is the oldest surviving free-standing princely museum building in Germany. The gallery room is magnificently designed with richly gilded ornamentation on the slightly vaulted ceiling. The focus of the exhibition is on paintings from the Baroque , Mannerism and Renaissance periods . Famous Italian and Flemish painters such as Peter Paul Rubens , Anthonis van Dyck , Antoine Watteau and Caravaggio are represented with their works.

Filmmuseum Potsdam in the old stables

In addition to the existing museum buildings, some new establishments have expanded the museum landscape in recent years. This includes the House of Brandenburg-Prussian History, which was founded in 2003. The Filmmuseum Potsdam, founded in 1981 in the Marstall on the Alter Markt, shows the development of film history with an emphasis on the location of the film studios in Babelsberg.

Other museums include the memorial to the attack on July 20, 1944 and the Lindenstrasse 54/55 memorial in the former remand prison of the GDR State Security (MfS) in the center of the city. A sculpture by Wieland Förster has been erected in the courtyard of the MfS remand prison, which has largely been preserved true to the original. The Jan Bouman House presents the history and architecture of the Dutch Quarter . The Mill Museum is located in the historic mill at Sanssouci Park , with an exhibition on mills and a practical illustration of the milling process. The memorial and meeting place in the former KGB prison in Potsdam documents the history of the KGB in the GDR.

Museum Barberini at the old market in the rebuilt Barberini Palace

The Museum Barberini , which opened in 2017 in the rebuilt Barberini Palace , is based on the art collection of the Hasso Plattner Funding Foundation and presents changing exhibitions with loans from international museums and private collections.

The Nowaweser Weberstube in the Weberviertel shows the changeful history of the Nowawes weaving colony in today's Babelsberg district. The S-Bahn Museum has been set up here in the former Griebnitzsee S-Bahn substation . The museum documents the previous development of the S-Bahn in East and West.

The Potsdam Museum - Forum for Art and History on the Alter Markt offers a permanent exhibition on the city's history as well as special exhibitions. It is located in the old town hall , which is connected to the Knobelsdorffhaus by a modern building.

The Potsdam Natural History Museum has compiled more than 220,000 objects on the animal world of Brandenburg. The museum is housed in the former Zauche estate . It was built in 1770 according to plans by Georg Christian Unger and belongs to an ensemble with the large military orphanage in the city center.

In the FLUXUS + museum in Schiffbauergasse, a museum for modern art , you can see works by Wolf Vostell , Emmett Williams , Christo and Niki de Saint Phalle, among others. The German Broadcasting Archive (DRA) is located on the rbb site in Babelsberg .

Theater and music

The Hans Otto Theater with its new main venue has also been located there since 2006 . The ensemble also plays in the historic rococo theater in the New Palais , which is one of the most beautiful preserved theater rooms from the 18th century. It occupies the two upper floors of the south wing.

There are several orchestras in Potsdam: the Potsdam Chamber Academy (consisting of the Ensemble Oriol and the Persius Ensemble), the Collegium musicum Potsdam, the New Chamber Orchestra Potsdam (as an ensemble of music at the Erlöserkirche), the Young Orchestra Potsdam and the Youth Symphony Orchestra . The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg is the only professional orchestra for film music in Germany. The Nikolaisaal was reopened as a concert and event venue in 2000; the Potsdam Chamber Academy is the house orchestra of the Nikolaisaal. The SG Fanfarenzug Potsdam e. V. is a fanfare orchestra from Brandenburg, which has become internationally known in the field of pure natural fanfare music due to its numerous awards. The fanfare parade regularly travels through Potsdam making music.

Scene and gastronomy

Wash house , Schiffbauergasse

Since the 1990s, the area around Schiffbauergasse in the Berlin suburb , where John B. Humphreys built paddle steamers in the 19th century , has developed into a popular cultural center in Potsdam. The Theater Ship Potsdam anchors in front of cultural institutions such as the fabrik Potsdam , the T-Werk , the Kunstraum Potsdam , the Schinkelhalle and the Waschhaus , where the deep sea narrows back to the Havel .

Well-known bands from Potsdam are u. a. The Ruffians , Subway to Sally or Krogmann . Musical festivals and parties take place in Lindenpark and Potsdam Pirschheide train station . In addition, various clubs and dance bars, such as the Laguna, have established themselves.

Since 2019, there have also been two restaurants in downtown Potsdam, each with one star in the Michelin Guide.

sport and freetime

The Olympiastützpunkt Potsdam is a cross-sport and transnational advisory and support facility for top and young athletes in connection with the sports school "Friedrich Ludwig Jahn" . The school bears the official title of Elite School of Sports , which was awarded to it in 2006 by the German Olympic Sports Confederation . The school and the Olympic base are located directly on the shore of the Templiner See , next to the Potsdam Rowing Society and the Brandenburg Swimming Center, which has also been the Federal Swimming Base of the German Olympic Sports Confederation since 2017 .

