To experience the grandeur, the fall and rebirth of Potsdam Germany one only needs to visit the Old Market Square.
The square is the historical city center and was part of the City Palace complex for years. The City Palace was originally built in 1662 as the winter residence of Prussian Kings beginning with Frederick the Great.
To bring a Roman feel to the square, a reconstruction began in 1745 adding the Old Town Hall to the east side and an obelisk in the middle.
Even though there has been a church here since the 1300’s, in 1837 the classical St. Nicholas Church was added and today dominates the square.
For hundreds of years the square was the regal hub of the city. Then came WWII.
Not much of the square survived World War II intact.
After the war the square struggled, as did Potsdam. The City Palace was heavily damaged during WWII and was demolished by the Russians in 1962. It wasn’t until 1979 that the Obelisk was returned to the square and St. Nicholas’ Church didn’t reopen until 1981. But without the City Palace the square just wasn’t the same.
Although not always looking her best, the City Palace stood on the square for 300 years. Today there is a major reconstruction effort going on in Potsdam which includes rebuilding the City Palace bringing the square back to its glory.
The effort to restore the Old Market Square began with returning the Fortuna Portal tower and reconstruction is continuing at a feverish pace. In an attempt to add authenticity to the palace, during reconstruction builders are using as much of the historic façade and other original pieces as possible. Once completed, the restored palace will become the new Parliament House of the Federal State of Brandenburg.
These pictures are part of Travel Photo Thursday! For more great pictures,make sure to check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.
Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people at the PotsdamTourist Office! For more information please contact either organization or visit their websites. Even though my trip was paid for by these organizations, all opinions are my own.