List of sights of Potsdam

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Historic view of the city with the Garrison Church, Stadtschloss and St. Nicholas' Church in 1871
Sanssouci Palace and the vineyard.

The following is a list of sights of Potsdam, the capital of the German state of Brandenburg in Germany.

Sanssouci Park[edit]

The historic park of Sanssouci covers an area of about 290 hectares and is thus the largest and best known in the March of Brandenburg. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Frederick the Great and Frederick William IV influenced the park in the contemporary architectural styles of Rococo and Classicism and had an artistic synthesis of architecture and gardens constructed, whose centrepiece is the vineyard terraces and the palace of Sanssouci that crowns them.

New Garden[edit]

The New Garden (Neuer Garten) is a park, roughly 100 ha in area, that lies in the north of Potsdam and borders on the lakes of Heiliger See and the Jungfernsee. In 1787 Frederick William II had a new garden laid out on this site, hence the name. The park was intended to reflect the prevailing fashion for the English garden, in contrast to the outmoded style of the Baroque ornamental and vegetable garden at Sanssouci.

  • New Garten (Neuer Garten) (laid out from 1787)
  • Marble Palace (Marmorpalais) (1787 to 1792)
  • Palace kitchen, in the shape of a temple ruin (1788 to 1790)
  • Orangery (1791 to 1793)
  • Gothic Library (1792 to 1794)
  • Pyramids (1791 to 1792)
  • Dairy (1790 to 1792)
  • Crystal and Shell Grotto (Crystall- and Muschelgrotte) (1791/92)
  • Dutch Quarter (Holländisches Etablissement) - houses in Dutch style
  • Garden houses: the White, Brown, Red and Green House
  • Cecilienhof Palace (Schloss Cecilienhof) (1914 to 1917)

Babelsberg Park[edit]

Babelsberg Palace on the Havel.

Bordering the Tiefer See on the River Havel lies Babelsberg Park, covering an area of 114 hectares. In 1833, on the order of Prince William, later Emperor William I and his wife, Augusta the landscape gardener, Peter Joseph Lenné, and Prince Hermann of Pückler-Muskau began turning the rolling terrain that sloped down towards the lake into a park.

  • Babelsberg Park (started 1833)
  • Royal Stables (Marstall) (1834 to 1839 and 1861)
  • Babelsberg Palace (1835 to 1849)
  • Little Palace (Kleines Palace) (1841/42)
  • Sailors' House (Matrosenhaus) (1842)
  • Steam-powered Pumping Station (Dampfmaschinenhaus) (1843 to 1845)
  • Flatow Tower (Flatowturm) (1853 to 1856)
  • Court Arcade (Gerichtslaube) (1871)

Other parks and gardens[edit]

Island of Friendship
  • Island of Friendship (Freundschaftsinsel) in the centre of the city with the Karl Foerster perennial garden.
  • Karl Foerster Garden in Potsdam-Bornim with its private residence.
  • Pleasure Garden (Lustgarten), the oldest garden in Potsdam, originally part of the City Palace (Stadtschloss) site
  • Potsdam Municipal Park (Volkspark Potsdam) on the old 2001 Federal Garden Show site with the Potsdam Biosphere, a commercially run park.
  • Potsdam Wildlife Park (Wildpark, 1834 to 1838), one of the oldest examples of the linkage of courtly tradition and landscape gardening. The wildlife park has an area of over 875 hectares and is located west of Sanssouci Park.
  • Bornstedt Cemetery, over 400 year old park with Italian-like church. Amongst those buried here are Ferdinand von Arnim, Peter Joseph Lenné and Ludwig Persius.


For an overview of all palaces see List of castles in Berlin and Brandenburg


The Prussian tolerance, which is highly visible in the city, is also expressed by Potsdam's churches: In the centre of Protestant Potsdam, stands a large Roman Catholic church, and the oldest Russian Orthodox Church in Germany is found here. Churches were built for settlers from various corners of Europe: the Swiss, French, Bohemians ...

  • Church of Christ, wedged between residential buildings continues to be the one-time Old Lutheran church, consecrated in 1903. Today the church is used independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Christ parish (SELK). Builder: Grabowsky.
  • Pentecostal Church, (1894). This church stands between [g] and the New Garden in an idyllic garden setting, consecrated in 1894, architect: Tiedemann.
  • Hermannswerder Island Church, a Neogothic building that belongs to the Hoffbauer Foundation, consecrated in 1911, builder: Gebrüder Bolle.
  • Frederick Church on the Weberplatz, (1752/1753). Centrepiece of a settlement for Bohemian weavers in Babelsberg (formerly Nowawes), consecrated in 1753, builder: Boumann.
  • Oberlin Church, Babelsberg, (1904/1905). focal point of the Oberlinhaus, inter alia a lyceum for deaf-blind people, consecrated in 1905, builder: Tiedemann.
  • Neuendorf Church in Babelsberg, built 1850-52, rebuilding started in 1998 under the direction of the society for its preservation
  • Parish Church of St. Anthony, Roman Catholic church for Babelsberg, consecrated in 1934, architect: Fahlbusch.
  • Chapel of Klein-Glienicke, near the city's boundary with Berlin, which meant that the church fell into ruin as a result of its proximity to the Berlin Wall, consecrated in 1881, architect: Reinhold Persius.
  • Bornstedt Church, Italianate church that watches over the graves of famous Potsdam townsfolk, consecrated in 1856, builder: Stüler.
  • other village churches in the incorporated villages:
    • Bornim (1902/1903, geweiht 1903). Architect: Tiedemann
    • Eiche (1771)
    • Grube (1746)
    • Nattwerder (1690 – the oldest surviving church in Potsdam)
    • Drewitz (1732)
  • and the churches in the new districts:
    • Stern Church (1990)
    • Church of Atonement, Kirchsteigfeld (1997)

