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Encyclopedia > Potsdamer Platz
Roof of "Sony Center".
Roof of "Sony Center".

Potsdamer Platz is an important square and traffic intersection in the center of Berlin, Germany, lying about 1 km south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag (German Parliament Building), and close to the south east corner of the Tiergarten park. It is named after the city of Potsdam, some 25 km to the south west, and marks the point where the old road from Potsdam passed through the city wall of Berlin at the Potsdam Gate. After developing within the space of little over a century from an intersection of rural thoroughfares into the most bustling traffic centre in Europe, it was totally laid waste during World War II and left desolate during the Cold War era when the Berlin Wall bisected its former location, but since the fall of the Wall it has risen again as a glittering new heart for the city and the most visible symbol of the new Berlin. Download high resolution version (1988x3015, 866 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Wikipedia:Featured pictures visible Helmut Jahn User talk:Solipsist User:Aurevilly Wikipedia:Featured pictures thumbs 03 Wikipedia:Featured pictures candidates/May-2005 Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Sony Center Berlin Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-05... Download high resolution version (1988x3015, 866 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Wikipedia:Featured pictures visible Helmut Jahn User talk:Solipsist User:Aurevilly Wikipedia:Featured pictures thumbs 03 Wikipedia:Featured pictures candidates/May-2005 Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Sony Center Berlin Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-05... Berlin is the capital city and one of the sixteen states of the Federal Republic of Germany. ... KM, Km, or km may stand for: Khmer language (ISO 639 alpha-2, km) Kilometre Kinemantra Meditation Knowledge management KM programming language KM Culture, Korean Movie Maker. ... The Brandenburg Gate The Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor) is a former city gate and the symbol of Berlin, Germany. ... The Reichstag building. ... States currently utilizing parliamentary systems are denoted in red and orange—the former being constitutional monarchies where authority is vested in a parliament, and the latter being parliamentary republics whose parliaments are effectively supreme over a separate head of state. ... Tiergarten (Animal Garden) is a large park and a former borough of Berlin, since 2001 a part of the expanded borough Mitte. ... Sanssouci, the symbol of the city Potsdam is the capital city of the federal state of Brandenburg in Germany. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ... Combatants Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Chiang Kai-shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall, 20 November 1961. ...

Contents

Historical Background

It may seem strange that something which today lies right in the centre of Berlin, was once not in the city at all, for Potsdamer Platz began as a trading post where several country roads converged just outside its old customs wall. The history of Potsdamer Platz can probably be traced back to 29 October 1685, when the Tolerance Edict of Potsdam was signed, whereby Friedrich Wilhelm, Great Elector of Brandenburg and Prussia from 1640 to 1688, allowed large numbers of religious refugees, including Jews from Austria and Huguenots expelled from France, to settle on his territory (indeed, for a while as much as 20% of Berlin’s population was French speaking). Two other things resulted from this huge influx. Firstly, Berlin’s mediaeval fortifications, recently rebuilt from 1658-74 in the form of a Dutch-style water-fortress, on an enormous scale and at great expense, became virtually redundant overnight; and secondly, the already crowded city became even more congested. October 29 is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 6 - James Stuart, Duke of York becomes King James II of England and Ireland and King James VII of Scotland. ... Upon learning of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by the Edict of Fontainebleau (October 1685), Fredrich Wilhelm, the elector of Brandenburg, issued a proclamation giving French Huguenots safe passage to Berlin, offered them tax-free status for ten years, and allowed them to hold French-language services. ... Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg. ... ...   (Lower Sorbian: Bramborska; Upper Sorbian: Braniborska) is one of Germanys sixteen Bundesländer (federal states). ... Motto: Suum cuique Latin: To each his own Prussia at its peak, as leading state of the German Empire Capital Königsberg, later Berlin Political structure Duchy, Kingdom, Republic Duke1  - 1525–68 Albert I  - 1688–1701 Frederick III King1  - 1701–13 Frederick I  - 1888–1918 William II Prime Minister1,2... In the 16th and 17th centuries, the name of Huguenots came to apply to members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France. ...


