The Russian Colony of Alexandrovka was included as a part of Potsdam’s UNESCO World Heritage in 1999. There’s little doubt why. The entire colony — including the Museum Alexandrovka — represents one of the area’s most unique discoveries, which is rooted in friendship, history, and authentic traditions.
The Russian colony Alexandrovka was established in 1826 by King Frederick Wilhelm III in memory of his friend, Czar Alexander I, with whom the King had allied in the wars against Napoleon. The entire compound of thirteen wooden houses was built to encourage community and the entertainment of all those spending time here. The colony was built in the Russian-style of the period and to be “the home of the Russian singers of the First Prussian Regiment of the Guards.” The houses, which are of half-timbered construction, were all given large gardens. As well, green spaces between the structures were meant to make community socializing and sharing time between the houses easier. The garden arrangement was planned by Peter Joseph Lenné with the aim to provide the Russian choir singers an inspiring atmosphere for music and leisure.
The Museum Alexandrovka, in house number 2, itself was opened in 2005. Its purpose is to provide historic information and share exhibitions with visitors to better explain the colony and show an accurate depiction of life during the period of the settlement at its height. The rooms within the showcase are furnished in the Biedermeier style. As well, a big draw for travelers is the reconstructed garden with more than 500 fruit varieties, which are again being cultivated.
Today, the community, which includes the other twelve houses with gardens, is open and welcomes a growing number of interested visitors every year. As an added bonus, some of the descendants of the original occupants still live here. There is also a chapel and a “royal country house.” The colony’s museum exhibition contains placards to provide information and two films to give patrons of a more interactive and better sense of the period.
After learning about the era, the architecture, and the colony’s backstory, please stay around for a while, pick up a souvenir in the shop, and then relax in the café among the gardens.
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