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Discussion Starter #181
Today we'll be back with another major architectural gem:

Potsdam

Potsdam is sort of the German equivalent to Versailles as it was home to the Prussian to the German Emperors. It houses a lot of palaces and other major royal architecture and is thus called the "secret capital". Today the city is the capital of the state of Brandenburg and home to 180,000 people. It is located just south-west of Berlin and one of the fastest growing cities in Germany.

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The city itself is situated in a very attractive location along several lakes, hills and the river Havel.

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In the historic center, you can already see the clear structures of baroque planning.

As was usual in east German cities after reunification, the city was in need of massive investment. In this case this included a new Main station with intigrated shopping mall and intigration into Berlin's S-Bahn network.


Going towards the center, we'll have to cross "friendship island" with a nice park, cafes and some smaller attractions
 

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Discussion Starter #182
Crossing the second bridge back on to the mainland, we're greeted with this sight:



This is the city palace of Potsdam. While much of Potsdam survived WW2 relatively unscathed, this part of town was much less fortunate. After reunification, it was decided to recunstruct the exterior of the former palace and use it to house the Brandenburg state parliament.

These buildings along the river are also either reconstructions or new buildings following traditional design principles.


Here are some more views of the palace:




We'll now leave the busy street and head towards "Alter Markt" which is a marketsquare that was completely destoyed and now largely rebuilt:


The church visible here was built by famous architect Friedrich Schinkel, we'll visit it later.


This is the newly opened Museum Barberini, rebuilt by tech billionaire Hasso Plattner, who has contributed a lot to the city's recent growth.


Some more views of the square:






On the left of the church is the construction site of four new blocks following the original street pattern. The site was once occupied by a modernist university building and will now be reintigrated into the urban environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #183
The palace's main entrance is at the square and is crowned by this gate:


This is the main courtyard:


Looking back towards the square:




Now, let's take a look inside Schinkel's wonderful neoclassicist St. Nikolai church:






Bear in mind this church was mostly destroyed and all these decorations are reconstructions. In this case it actually happened during GDR times.



You can climb on top for an admission fee.


It's quite nice to go up there, however the views are somewhat limited as the nicest parts of town are a little further away.
Nevertheless, here we can see Alter Markt and the Stadtschloss:


In the background you can see the train station complex. The green in the middle is friendship island.


This view might induce some mixed feelings. In the foreground is the construction site I wrote about earlier, towards the upper right is the historic center and on the left are some unfortunate commieblocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #184
Our first stop towards the city center is the aptly named "Dutch quarter". This is the biggest of several examples of foreign architecture in Potsdam. It was built by Dutch architect Jan Bouman under the reign of Friedrich Willhelm the first in the first half of the 18th century, as the king had a huge affinity towards the Netherlands.

They managed to make it very authentic:






The most unrealistic element among this are probably the cobblestone streets, as they are often brick in the Netherland as well.















 

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Discussion Starter #185
The northern edge of the city center is defined by the wide "Hegelallee" boulevard:



Once, it was the city border, now it's the boundary between the baroque center:


and the Gründerzeit districts to the north:


There are two former city gates here, the bigger one of which is "Nauner Tor"




 

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Discussion Starter #186 (Edited)
Most of the historic center consists of these 1-2 story buildings on straight, planned streets and it lacks the urbanity that chaotic medieval centers or the dense belle epoque quarters have. Nevertheless, it's beautiful.





This is one way to spice up your facade:

Maybe this building is a sort of architectural cartoon that talks about how many half-timbered buildings are covered in plaster but who knows?

More stately buildings like this are usually additions from the 19th century.






 

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Discussion Starter #187
As is usual in baroque planning, there is a central axis between focal points, which is the main street here in Potsdam.

On one end you've got this church:







And on the other, you have this gate:


The Name of this gate is actually identical to the much more famous Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Ain't that a satisfying sightline:


This is really gorgeous to see in person:
 

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Discussion Starter #193
I hope you don't mind if I reply here, it was a bit OT in the other thread.