So several new districts were founded around the city's perimeter, just outside the old fortifications. The biggest of these was Friedrichstadt, just south west of the historic core of Berlin, begun in 1688 and named after new Elector Friedrich Wilhelm III, who later became became King Friedrich I of Prussia. Its street layout followed the Baroque-style grid pattern much favoured at the time, and was based on two main axes: Friedrichstraße running north-south, and Leipziger Straße running east-west. All the new suburbs were absorbed into Berlin around 1709-10. From 1723 a westwards expansion of Friedrichstadt was planned under the orders of King Friedrich Wilhelm I, and this was completed in 1732-4 by architect Philipp Gerlach the Younger (1679-1748). In this expansion, a new north-south axis emerged: Wilhelmstraße. Friedrichstadt / Frederikstad Friedrichstadt (Danish: Frederikstad) is a town in the district of Nordfriesland, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. ... Frederick William III Frederick William III, known in German as Friedrich Wilhelm III, reigned as king of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. ... Frederick I was the name of several European monarchs: Frederick I, Archbishop of Cologne (c. ... Friedrichstraße - view to north The Friedrichstraße (pronounced in IPA) (Frederick Street) is a major shopping street in (east) central Berlin. ... The Bundesrat, the upper house of the German Parliament, has its seat in this building in Leipziger Strasse The German Finance Ministry is housed in the former Reich Air Ministry building on the corner of Leipziger Strasse and the Wilhelmstrasse Leipziger Strasse (or Leipziger Straße: see ß) is a street... Monarchs with this title were: Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Wilhelmstraße (William street) in Berlin became during the 19th century the governmental neighbourhood of Prussia. ...


In 1735-7, after Friedrichstadt’s expansion was complete, a customs wall, 8 km long, was erected around Berlin’s new perimeter. Consisting of a wooden palisade at first, it was later replaced with a brick and stone wall, pierced by 17 gates were where roads entered the city. Here taxes were levied on goods passing through, chiefly meat and flour. The most prestigious gate was the Brandenburg Gate, for the important road from Brandenburg, but 1 km to the south was the entry point of another road that gained great significance.   (Lower Sorbian: Bramborska; Upper Sorbian: Braniborska) is one of Germanys sixteen Bundesländer (federal states). ...


This road had started out in the Middle Ages as a lane running out from Berlin to the hamlet of Schoneberg, but it had developed into part of a trading route running right across Europe from Paris to St. Petersburg via Aachen, Berlin and Konigsberg. In 1660 the Great Elector had made it his route of choice to Potsdam, where his palace was located, and had recently been renovated. Starting in 1754 a daily stagecoach ran between Berlin and Potsdam, although the road was in poor shape. But in 1740 Friedrich the Great had become King. Not a great lover of Berlin, he later built a new palace, (the Sanssouci Palace), at Potsdam in 1744-7, followed by the New Palace in 1763-9, so the road now had to be made fit for a King, plus all his courtiers and staff. After numerous other improvements, in 1791-3 this section was made into Prussia's first all-weather road. It later became Potsdamer Straße; its point of entry into Berlin became the Potsdam Gate, and it was around this gate that Potsdamer Platz was to develop. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Location of Schöneberg in Berlin Rathaus Schöneberg — view from Dominicusstraße Schöneberg is a district of Berlin. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and... Oche redirects here; in darts the oche is the line from which players must throw. ... Locator map on an international level map of Kaliningrad Oblast Kaliningrad (Russian: Калининград), seaport city, capital and main city of the Kaliningrad Oblast, a small Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania with access to the Baltic Sea. ... Frederick the Great Frederick II of Prussia (Friedrich der Große, Frederick the Great, January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786) was the Hohenzollern king of Prussia 1740–86. ... ... The New Palace in Sanssouci Park The New Palace from the south Front view of the New Palace The New Palace (German: Neues Palais) is a palace situated on the western side of the Sanssouci royal park in Potsdam. ...


