Potsdam is a city of UNESCO World Heritage sites, a city of parks and palaces on the idyllic lakes of the Havel, a grand and historical city of culture, a center of film, education and science, characterized by a 1000-year-old history as a royal capital and State capital near Berlin. But this isn’t everything Potsdam has to offer. As of December 12th, 1990 Potsdam is a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the largest in Germany!
The German Democratic Republic had requested in September, 1989 that the Potsdam Palaces and Parks were to be inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In June the following year, the Federal Republic of Germany subsequently proposed that the landscape along the Havel River encompassing the palace and park in Glienicke as well as Peakock Island (Pfaueninsel) would also be considered as a World Heritage site. Remarkably, in December of 1990, only two months after Germany‘s reunification, the UNESCO World Heritage committee resolved to inscribe the “Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin” into the World Heritage List.
The full site was extended twice more: in 1992 and in 1999. Today, the entire World Heritage Site expands from Sanssouci Park via the Russian Quarter Alexandrovka, the New Garden, Babelsberg, Sacrow and all the way to Berlin’s Peacock Island and Glienicke Park. It is one of the few sites which crosses German state borders. With an astounding total area of 2,064 hectares, it is located mainly in the State of Brandenburg and in parts of Potsdam’s buzzling neighbouring city, Berlin.
The entire cultural landscape is shaped by authenticity and uniqueness. Additionally, many traces of international influences are to be discovered. Those range from Chinese, Russian, Italian, French, Dutch and many many more impacts. Complimentary to the UNESCO World Heritage site is Potsdam’s baroque city centre.
Brandenburg’s state capital city Potsdam and the districts Berlin-Spandau and Berlin-Steglitz-Zehlendorf as townships are responsible for the local historic monument protection. Since its foundation in 1995 the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg has been an independent local historic monument protection authority and it‘s been responsible for the buildings and gardens of historic importance.
Over the centuries, famous architects and landscape artists have creatively merged various building styles to form one distinctive Gesamtkunstwerk. Today’s World Heritage site dates back to 1745, when Frederick the Great first commissioned Sanssouci Palace to be built as his summer residence. That makes Sanssouci the oldest and most known feature of the palaces and parks of Potsdam and Berlin.