The Dutch Quarter- A part of Holland in Brandenburg
The Dutch Quarter: A Part of Holland in Brandenburg
The Dutch Quarter in Potsdam, provides a completely different look at the history of the city, and a novel view of the diversity that is at the root of the region’s unique traditions and legacy. Operated by the Association for the Care of Dutch Culture in Potsdam, the house — and its museum: the Jan Bouman House — provide visitors a look at Potsdam from a completely different angle. In the process, you will get a deeper appreciation for the importance of Potsdam’s overall value.
The quarter is characterized by small shops, cafés, and bars that attract visitors in this part of town. The history of the district starts with King Frederick William I, who urgently needed qualified craftsmen for an extension of the garrison town. He made an overture to the neighbouring country, Holland, and made the case that the Dutchmen should feel at home in Potsdam. To prove the point, he then had 130 brick houses — in the typical Dutch style — built in this part of town in the middle of the 18th century. Even today, there is a lively atmosphere that celebrates this forward-thinking concept and welcoming of cultures.
Over the course of a decade, in the 1730s and 1740s, the quarter was built and came to life. Here, you will find ways to get away and relax, such as museums and cafes. But you will also enjoy the main attraction: the brick gable houses, which are architectural marvels and, importantly, typical of the period — a point that will provide you with a sense of the care taken to create the houses of this district.
The quarter’s museum is named for Jan Bouman, who was a renaissance man or sorts. Bouman was an architect, shipbuilder, designer, craftsman, and furniture maker. He was also the leader of a movement to encourage more Dutch skilled workers to the city — to build the collection of homes that would eventually become the quarter.
After a period of renovation, the museum opened to visitors in 1997. Today, visitors will find a rotation of special collections as well as a permanent exhibition of period pieces. The museum’s overall holdings include a spinning wheel, furniture, tiles, and cooking tools. The purpose of the exhibited items, like the house itself, is to give patrons a sense of what life was like during this era for the Dutch population in Potsdam in the mid-18th century.
If you would like to get to know more about the Dutch culture, we recommend a journey on the Oranier Route, which is a historic tourist route through Germany and the Netherlands and created in reminiscence of the Oranien-Nassau dynasty.