Early Days

As a physical entity Potsdamer Platz began as a few country roads and rough tracks fanning out from the Potsdam Gate. According to one old guide book, it was never a proper platz, but a five-cornered traffic knot on that old trading route across Europe. Just inside the gate was a large octagonal area, created at the time of Friedrichstadt's expansion in 1732-4 and bisected by Leipziger Straße; this was one of several parade grounds for the thousands of soldiers garrisoned in Berlin at the height of the Prussian Empire. Initially known appropriately as "The Octagon," on 15 September 1814 it was renamed Leipziger Platz after the site of Prussia's final decisive defeat of Napoleon (the Battle of Leipzig, 16-19 October 1813), thus bringing to a conclusion the Wars of Liberation that had been going on since 1806 (indeed, Potsdamer Platz and Leipziger Platz, being side by side, have frequently been regarded and discussed as one entity). By this time however, Leipziger Platz was no longer a parade ground, and attempts to create a market there to draw off some of the frenetic commercial activity in the centre of the city were not successful. And so in 1828 it was turned into a fine garden. Responsible for this work was gardener and landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenne (1789-1866), who in later years would completely redesign the Tiergarten and also transform a muddy ditch to the south into one of Berlin's busiest waterways - the Landwehrkanal. September 15 is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years). ... 1814 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... Combatants French Empire Duchy of Warsaw Confederation of the Rhine[1] Austria Prussia Russia Sweden Commanders Napoleon I Jozef Antoni Poniatowski† Frederick Augustus of Saxony Prince of Schwarzenberg Gebhard von Blücher Prince Charles John of Sweden Strength 191,000 330,000 Casualties 38,000 dead or wounded 30,000...


In 1823-4 the renowned architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841) rebuilt the Potsdam Gate. Formerly little more than a gap in the customs wall, it was replaced by a much grander affair consisting of two matching Doric-style stone gate-houses, like little temples, facing each other across Leipziger Straße. The one on the north side served as the customs house and excise collection point, while its southern counterpart was a military guardhouse, set up to prevent desertions of Prussan soldiers, which had become a major problem. In addition, country peasantry were generally not welcome in the city, and so the gates also served to restrict access. However, the country folk were permitted to set up trading posts of their own just outside the gates, and the Potsdam Gate especially. It was hoped that this would encourage development of all the country lanes into proper roads; in turn it was hoped that these would emulate Parisian boulevards - broad, straight and magnificent, but the main intention was to enable troops to be moved quickly. Thus Potsdamer Platz was off and running. The Old Museum in Berlin Karl Friedrich Schinkel (March 13, 1781 - October 9, 1841) was a German architect and painter. ... Doric, a synonym of Dorian, may refer to any of the following: The Dorians, one of the ancient Hellenic races, Doric Greek, the dialect of the former, the Doric order and its distinctive Doric column, in ancient Greek architecture, the Dorian mode in music, also called the Doric mode, or...


It was not called that until 8 July 1831, but the area outside the Potsdam Gate began to develop in the early 1800s as a district of quiet villas, for as Berlin became even more congested, many of its richer citizens moved outside the customs wall and built spacious new homes around the trading post, along the new boulevards, and around the southern edge of the Tiergarten, a large wooded park formerly the Royal Hunting Grounds. Indeed, this latter area just to the west of Potsdamer Platz, sandwiched between the Tiergarten and the north bank of the Landwehrkanal, grew into a mainly residential district of a particularly affluent nature that came to be known as "Millionaires' Quarter." Acting as a focal point for the area was the Matthaikirche (St. Matthew's Church), built in 1844-6, an Italian Romanesque-style building in alternating bands of red and yellow brick, the work of Friedrich August Stuler (1800-65), a pupil of Schinkel. This church, the sole surviving pre-World War II building in the entire area, forms the centrepiece of today's Cultural Forum. July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 176 days remaining. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


In addition, many of the Hugenots fleeing religious persecution in France, and their descendants, had been living around the trading post and cultivating local fields. Noticing that traffic queues often built up at the Potsdam Gate due to delays in making the customs checks, these people had begun to offer coffee, bread, cakes and confectionery from their homes or from roadside stalls to travellers passing through, thus beginning the tradition of providing food and drink around the future Potsdamer Platz. In later years larger establishments had begun to take their place, which in turn were superseded by even bigger and grander ones. But by the mid-1860s direct taxation had made the customs wall redundant, and so in 1866-7 most of it was demolished along with all the city gates except two – the Brandenburg Gate and the Potsdam Gate. Though deprived of their function, Schinkel’s temples lived on for eight more decades.


