Potsdam's new centre- Where the centre used to be
As soon as you can see the golden figure of Atlas on the roof of the old city hall from afar, you can be certain to have arrived in Potsdam’s old heart. The baroque layout of the old market square with Nikolai Church radiates a quite special charm. The church was completed in 1849 and is particularly popular today with friends of culture because avariety of concerts is performed here, for instance within the scope of the Bach days in late summer. The Hans-Otto-Theatre, which is located exactly opposite Nikolai Church, is also appreciated by theatre lovers. In the middle of the market square, there is a 16m obelisk with portraits of Knobelsdorff, Schinkel, Gontard and Persius, Potsdam’s great architects. Since 2003, Fortuna Portal, the entrance to the former castle, has been back on the square. If you look in a westerly direction from here, you can imagine where the Alte Stadtschloss (old town’s castle) was situated up to 1959/1960. The only building that has been preserved was that of the royal stables, which houses the film museum today. Since 2002, the carriage stable, which is located on the new market square behind it, accommodates a museum with the House of Brandenburg-Prussian History. Freundschaftsinsel (friendship island) is located between two branches of the river Havel. With its playground, an open-air stage, a pavilion with exhibitions and a café – but above all with its unique plants, the 6-hectare island invites you for relaxation. Karl Foerster (1874 to 1970), the famous grower of herbaceous plants, gave the island its appearance. At his suggestion, the first show and viewing garden in Germany for perennial flower plants, ferns and grasses was laid out between 1938 and 1940 and further developed in the fifties and seventies. Anyone who feels like going on a boat trip should continue to walk just a few metres further to the Lange Brücke (long bridge), from where the passenger ships of the "Weisse Flotte" (white fleet) depart in the direction of Berlin or to the castles of the river Havel area.