Potsdam city in northeastern Germany Potsdam Conference (July 17–Aug. 2, 1945) Allied conference held in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam after Germany's surrender in World War II. (Wikipedia) - Potsdam For other uses, see Potsdam (disambiguation).
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Logo of the city of Potsdam
| View of the rebuilt Potsdam City Palace with St. Nicholas'' Church in the background |
|Coordinates: 52°24′N 13°4′E / 52.400°N 13.067°E / 52.400; 13.067Coordinates: 52°24′N 13°4′E / 52.400°N 13.067°E / 52.400; 13.067 |
|Urban district |
• Lord Mayor
|Jann Jakobs (SPD) |
|187.28 km2 (72.31 sq mi) |
|32 m (105 ft) |
|850/km2 (2,200/sq mi) |
|CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2) |
Potsdam (German pronunciation: ), is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. It directly borders the German capital Berlin and is part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel, 24 kilometres (15 miles) southwest of Berlin''s city center.
Potsdam was a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser, until 1918. Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and cultural landmarks, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany. The Potsdam Conference, the major post-World War II conference between the victorious Allies, was held at another palace in the area, the Cecilienhof.
Babelsberg, in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, was a major film production studio before the war and has enjoyed success as a major center of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Filmstudio Babelsberg is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world.
Potsdam developed into a centre of science in Germany from the 19th century. Today, there are three public colleges, the University of Potsdam and more than 30 research institutes in the city. Contents
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Geography
- 3 History
- 3.1 Governorate of Potsdam
- 3.2 Potsdam in the 20th century
- 4 Politics
- 5 International relations
- 5.1 Twin towns — sister cities
- 6 Education and research
- 7 Main sights
- 8 Transport
- 9 Sport
- 10 Famous people
- 11 References
- 12 Sources
- 13 External links
The name "Potsdam" originally seems to have been Poztupimi. A common theory is that it derives from an old West Slavonic term meaning "beneath the oaks", i.e., the corrupted pod dubmi/dubimi (pod "beneath, dub "oak"). However some question this explanation. GeographySanssouciTempliner See south of Potsdam
The area was formed from a series of large moraines left after the last glacial period. Today, the city is three-quarters green space, with just a quarter as urban area. There are about 20 lakes and rivers in and around Potsdam, such as the Havel, the Griebnitzsee, Templiner See, Tiefer See, Jungfernsee, Teltowkanal, Heiliger See and the Sacrower See. The highest point is the 114-metre (374 ft) high Kleiner Ravensberg.
Potsdam is divided into seven historic city districts and nine new Ortsteile (villages), which joined the city in 2003. The appearances of the city districts are quite different. The districts in the north and in the centre consist mainly of historical buildings, the south of the city is dominated by larger areas of newer buildings. Demographics
Development of Population since 1875 within the Current Boundaries (Blue Line: Population; Dotted Line: Comparison to Population Development of Brandenburg state; Grey Background: Time of Nazi rule; Red Background: Time of Communist rule)
Recent Population Development (Blue Line) and Forecasts
Largest groups of foreign residents as of 2012: HistoryDocument from the Holy Roman Empire in 993 mentioning PoztupimiGerman Commemorative Coin 10 Mark 1993 "1000 Years Potsdam". Design by Erich OttNew PalaceStadtschloss Potsdam in 1773
The area around Potsdam shows occupancy since the Bronze Age and was part of Magna Germania as described by Tacitus. After the great migrations of the Germanic peoples, Slavs moved in and Potsdam was probably founded after the 7th century as a settlement of the Hevelli tribe centred on a castle. It was first mentioned in a document in 993 AD as Poztupimi, when Emperor Otto III gifted the territory to the Quedlinburg Abbey, then led by his aunt Matilda. By 1317, it was mentioned as a small town. It gained its town charter in 1345. In 1573, it was still a small market town of 2,000 inhabitants. Potsdam lost nearly half of its population due to the Thirty Years'' War (1618–1648).
A continuous Hohenzollern possession since 1415, Potsdam became prominent, when it was chosen in 1660 as the hunting residence of Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg, the core of the powerful state that later became the Kingdom of Prussia. It also housed Prussian barracks.Voltaire at the residence of Frederick II in Potsdam. Partial view of an engraving by Pierre Charles Baquoy, after N. A. Monsiau.
After the Edict of Potsdam in 1685, Potsdam became a centre of European immigration. Its religious freedom attracted people from France (Huguenots), Russia, the Netherlands and Bohemia. The edict accelerated population growth and economic recovery.
Later, the city became a full residence of the Prussian royal family. The buildings of the royal residences were built mainly during the reign of Frederick the Great. One of these is the Sanssouci Palace (French: "without cares", by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, 1744), famed for its formal gardens and Rococo interiors. Other royal residences include the New Palace and the Orangery.