More significantly, the removal of the customs wall allowed its former route to be turned into yet another road running through Potsdamer Platz, thus greatly increasing the amount of traffic passing through. This road, both north and south of the platz, was named Königgrätzer Straße after the Prussian victory over Austria at the Battle of Königgrätz on 3 July 1866, in the Austro-Prussian War. Flag of Prussia (1894 - 1918) The Kingdom of Prussia existed from 1701 until 1918, and from 1871 was the leading kingdom of the German Empire, comprising in its last form almost two-thirds of the area of the Empire. ... Combatants Prussia Austria Commanders Wilhelm I Helmuth von Moltke Ludwig von Benedek Strength 140,000troops in 3 Prussian Armies 90,000 Austrians and 25,000 Saxons Casualties 10,000 45,000 including 20,000 prisoners {{{notes}}} In the Battle of Königgrätz or Battle of Sadowa of July 3... July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 181 days remaining. ... 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Combatants Austria, Saxony, Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, Hanover and some minor German States (formerly as the German Confederation) Prussia, Italy, and some minor German States Strength 600,000 Austrians and German allies 500,000 Prussians and German allies 300,000 Italians Casualties 20,000 dead or wounded 37,000 dead...

Potsdamer Platz - the Potsdamer Bahnhof around 1900
Located a short distance away - the Anhalter Bahnhof around 1900

Image File history File links The_rebuilt_Potsdamer_Bahnhof's_facade_around_1900. ... Image File history File links The_rebuilt_Potsdamer_Bahnhof's_facade_around_1900. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1608x1008, 4224 KB) Description: View of Anhalter Bahnhof and Askanischer Platz in Berlin around 1900. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1608x1008, 4224 KB) Description: View of Anhalter Bahnhof and Askanischer Platz in Berlin around 1900. ...

The Railways Arrive

The railway had first come to Berlin in 1838, with the opening of the Potsdamer Bahnhof, terminus of a 26 km line linking the city with, perhaps appropriately, Potsdam, opened throughout by 29 October (in 1848 the line would be extended to Magdeburg and beyond). Since the city authorities would not allow the new line to breach the customs wall, still standing at the time, it had to stop just short, at Potsdamer Platz, but it was this that kick-started the real transformation of the area, into the bustling focal point that Potsdamer Platz would eventually become. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... October 29 is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Just three years later a second railway terminus opened in the vicinity. Located 600 m to the south east, with a front facade facing Askanischer Platz, the Anhalter Bahnhof was the Berlin terminus of a line opened on 1 July 1841 as far as Juterbog and extended to Dessau, Kothen and beyond later. The Anhalter Bahnhof is a former railway terminus in Berlin, Germany, about 600 m south east of Potsdamer Platz. ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 1841 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Jüterbog (2002 pop. ... Dessau is a town in Germany on the junction of the rivers Mulde and Elbe, in the Bundesland (Federal State) of Saxony-Anhalt. ... Köthen ( pronunciation) is a small town in central Germany, about 30 km north of Halle. ...


Both termini began life as fairly modest affairs, but in order to cope with increasing demands both went on to much bigger and better things in later years, a new Potsdamer Bahnhof opening on 30 August 1872 and a new Anhalter Bahnhof, destined to be Berlin’s biggest and finest station, following on 15 June 1880. This latter station benefitted greatly from the closure of a short-lived third terminus in the area - the Dresdener Bahnhof, which lasted from 1875 until 1882. August 30 is the 242nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (243rd in leap years), with 123 days remaining. ... 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... June 15 is the 166th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (167th in leap years), with 199 days remaining. ... Year 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ... The Dresdener Bahnhof was a short-lived passenger railway terminus in Berlin, Germany, opened on 17 June 1875 and handling train services to and from Dresden (over the so-called Dresdener course), Prague and Vienna. ...


In addition, a railway line once ran through Potsdamer Platz itself. This was a connecting line opened in October 1851 and running around the city just inside the customs wall, crossing numerous streets and squares at street level, and whose purpose was to allow goods to be transported between the various Berlin stations, thus creating a hated traffic obstruction that lasted for twenty years. Half a dozen or more times a day, Potsdamer Platz ground to a halt while a train of 60 to 100 wagons trundled through at walking pace preceded by a railway official ringing a bell. The construction of the Ringbahn around the city's perimeter, linked to all the major stations, allowed the connecting line to be scrapped in 1871, although the Ringbahn itself was not complete and open for all traffic until 15 November 1877. November 15 is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 46 days remaining. ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...


