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Sanssouci, former summer palace of Frederick the Great
Sanssouci, former summer palace of Frederick the Great
Coat of arms of Potsdam
Coordinates missing!
Country Germany
State Brandenburg
District Urban district
Lord Mayor Jann Jakobs (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 187.28 km2 (72.31 sq mi)
Elevation 35-114 m
Population  148,691  (31 October 2006)[1]
 - Density 794 /km2 (2,056 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate P
Postal codes 14401 – 14482
Area code 0331

Potsdam (Low Sorbian: Podstupim) is a small German city which is right next to Berlin. In fact it touches the border of Berlin, and is about 26 km southwest of Berlin's centre. It is the capital of the state of Brandenburg. Potsdam has a small population: about 176,000 people lived in this city in 2017.

On the other hand, it is the largest World Heritage site in Germany. Potsdam was a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser until 1918. It was planned in the Age of Enlightenment with a careful balance of architecture and landscape. Potsdam was intended as "a picturesque, pastoral dream" which would remind its people of their relationship with nature and reason.[2]

Around the city there are a series of lakes and cultural landmarks. The parks and palaces of Sanssouci are the centre of the World Heritage Site. The Soviet Union did not return many of the Potsdam art treasures, and they remain to this day in Russia. The library of Frederick the Great was returned, but only 36 oil paintings.

The Potsdam Conference in 1945 was held at the palace Cecilienhof.


  1. Statistischer Bericht 10/06 Land Brandenburg
  2. The Potsdam project, 1996, HRH The Prince of Wales, Charles; Hanson, Brian; Steil, Lucien; Prince of Wales's Urban Design Task Force; Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture, Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture, 1998, Introduction.