In 1815, at the formation of the Province of Brandenburg, Potsdam became the provincial capital until 1918, however, interrupted and succeeded by Berlin as provincial capital between 1827 and 1843, and after 1918. The province comprised two governorates named after their capitals Potsdam and Frankfurt (Oder). Governorate of Potsdam
Between 1815 and 1945 the city of Potsdam served as capital of the governorate of Potsdam (German: Regierungsbezirk Potsdam). The Regierungsbezirk encompassed the former districts of Uckermark, the Mark of Priegnitz, and the greater part of the Middle March. It was situated between Mecklenburg and the Province of Pomerania on the north, and the Province of Saxony on the south and west (Berlin, with a small surrounding district, was an urban governorate and enclave within the governorate of Potsdam between 1815 and 1822, then it merged as urban district into the governorate only to be disentangled again from Potsdam governorate in 1875, becoming an own distinct province-like entity on 1 April 1881). Towards the north west the governorate was bounded by the rivers Elbe and the Havel, and on the north east by the Oder. The southeastern boundary was to the neighbouring governorate of Frankfurt (Oder). About 500,000 inhabitants lived in the Potsdam governorate, which covered an area of about 20,700 square kilometres (7,992 sq mi), divided into thirteen rural districts, partially named after their capitals:
|Angermünde ||Beeskow-Storkow (as of 1836) ||East Havelland ||East Prignitz |
|Jüterbog-Luckenwalde ||Lower Barnim ||Prenzlau ||Ruppin |
|Teltow (as of 1836) ||Teltow-Storkow (until 1835) ||Templin ||Upper Barnim |
|West Havelland ||West Prignitz ||Zauch-Belzig || |
The traditional towns in the governorate were small, however, in the course of the industrial labour migration some reached the rank as urban districts. The principal towns were Brandenburg upon Havel, Köpenick, Potsdam, Prenzlau, Spandau and Ruppin. Until 1875 also Berlin was a town within the governorate. After its disentanglement a number of its suburbs outside Berlin''s municipal borders grew to cities, many forming urban within the governorate of Potsdam such as Charlottenburg, Lichtenberg, Rixdorf (after 1912 Neukölln), and Schöneberg (all of which, as well as Köpenick and Spandau, incorporated into Greater Berlin in 1920). The urban districts were (years indicating the elevation to rank of urban district or affiliation with Potsdam governorate, respectively):
Potsdam in the 20th century
|Berlin (1822–1875) ||Brandenburg/Havel (as of 1881) ||Charlottenburg (1877–1920) ||Eberswalde (as of 1911) |
|Lichtenberg (1908–1920) ||Schöneberg (1899–1920) ||Deutsch-Wilmersdorf (1907–1920) ||Rixdorf (Neukölln) (1899–1920) |
|Potsdam ||Rathenow (as of 1925) ||Spandau (1886–1920) ||Wittenberge (as of 1922) |
Berlin was the official capital of Prussia and later of the German Empire, but the court remained in Potsdam, where many government officials settled. In 1914, the Emperor Wilhelm II signed the Declaration of War in the Neues Palais. The city lost its status as a second capital in 1918, when Wilhelm II abdicated at the end of World War I.
At the start of the Third Reich in 1933 there was a ceremonial handshake between President Paul von Hindenburg and the new Chancellor Adolf Hitler on 21 March 1933 in Potsdam''s Garrison Church in what became known as the "Day of Potsdam". This symbolised a coalition of the military (Reichswehr) and Nazism. Potsdam was severely damaged in bombing raids during World War II.Potsdam Conference in 1945 with Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin
The Cecilienhof Palace was the scene of the Potsdam Conference from 17 July, to 2 August 1945, at which the victorious Allied leaders (Harry S. Truman; Winston Churchill and his successor, Clement Attlee; and Joseph Stalin) met to decide the future of Germany and postwar Europe in general. The conference ended with the Potsdam Agreement and the Potsdam Declaration.The Glienicke Bridge, used for exchanging spies during the Cold War
The government of East Germany (formally known as the German Democratic Republic (German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR)) tried to remove symbols of Prussian militarism. Many historic buildings, some of them badly damaged in the war, were demolished.
When in 1946 the remainder of the Province of Brandenburg west of the Oder-Neiße line was constituted as the state of Brandenburg, Potsdam became its capital. In 1952 the GDR disestablished its federative states and replaced them by smaller new East German administrative districts. Potsdam became the capital of the new Bezirk Potsdam until 1990.
Potsdam, south-west of Berlin, lay just outside West Berlin after the construction of the Berlin Wall. The walling off of West Berlin not only isolated Potsdam from West Berlin, but also doubled commuting times to East Berlin. The Glienicke Bridge across the Havel connected the city to West Berlin and was the scene of some Cold War exchanges of spies.
After German reunification, Potsdam became the capital of the newly re-established state of Brandenburg. There are many ideas and efforts to reconstruct the original appearance of the city, most remarkably the Potsdam City Palace and the Garrison Church. Politics AdministrationThe Old Town Hall
Potsdam has had a mayor (Bürgermeister) and city council since the 15th century. From 1809 the city council was elected, with a mayor (Oberbürgermeister) at its head. During the Third Reich the mayor was selected by the NSDAP and the city council was dissolved; it was reconstituted in token form after the Second World War, but free elections did not take place until after reunification.
Today, the city council is the city''s central administrative authority. Local elections took place on 26 October 2003 and again in 2008. Between 1990 and 1999, the Chairman of the City Council was known as the "Town President" but today the post is the "Chairman of the City Council". The mayor is elected directly by the population. In the mayoral election on 22 September 2002, no candidate gained an overall majority, and a run-off election was held between Jann Jakobs (SPD) and Hans-Jürgen Scharfenberg (PDS), with Jann Jakobs gaining the narrowest of victories, with 50.1%.
The Landtag Brandenburg, the parliament of the federal state of Brandenburg is in Potsdam. It is planned to move into the Potsdam City Palace in 2014, after its reconstruction. International relations