In later years Potsdamer Platz was served by both of Berlin's two local rail systems. The U-Bahn arrived first, from the south, in 1902, with a new and better sited station being provided in 1907, and the line itself being extended north and east in 1908. In 1939 the S-Bahn followed, its North-South Link between Unter den Linden and Yorckstraße opening in stages during the year. Both these lines are described more fully in the Potsdamer Bahnhof article. The Oberbaumbrücke on the U1. ... Berlins S-Bahn network The Berlin S-Bahn is a metro system operated by S-Bahn Berlin GmbH, a subsidiary of the Deutsche Bahn. ... A view of Unter den Linden, showing the linden trees for which it is named Unter den Linden (in English: Under the Lindens), is a street in the centre of Berlin, the capital of Germany. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

Potsdamer Platz around 1900. The Grand Hotel Belle Vue and Palast Hotel stand either side of Königgrätzer Straße, which stretches away northwards towards the Brandenburg Gate. On the far right, one of Karl Schinkel's Doric temples (part of the former Potsdam Gate), can be seen at the entrance to Leipziger Platz
Potsdamer Platz around 1900. The Grand Hotel Belle Vue and Palast Hotel stand either side of Königgrätzer Straße, which stretches away northwards towards the Brandenburg Gate. On the far right, one of Karl Schinkel's Doric temples (part of the former Potsdam Gate), can be seen at the entrance to Leipziger Platz

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3496x2612, 2837 KB) Description Original image Photochrom print (color photo lithograph) Created between 1890 and 1905 Source Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Photochrom Prints Collection, reproduction number LC-DIG-ppmsca-00347. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3496x2612, 2837 KB) Description Original image Photochrom print (color photo lithograph) Created between 1890 and 1905 Source Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Photochrom Prints Collection, reproduction number LC-DIG-ppmsca-00347. ...

Heart of a Metropolis

Berlin had by now been growing at a tremendous rate for some time, but its growth accelerated even faster after the city became the capital of the new German state on 18 January 1871. Potsdamer Platz and neighbouring Leipziger Platz really started coming into their own from this time on. Now firmly in the centre of a metropolis whose population eventually reached 4.4 million (the third largest city in the world after London and New York), the area was ready to take on its most celebrated role. Vast hotels and department stores, hundreds of smaller shops, theatres, dance-halls, cafes, restaurants, bars, beer palaces, wine-houses and clubs, all started to appear. Some of these places became internationally known. January 18 is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... NY redirects here. ...


Also, a very large government presence, with many German imperial departments, Prussian state authorities and their various sub-departments, came into the area, taking over 26 former palaces and aristocratic mansions in Leipziger Platz, Leipziger Straße and Wilhelmstraße. Even the Reichstag itself, the German Parliament, occupied the former home of the family of composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47) in Leipziger Straße before moving in 1894 to the vast new edifice near the Brandenburg Gate, erected by Paul Wallot (1841-1912). Next door, the Upper House of the Prussian State Parliament occupied a former porcelain factory for a while, before moving to an impressive new building erected on the site of the former Mendelssohn family home in 1899-1904 by Friedrich Schulze Colditz (1843-1912). This building backed on to an equally grand edifice in the next street (Prinz-Albrecht Straße), also by Colditz, that had been built for the Prussian Lower House in 1892-9. Felix Mendelssohn at the age of 30 Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and known generally as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was a German composer and conductor of the early Romantic period. ... Paul Wallot (June 26, 1841 Oppenheim am Rhein - August 10, 1912) was a German architect, best known for producing the Reichstag. ...


In addition, the former Millionaires' Quarter just to the west of Potsdamer Platz became a much favoured location for other countries to site their embassies. Hence the area gradually acquired the new designation "Diplomatic Quarter."