Sidenote: I spent a couple hours last night looking at every pic and reading every word of all ten pages of your thread! Lol

I've been to a lot of places in Germany, but I learned a bunch about some towns I've never been to or even heard of in some cases. You've got me in a mode to really want to explore some of these parts of Germany now (right in the middle of a global pandemic and lockdown thanks a lot lol). Since you seem to have a real affinity for half-timbered houses I'm wondering if you've ever been to one of my favorites, Tuebingen?

Sorry for the offtopic guys. Back to Potsdam reconstruction
Thanks so much for looking through it all!

If I invoked some kind of exploratory spirit, it's exactly what I hoped to do with this thread lol. I still have a lot of pictures from places that I haven't posted yet and there are even more places where I haven't been yet, Tübingen is unfortunately one of them. I generelly haven't seen much of the whole Baden/Swabian region, even though it's certainy one of the most beautiful regions in Germany. Let's hope the pandemic ends soon and we can go back to traveling 😅
 

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Discussion Starter #194
So as has been said, here we go into Park Sanssouci!

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It is absolutely huge! I've been there several times now but I haven't even seen many of the smaller attractions and I wasn't inside anywhere yet, so unfortunately this phototour will be far from complete.


Straight away, we're confronted with two recurring themes: straight avenues and landscaping 😅



There are many smaller sights scattered all around the park, most of which I haven't visited yet. However, when entering the park from center, you're gonna come by this neo-romanesque church:


As well as several smaller buildings, which I imagine once hosted guards, servants or stables.


Not too long until we round a corner, and another baroque mainstay makes itself known:

Sightlines, of course lol. Statues as well, actually.
 

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Discussion Starter #195
What we've already gotten a glimpse of is of course the namesake of the park, palace Sanssouci. It was built from 1745 to 1747 as a summer retreat for King Friedrich II in rococo style and subsequently expanded. After 1873 the entire palace including it's inventory were opened to the public and as such it's also one of the oldest palace museums in the world.




Even though it was built in the highly ornate rococo style, the single story construction still has the feeling of German understatement when compared to the huge palaces of the larger European nations elsewhere. What is very impressive, is the landscaping though.





Visually apealing ahem
 

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Discussion Starter #196
On top of the hill:






Nice cast-iron structures:


The backside of the palace:


This was essentially the king's terace. A sightline is held free throught the forest to some artificial ruins that I haven't visited yet either.


When I get back here, I'll treat you to some interior pics, but right now that's all I have for this palace.
 

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Discussion Starter #197 (Edited)
This is one of the later additons to Sanssouci palace, although it's not connected to the main building:



In the background we see a windmill. While they are today mostly connected with the Netherlands, they were common in this region as well. This is part of the park though, and was as far as I can tell entirely for show.



Before we get to the next attraction, let's enjoy the park a little more:




 

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Discussion Starter #198
While Sanssouci palace is certainly pretty cool, the single story building has always left me feel a little underwhelmed. Interestingly, the park's Orangerie has a more impressive stature:



Of course, it comes with it's own sightlines etcetera:








The building's structure makes for some nice architectural photography:




If you are following this thread for a while (or are otherwise interested in such things) you might know that an Orangerie is essentially a glorified greenhouse to house tropical plants during the winter. One of the first tropical plants rulers had taken a liking to were orange trees, hence Orangerie. All of these potted palms will spend the winter inside.

 

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Discussion Starter #199
The last major palace is "Neues Palais" which is the biggest in the park and has an entire complex built around it.



This palace was originally built in the baroque period to house the king's guests but Emporor Willhelm the second turned it into his primary residence.



I had to cheat a little bit with those plants to block out the sun.

The palace also is open as a museum and includes a theatre which is used to this day. I will get you pictures of it when I get the chance.



 

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Discussion Starter #200
Behind the palace is a complex of former utility buildings that had kitchens, storage an servant's quarters. Nowadays it's used by the University of Potsdam.
I actually couldn't get it all in one frame, so I'll have to resort to a Wikipedia picture:





This arch is on the main axis of the garden and forms a sightline with the cupola of the palace:



It looks like this part of the garden doesn't receive as much lawncare as the rest:


Here are some more pictures of the complex:










Interestingly enough, this is actually plaster that's painted to look like brickwork:


That's all I have for you from Park Sanssouci! I hope you enjoyed it. Next up are some less known corners of Potsdam.
 
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