City gates[edit]

As a garrison city Potsdam had a city wall with several gates. With their flamboyant architectural styles they were more built for show that for defence. Of the city gates only three have survived.

City quarters and ensembles[edit]

City quarters[edit]

  • Dutch Quarter (1733 to 1740)
  • Russian Colony of Alexandrowka (1826/1827) with its Alexander Newski Memorial Church (foundation stone laid 1826, consecration 1829)
  • Potsdam-Babelsberg (around 1900) and the villa colony of Neubabelsberg as well as the Bohemian Weavers' Quarter (Weberviertel)
  • Brandenburger Straße is the shopping street of Potsdam in the city centre, and is a pedestrian zone, bordered by St. Peter and St. Paul's Church and the Brandenburger Tor.)
  • Berliner Vorstadt (from the second half of the 19th century)
  • Potsdam West

Open spaces and squares[edit]


  • Jan Bouman House (1735) in the Dutch Quarter
  • The Hiller & Brandt Houses (1769) located at Breite Strasse 8–12
  • The former Great Military Orphanage (Großes Militärwaisenhaus) (1771)
  • Pomona Temple (around 1800), the first work by Karl Friedrich Schinkel
  • The steam-powered Pump House (1841-43) for the fountains of Sanssouci Park, designed by Ludwig Persius in the shape of a mosque on the bank of the Havel River
  • Belvedere on the Pfingstberg (1847 to 1852, 1860 to 1863)
  • The former War College (Kriegsschule) (1902) on the Brauhausberg hill
  • The Emperor's Station (1905-09) (Kaiserbahnhof), originally the Court Station (Hofstation) in Wildpark, has been used since its recent restoration as a Management Academy (Akademie für Führungskräfte) for the German rail system.
  • Karstadt department store with art nouveau facade and atrium (1905, 1928-29)
  • Werner Alfred Bathhouse
  • Bayrisches Haus
  • Einstein Tower (1920 to 1921)
  • Glass Sweets Factory owned by the firm Katjes. From the gallery, visitors can view the entire sweets-manufacturing process.

Museums and exhibitions[edit]



Villa Gericke
Villa Stülpnagel
Villa Lademann

Since the 1990s many architecturally interesting villas have been restored:

  • Neubabelsberg villa colony
  • Villa Ingenheim
  • Villa Liegnitz
  • Villa von Diringshofen
  • Villa Kampffmeyer by the Glienicke Bridge
  • Villa Schöningen by the Glienicke Bridge
  • Villa Heydert
  • Villa Rohn also called the Löwenwilla, named after the lions (Löwen) in front of the facade. Owned since 1941 by the Fritz von der Lancken family, a resistance fighter against the Third Reich.
  • Herbertshof, named after Herbert Gutmann, with its Arabic Room (Zimmer Arabicum)
  • Palace of Countess Lichtenau, on the Heiliger See
  • Villa Bach, Spitzweggasse
  • Villa Ernst von Bergmann, Berliner Straße
  • Villa Gericke, Puschkinallee
  • Villa Gutmann (only a small part has been renovated)
  • Villa Kellermann
  • Villa Kutscherhaus, Persiusstr.
  • Villa General Ladental
  • Villa Mendelson, named after the Jewish merchant
  • Villa Mosler
  • Villa Fritz Rumpf
  • Villa Sarna with its lion frieze
  • Villa Spillner, Böcklinstraße/Tizianstraße
  • Villa Starke (Potsdam-Babelsberg)
  • Villa Stülpnagel, Hegelallee 5, with impressive frame and panel door (Kassettentür); large historic map of Berlin in Russian script in the fireplace room.
  • Villa Wiener, Konrad Adenauer lived here in 1934
  • Villa Lademann, Heinz Rühmann lived here during filming, the house was built by the brother of Otto Lilienthal, Gustav Lilienthal
  • Villa Alfred Zeisler, by Marika Röckk



  • Andreas Kitschke (2001) (in German), Die Potsdamer Kirchen, Passau: Kunstverlag Peda, ISBN 3-89643-530-2 
  • (in German) Potsdamer Schlösser in Geschichte and Kunst (4. ed.), Leipzig: VEB F.A. Brockhaus Verlag, 1984, ISBN 3-325-00030-4 

External links[edit]