Potsdamer Platz in the mid 1920s (not 1900), looking east into Leipziger Platz. The Palast Hotel is on the far left, with Leipziger Straße stretching away into the distance and Leipziger Platz on either side of it. Just down there on the left is the Wertheim Department Store. The traffic light tower can be seen standing on the elliptical island in the middle of the road. Karl Schinkel's Doric temples lie just beyond it, facing each other across Leipziger Strasse. The large building to the right is the Hotel Furstenhof, with the southern portion of Königgrätzer Straße stretching away. Down there to the right is the Anhalter Bahnhof. Just out of the picture to the right are the Haus Vaterland and Potsdamer Bahnhof

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1608x1016, 4286 KB) Description: View of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, on Leipziger Straße, apparently around 1900. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1608x1016, 4286 KB) Description: View of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, on Leipziger Straße, apparently around 1900. ... Wertheim is the name of a German town, located at the river Main, see Wertheim am Main Burg Wertheim is the name of a castle nearby the town Wertheim Wertheim is the name of some German department stores, the Wertheim group was founded by Georg Wertheim Kreuzwertheim is a market...

Pre-War Heyday

The heyday of Potsdamer Platz was in the 1920s and 1930s. By this time it had developed into the busiest traffic center in all of Europe, and the heart of Berlin's nightlife. It represented the geographical centre of the city, the meeting place of five of its busiest streets in a star-shaped intersection deemed the transport hub of the entire continent. These were: Nightlife is the collective term for any entertainment that is available and more popular from the late evening into the early hours of the morning. ...

  • Königgrätzer Straße (northern portion), running along the former route of the customs wall and leading north to the Brandenburg Gate. On 6 February 1930 it was renamed Ebertstraße after Friedrich Ebert (1871-1925), first President of the new German republic (known as the Weimar Republic, after the city to which its Parliament had effectively relocated). In 1935 the Nazis renamed it Hermann Göring Straße after Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, whose official residence was on the east side of the street near the Brandenburg Gate. In 1947 it reverted back to Ebertstraße again.
  • Königgrätzer Straße (southern portion), also running along part of the customs wall's old route, actually leading mainly south east. On 6 February 1930 it was renamed Stresemannstraße after Gustav Stresemann (1878-1929), the first Chancellor to serve under President Ebert. In 1935 the Nazis renamed it Saarland Straße after the region of south western Germany that had been under League of Nations rule since the end of World War I but which in 1935 elected to return to Germany. In 1947 it reverted back to Stresemannstraße.
  • Leipziger Straße, leading east.
  • Potsdamer Straße, developed out of that old road to Schoneberg and Potsdam, part of the former trading route across Europe, and leading south west. Today this section is called Alte Potsdamer Straße, a pedestrianised cul-de-sac severed by post-World War II developments and subsequently by-passed by a new section - the Neue Potsdamer Straße, leading due west and then curving southwards to rejoin its old course at the Potsdam Bridge, over the Landwehrkanal.
  • Bellevuestraße, leading north west through the Tiergarten to Schloss Bellevue, today the official residence of the Federal President of Germany.

As well as the stations and other facilities and attractions already mentioned, in the immediate area was also one of the world’s biggest and most luxurious department stores (Wertheim), together with a huge multi-national-themed eating establishment (the Haus Vaterland), that could hold 8,000 people, and containing the world’s largest restaurant, which could seat 2,500 on its own. February 6 is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link is to a full 1930 calendar). ... Looking north up Ebertstrasse from the corner of Voss-strasse. ... This is not the Friedrich Ebert involved in the founding of the GDR, but rather his father. ... Anthem: Das Lied der Deutschen The Länder of Germany during the Weimar Republic, with the Free State of Prussia (Freistaat Preußen) as the largest Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1919-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann  - 1933 Adolf Hitler... The Nazi party used a right-facing swastika as their symbol and the red and black colors were said to represent Blut und Boden (blood and soil). ... Hermann Wilhelm Göring (also Goering in English) (January 12, 1893 – October 15, 1946) was a German politician and military leader, a leading member of the Nazi Party, second in command of the Third Reich, and commander of the Luftwaffe. ... Gustav Stresemann (May 10, 1878 – October 3, 1929) was a German liberal politician and statesman who served as Chancellor and Foreign Secretary during the Weimar Republic. ... The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert Henry Asquith Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow... Schloss Bellevue Bellevue Palace (German: Schloss Bellevue) is a château north of the Tiergarten park in Berlin. ... The President of Germany is Germanys head of state. ... Wertheim is the name of a German town, located at the river Main, see Wertheim am Main Burg Wertheim is the name of a castle nearby the town Wertheim Wertheim is the name of some German department stores, the Wertheim group was founded by Georg Wertheim Kreuzwertheim is a market...


