Recommended as private guide in
Rick Steves' 'snapshot Berlin':
" enthusiastic historian who grew up behind the Wall..."

before and after


Beautiful Potsdam



Once upon a time, Potsdam was a tiny little village, rather remote from Berlin. The apparent beauty of the countryside appealed to the rulers of the Hohenzollern family of nearby Berlin, so they built their resorts here. It was Frederick the Great himself who finally built the most famous palace of Sans Souci there, a place like paradise on earth. But also, during the Cold War, Potsdam was a major theater, especially in 1945 when the Potsdam Conference was held there. The town is a mixture of architecture and sights from different centuries. This and the apparent beauty of the place makes Potsdam worth the visit!


Kleiner Friedrich1  Sans Soucci

Like a palace out of a fairy tale, Sans Souci is situated on top of a hill. The building was designed by Frederick...
the Great himself. He was looking for a resort far away from the restraints of politics and war. Here also is his grave. Looking at the tombstone, you might wonder why there are so many names? Who are Biche, Alcmene, Arsinoe, Thysbe, Phillis, Diana, Thysbe II, Diana II, Superbe, Amourette, and Pax?


Kleiner Friedrich1  Dutch Quarter

In the middle of Potsdam, you can suddenly come upon several streets made of red bricks. People who have been to...
Holland might feel like they are in the wrong place! This is Potsdam? It must be Holland....! It is Potsdam, though. Let me tell you why the Prussians built a little Holland and liked to stroll through its streets. There are lots of beautiful small shops here.


Kleiner Friedrich1  Russian Colony

 It is truly surprising to drive around a corner in the middle of Potsdam and suddenly be in Russia. That’s just...
the impression you get when you are in Alexandrowka, the Russian colony in Potsdam. I will tell you why this settlement developed and what it is today.


Kleiner Friedrich1  Cecilienhof Palace

The building was used as a palace for the Prussian crown prince in 1916. Even in the 1920s...
the royal family—though not ruling anymore—lived here. In 1945, the palace, which was untouched by the war, was used as the meeting place for Joseph Stalin, Harry S. Truman, and Winston Churchill (and later on, Clement Attlee). The rooms are well preserved, and it looks as if the Potsdam Conference has just ended....


Kleiner Friedrich1  Spy Bridge

The Bridge is a prominent place. There is the story of Rudolf Abel and Gary Powers, who were exchanged here. The same...
happened with Natan Sharansky in 1986. These swaps took place here because the demarcation line between East and West ran just at the top of the bridge. And even today it is possible to see which was the eastern and which was the western part.

  Friedrichgold4 © Bernhard