In the Potsdam Edict of Tolerance, published in 1685, Frederick William of Brandenburg offered the Huguenots who had fled from France a new home in Prussia. The first refugees arrived to Potsdam on January 10th, 1686. Almost 70 years later, the congregation of French Protestants had grown and the decision was taken to build a French Protestant church in 1752. The "Temple de Potsdam" was located at the southern edge of the “Großes Bassin” (today Bassinplatz) and next to the “French Quarter”.
Frederick II appointed the two major Prussian architects, Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff and Jan Bouman, to plan the church.
The church stayed undamaged in the Second World War, making it now the oldest preserved church in the historic city centre of Potsdam.
The interior of the church is very minimalist. The oval ‘House of God’ with its high and hyaline windows was designed by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff and was modelled on the Pantheon in Rome.
The entrance copies a Tuscan portico with a pediment showing statuary art by the brothers Friedrich Christian and Carl Philipp Glume. Karl Friedrich Schinkel was instructed to redesign the interior in the 19th century. The wooden interior with the stone imitating design provides the hall with unpretentious solemnity until today. The good acoustics of the church improve the sound of the historic organ by Johann Wilhelm Grüneberg dating back to 1783.
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