It is widely claimed (though this is subject to some disagreement), that the world's first electric street lights were installed at Potsdamer Platz in 1882 by the Berlin-based electrical giant Siemens. What is not refuted is that Europe's first traffic lights were erected here on 20 October 1924 in an attempt to control the sheer volume of traffic passing through. This traffic had grown to extraordinary levels. Even in 1900, more than 100,000 people, 20,000 cars and horse-drawn vehicles and many thousands of bicycles, had passed through the platz daily. The trams had added greatly to this. The first four lines had appeared in 1880, rising to 13 by 1897, all horse-drawn, but after electrification between 1898 and 1902 the number of lines had soared to 35 by 1908 and ultimately reached 40, carrying between them 600 trams every hour, day and night. The traffic lights, again from Siemens, were mounted on a five-sided 8.5 m high tower shipped over from the USA and actually modelled on a similar one erected on Fifth Avenue in New York in 1922, although towers like this had been a feature of the Big Apple since 1918. A policeman sat in a small cabin at the top of the tower and switched the lights around manually, until they were eventually automated in 1926. Yet some officers still remained on the ground in case people did not pay any attention to the lights (on 26 September 1997 a replica of this tower was erected close to its original location by Siemens, to celebrate the company's 150th anniversary. The replica was moved again on 29 September 2000, to the place where is stands today). Siemens has the following uses: Siemens is a German family name carried by generations of the telecommunications industrialists, including Werner von Siemens, Sir William Siemens, Wilhelm von Siemens and Peter von Siemens Siemens AG is a German electrical and telecommunications company, founded as a telegraph equipment manufacturer by Werner von... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... Year 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Street sign at Fifth Avenue and East 57th street Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in New York City. ... September 26 is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... September 29 is the 272nd day of the year (273rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...


At 8.00 pm on 8 October 1923 Germany's first radio broadcast was made, using the world's first medium-wave transmitter, from a building (Vox-Haus) close by in Potsdamer Straße. Despite several upgrades between December 1923 and July 1924, the nearby Grand Hotel Esplanade's formidable bulk prevented the transmitter from functioning effectively and so in December 1924 it was superseded by a better sited new one, but Vox-Haus lived on as the home of Germany's first radio station, Radiostunde Berlin, founded in 1923, renamed Funkstunde in March 1924, but it moved to a new home in 1931 and closed in 1934. October 8 is the 281st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (282nd in leap years). ... 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... Grand Hotel “Esplanade” once stood on Berlin’s busy transport and nightlife hub Potsdamer Platz. ...

See also 1920s Berlin.

The Golden Twenties, in Berlin, Germany, were an exciting and extremely vibrant time in the history of Berlin, German history, and European history in general. ...

World War II and the Cold War Era

As was the case in most of Berlin, almost all of the buildings around Potsdamer Platz were turned to rubble by air raids and heavy artillery bombardment during the last years of World War II. Things were not helped by the close proximity of Adolf Hitler's enormous new Reich Chancellery building (just one block away in Voßstraße), and many other Nazi government edifices nearby as well, and so Potsdamer Platz was right in a major target area. Hitler redirects here. ... Exterior view of the entrance of the New Reich Chancellery. ... The site of the former Reich Chancellery at the corner of Vossstrasse and Wilhelmstrasse. ... National Socialism redirects here. ...


When the city was divided into sectors by the occupying Allies at the end of the war, the square found itself on the boundary between the American, British, and Soviet sectors.


As Cold War tensions rose during the 1950s, restrictions were placed on travel between the Soviet sector (East Berlin) and the western sectors (West Berlin). Lying on this invisible frontier, Potsdamer Platz was no longer an important destination for Berliners. East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. ... Boroughs of West Berlin West Berlin was the name given to the western part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. ...


With the construction of the Berlin Wall on 13 August 1961 along this intracity frontier, Potsdamer Platz found itself divided in two. What had once been a busy intersection had become desolate. With the clearance of ruined buildings on both sides (on the eastern side, this was done chiefly to give border guards a clear view of would-be escapees and an uninterrupted line of fire), almost nothing was left in an area of dozens of hectares. August 13 is the 225th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (226th in leap years), with 140 days remaining. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ...