Sebastian Brendel from KC Potsdam, double Olympic champion from 2016

In football, the 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam is one of the most successful clubs in the women's Bundesliga . Between 2004 and 2012, the club was German champion six times and won the DFB Cup three times. In 2005 the UEFA Women's Cup was won in Potsdam. In 2010 Turbine became the first winner of the newly introduced UEFA Women's Champions League . The men's team of SV Babelsberg 03 and BSG Motor Babelsberg played both in the GDR league and the 2nd Bundesliga , the second highest division. In the 2018/19 season, the club will play in the Northeast Regional Football League .

The canoe club Potsdam is one of the most successful canoe racing clubs in the world and has already produced numerous Olympic and world champions. In addition, around 130 sports clubs with a total of almost 20,000 members are based in Potsdam. In volleyball, SC Potsdam plays in the women's first division, the handball club 1. VfL Potsdam in the third division. The water polo players of the OSC Potsdam play in the German Water Polo League , the 1st Bundesliga. The USV Potsdam was represented in the 1st Rugby Bundesliga for several seasons.

The Potsdam Royals are an American football team that has played in the highest German league since 2018. In judo, the UJKC Potsdam fights in the men's first division. The women became German team champions in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

The weightlifters of AC Potsdam compete in the 1st Bundesliga. In the triathlon , Triathlon Potsdam is represented by one team each in the 1st Bundesliga for both men and women .

Every year in April one of the few third marathons in Germany is held on a circuit with start and finish on the Glienicker Bridge , with the last 400 meters being completed in Berlin.

The most important sports facilities in the city are the Karl-Liebknecht-Stadion with a capacity of 10,787 seats, the home ground of SV Babelsberg 03 and the 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, the stadium at the airship port and the indoor swimming pool in the Blu-Bad .

Since 2008 there is the largest climbing forest in Brandenburg on the Telegrafenberg with the Potsdam Adventure Park . Climbers can venture up to twelve meters high on seven courses with 115 elements, including a 200-meter-long zip line .


The annual Potsdam Palace Night takes place in the various palaces and parks. It opens its gates in the evening and offers insights into the premises. Hundreds of artists perform in the park at the event.

In addition, the Potsdam International Film Festival and Sehs Bäumen , the largest international student film festival in Europe, are held annually . In the Dutch Quarter , the Sinterklaas Christmas market and the tulip festival take place according to Dutch tradition. In addition, numerous other events such as the Potsdamer Tanztage in May, the LIT: potsdam literature festival or the UNIDRAM theater festival have established themselves.

The M100 Sanssouci Colloquium is an annual international media meeting in the city's palaces and gardens. The Prix ​​Europa is one of the largest tri-media festivals in Europe and a competition for television, radio and online productions. The award ceremony has been taking place in Potsdam since 2018.


Builder and landscape artist

Karl Friedrich Schinkel , one of the most important builders in Prussia.
Carl Joseph Begas , Peter Joseph Lenné , approx. 1850, one of the most important landscape architects of the 19th century.

Georg Wenceslaus von Knobelsdorff was as an architect influenced by the French Baroque - Classicism . With his buildings he created the basis for the Frederician Rococo . Among other things, he designed the Sanssouci Palace and the City Palace. Karl Friedrich Schinkel is one of the outstanding architects of classicist architecture of the 19th century. His first realized design is the Pomona temple on the Pfingstberg. His most important works in Potsdam are the Charlottenhof Palace and the Nikolaikirche. With the Babelsberg Palace he designed a building in the style of the English neo-Gothic . Ludwig Persius was a student and close colleague of Schinkel and a representative of the Schinkel School. Its simple design language and elements of neo-Gothic are characteristic. His buildings include the Heilandskirche at Port von Sacrow, the Friedenskirche and the steam engine house in Babelsberg Park. Its most unusual building is the steam engine house in the style of a Moorish mosque. Jan Bouman was a Dutch immigrant. Among other things, he managed the construction of the Dutch Quarter, the Old Town Hall, the Friedrichskirche in Babelsberg and numerous town houses. Boumann played a key role in the renovation of the Potsdam City Palace.

