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Old Market Square of Potsdam

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

The old market square is the heart of the historic city. There are several spectacular and vital buildings around the square:

Church of St. Nicholas - A Lutheran church completed in 1849, badly damaged during World War II, and restored after the war. In front of the church stands a 16-meter-high marble obelisk. Before its restoration, it displayed the portraits of Potsdam's rulers. After the restoration, they put the portraits of Potsdam's great architects: Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, Carl von Gontard, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and Friedrich Ludwig Persius.

The Brandenburg's state parliament is housed in a palace built by Frederick William the Great, the elector of Brandenburg, from 1664 to 1669. Elector Frederick III added the fortune gate (Fortuna Gate) to the palace. In 1740, Frederick II, King of Prussia, decided to make Potsdam his hometown and renovate the Rococo-style court. After the first world war, the palace ceased to be used as a residence, and the palace became a city council building.

During World War II, parts of the palace were damaged, and in 1959 the East German government decided to completely demolish the palace walls. During the 1990s, the municipality decided to restore the historic square. The Parliament building was erected according to the contours of the historic palace.

Barberini Museum - Barberini Palace was built in 1771 by Frederick the Great, inspired by the Baroque Barberini Palace in Rome. The palace was used for cultural and artistic events until it was destroyed in World War II. And restored in 2017 as an art museum.

The Potsdam Museum was founded in 1909 in an 18th-century Baroque palace that served as the town hall. The museum reopened in 2012, and it tells the history of Potsdam from the Middle Ages and focuses mainly on recent history, from the 19th century to the present day.

Potsdam's historic market square is steeped in history and cultural sites. You can tour it for a few minutes and enter the church, or enjoy its museums.

In any case - this is a must-see site in Potsdam.

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