Potsdam is the largest city and capital of the German federal state of Brandenburg. While many other eastern German municipalities shrink, Potsdam experienced a substantial population grown in the last two decades up to 180 000 inhabitants today. Potsdam is located on the banks of the Havel River in the southwest of Berlin only a 30 minutes train ride away from Berlin’s city centre.
Potsdam’s history is more than a 1 000 years long, however, the major city structure was formed and many palaces and parks built during the 18th and 19th centuries, when the city was the residence of the Prussian kings. Although Potsdam was heavily damaged by bombing in 1945, most of the palaces remained intact or were rebuilt. Today, Potsdam is full of UNESCO World Heritage sites, all in all covering approx. 500 hectares of parkland and 150 buildings. Among them is the famous Schloss Sanssouci, built as a summer residence for the Prussian kings in 1747. Find out more about the 16 palaces distributed over three large parks and the city centre of Potsdam as well as about other tourist highlights here.
Potsdam has developed into an important centre for science and research in Germany with a high density of students (15 % of the total population). There are more than 30 research institutes in the city, the University of Potsdam, and public colleges including Germany’s first film university. The Filmstudio Babelsberg, located in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world, producing films since 1912.
While in Potsdam everywhere is within easy cycling distance and while the city enjoys a much slower pace than Berlin, the close-by capital of Germany with many more historic and cultural sites is only a stone’s throw away.
Places to see and places to eat
The members of the organizing committee will make personal recommendations here soon. Please, check out this webpage before planning your trip.