The garden and landscape artist Peter Joseph Lenné shaped garden art in Prussia for almost half a century. He designed spacious parks based on the model of English landscape gardens with various lines of sight and worked in urban planning by creating green spaces for local recreation. Lenné had been an honorary citizen of the city since 1863 and died in Potsdam in 1866. Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau rendered outstanding services to the completion of the Babelsberg Park in Potsdam, which Peter Joseph Lenné had started to design. Karl Foerster was a German gardener, perennial grower and garden writer. His name is connected with the Karl Foerster Garden in Potsdam-Bornim and the friendship island created by him and his colleague Hermann Mattern . Numerous garden directors and court gardeners, such as the garden directors Johann Gottlob Schulze and Ferdinand Jühlke and the court gardener families Sello , Nietner and Fintelmann , were concerned with the creation and maintenance of the Potsdam garden landscape . From 1907 to 1945 Hans Kölle managed the city's public green spaces, many of which he created. Joachim Mückenberger headed the State Palaces and Gardens Potsdam-Sanssouci from 1967 to 1990/1991 , where he initiated the first restorations after 1945.

Connected with Potsdam

Well-known personalities who were born in Potsdam include: a. Wilhelm von Humboldt , Hermann von Helmholtz , Ernst Haeckel and Peter Weiss . The fashion designer Wolfgang Joop , the former Brandenburg Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck , entertainer Bürger Lars Dietrich , the multiple bobsleigh Olympic champion Kevin Kuske and the presenter Enie van de Meiklokjes are among the well-known living sons and daughters of the city.

Potsdam is where other celebrities live and work, some of whom are privately committed to the city. These include u. a. the television presenter Günther Jauch , the manager Mathias Döpfner , the model Franziska Knuppe , the figure skating Olympic champion Katarina Witt , Georg Friedrich Prince of Prussia , the actress Nadja Uhl and the conductor Christian Thielemann (as of 2019).

The honorary citizens of the city of Potsdam include the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1849), the landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné (1863), the Reich President Paul von Hindenburg (1933), the gardener Karl Foerster (1959), the poet Hans Marchwitza (1960) and Hasso Plattner (2017).


"Daz gantze eyland must be a paradeys ..."

- Prince Moritz von Nassau : (Advisor to the Great Elector 1664)

" Athens and Sparta , encampment and garden of Epicurus , trumpets and violins, war and philosophy"

- Voltaire : (Philosopher at the Sanssouci court on the design of the city around 1750)

“My dear little girl! Potsdam is an expensive place [..] So when I return you have to look forward to me more than to the money. "




  • Peter-Michael Hahn : History of Potsdam. From the beginning to the present. Beck Verlag, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-50351-9 .
  • Joachim Nölte: Potsdam. How it became what it is. The history of the city in 10 chapters. terra press Verlag, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-942917-35-3 .
  • Elke Fein u. a .: From Potsdam to Vorkuta - The NKGB / MGB / KGB prison Potsdam-Neuer-Garten as reflected in the memory of German and Russian prisoners . Potsdam 2002, ISBN 3-932502-19-1 .
  • Bernhard R. Kroener (Ed.): Potsdam - State, Army, Residence in Prussian-German Military History. (Edited by Bernhard R. Kroener on behalf of the Military History Research Office with the collaboration of Heiger Ostertag). Propylaea, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-549-05328-2 .
  • Several authors: Potsdam's history . 6 volumes. Edition Q, Be.Bra-Verlag, Berlin 2005–2007.


  • In Frederician Potsdam , sixteen stone drawings by Konrad Elert, with an introductory text by Otto Ernst Hesse , Furche Verlag, Berlin 1920.
  • Ulrike Bröcker: The Potsdam suburbs 1861-1900. from the tower villa to the apartment building. (= Research and contributions to the preservation of monuments in the state of Brandenburg. 6). Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft , Worms 2004, ISBN 3-88462-208-0 .
  • Horst Drescher , Renate Kroll: Potsdam - views from three centuries . Hermann Böhlaus successor, Weimar 1981.
  • Mandy Kasek (Ed.): Aerial image atlas Potsdam . DOM publishers, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86922-140-3 .
  • Otto Zieler: Potsdam - a cityscape of the 18th century . Verlag Weise & Co., Berlin 1913.

City and architecture guide

  • Joachim Nölte: Potsdam. The illustrated city guide . Edition Terra, 7th edition. Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-9810147-6-1 .
  • Ingrid Bartmann-Kompa, Aribert Kutschmar u. a .: GDR architecture guide. Potsdam district. Berlin 1981.
  • Paul Sigel, Silke Dähmlow, Frank Seehausen, Lucas Elmenhorst: Architectural Guide Potsdam. Architectural Guide to Potsdam. Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-496-01325-7 .

Local lore

Individual aspects

Web links

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Individual evidence

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This article was added to the list of excellent articles on January 19, 2007 in this version .