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Aerial view of Potsdam
Aerial view of Potsdam
Coat of arms of Potsdam
Potsdam is located in Germany
Coordinates 52°24′0″N 13°4′0″E / 52.4°N 13.066667°E / 52.4; 13.066667
Country Germany
State Brandenburg
District Urban district
Basic statistics
Area 187.28 km2
Elevation 35-114 m
Population 154,606 (31 December 2009)[1]
 - Density 826 /km2 (2,138 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate P
Postal codes 14401–14482
Area code 0331
Website www.potsdam.de

Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and is part of the Metropolitan area of Berlin/Brandenburg. It is situated on the River Havel, 24 km southwest of Berlin city center. From 1815 to 1827 and again from 1843 to 1918, the city was the capital of the Province of Brandenburg.


Potsdam has several claims to national and international notability. In Germany, it has the status Windsor holds in England, as it was the country residence of the Prussian kings and their families until the end of 1918. Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and unique cultural landscapes, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany. The Potsdam Conference, the major post-war conference between the victorious Allies, was held at another palace here, the Cecilienhof.

During the first fifteen years of the 21st century a major reconstruction of the famous city palace (Stadt Schloss), destroyed by Royal Air Force senseless and destructive bombing raids in the last days of World War II, has taken place. This masterpiece is open to tourists and for functions.

Babelsberg, in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, was a major movie production studio before 1945 with the largest sound stages in Europe. It has again enjoyed increased success as a major center of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Filmstudio Babelsberg is historically significant as the oldest large-scale film studios in the world. The Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg frequently records soundtracks for domestic and foreign-based film productions.

Potsdam also developed into a centre of science in Germany from the 19th century. As of 2024, there are 13 universities and colleges[2] as well as more than 30 research institutes in the city.


Further reading

  • „Erinnerung an Berlin, Charlottenburg und Potsdam - 50 Ansichten“, Berlin 1902 (Memories of Berlin, Charlottenburg and Potsdam - 50 Views) (PDF-File residents outside of the USA has to use an US-Proxy to download)
  • Leuthauser, Gabriele, & Feierabend, Peter, Potsdam - Palaces and Gardens of the Hohenzollern, Konemann, Koln, ISBN 3-89508-238-4.