After the Wall

After the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters staged a gigantic charity concert of his former band's rock extravaganza The Wall on 21 July 1990 to commemorate the end of the division between East and West Germany. The concert took place on the then-empty Potsdamer Platz and featured many guest superstars. November 9 is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 52 days remaining. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pink Floyd are an English rock band that earned recognition for their psychedelic rock music, and, as they evolved, for their avant-garde progressive rock music. ... George Roger Waters (born September 6, 1943) is an English rock musician; singer, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, and composer. ... The Wall: Live in Berlin (1990) On 21 July 1990, Roger Waters staged a massive concert performance of The Wall in Berlin. ... July 21 is the 202nd day (203rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 163 days remaining. ... 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... GDR redirects here. ...

Potsdamer Platz No1 tower block, also known as the Kollhoff Tower
Potsdamer Platz No1 tower block, also known as the Kollhoff Tower
The Sony Bahntower
The Sony Bahntower

After 1990, the square became the focus of attention again, as a large, attractive location which had suddenly become available in the center of a major European city. It was widely seen as one of the hottest, most exciting building sites in Europe, and subject to much debate amongst architects and planners. The city government chose to divide the area into four parts, each to be sold to a commercial investor, which then planned new construction. During the building-phase the Potsdamer Platz was the largest building site in Europe. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (768x1024, 88 KB) Picture taken by me of the Potsdamer Platz No1 building, Berlin, Germany. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (768x1024, 88 KB) Picture taken by me of the Potsdamer Platz No1 building, Berlin, Germany. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (768x1024, 101 KB) Picture taken by me of the Bahntower, Berlin, Germany. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (768x1024, 101 KB) Picture taken by me of the Bahntower, Berlin, Germany. ...


The largest of these four parts went to Daimler-Benz, now part of Daimler-Chrysler, who charged Renzo Piano with creating a master plan for the new construction. The individual buildings were then built by many individual architects according to that plan. This includes the remarkable Potsdamer Platz No. 1 by Hans Kollhoff, now home to a number of prestigious law firms (in the photo on the right, the tall brick building in the center). Potsdamer Platz is also home to the Panoramapunkt viewing platform, located 100 m above ground level, which is accessed by riding Europe's fastest elevator. From the Panoramapunkt one can see such landmarks as the Die Bahn headquarters, Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Federal Chancellery, Bellevue Palace, Cathedral, Gendarmes Market, Holocaust Memorial and Commemoration Church. DaimlerChrysler AG (Xetra: DCX) , (NYSE: DCX), with headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany and Auburn Hills, Michigan, is a prominent automobile and truck manufacturer, formed in 1998 by the buyout of the Chrysler Corporation (USA) by Daimler-Benz (Germany). ... The Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church in San Giovanni Rotondo. ... Hans Kollhoff (b. ... Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railway Corporation; abbreviated DBAG or simply DB) is Germanys main railway operator, providing passenger and goods services over federally owned tracks. ... The Brandenburg Gate The Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor) is a former city gate and the symbol of Berlin, Germany. ... The Reichstag is both an institutional assembly and a specific building. ... Schloss Bellevue Bellevue Palace (German: Schloss Bellevue) is a château north of the Tiergarten park in Berlin. ... The Gendarmenmarkt is a famous square in Berlin, surrounded by the Concert Hall, the French and the German Cathedral. ... Holocaust-Memorial (Spring 2004) The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as Holocaust memorial for short, is a memorial in Berlin a block to the south of the Brandenburg Gate. ...

Potsdamer Platz (June 2003)
Potsdamer Platz (June 2003)

The second largest part went to Sony, which erected its new European headquarters there. This new Sony Center by Helmut Jahn, an impressive, yet light monolith of glass and steel (the rightmost building in the picture on the right), is considered by many to be one of the finest pieces of modern architecture in Berlin. Photo of Potsdamer Platz at Berlin (taken June 7, 2003 by djmutex), herewith licensed under GFDL. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Photo of Potsdamer Platz at Berlin (taken June 7, 2003 by djmutex), herewith licensed under GFDL. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This shows the interior of one of the seven buildings that comprises the Sony Center. ... An illuminated, suspended, oval roof covers the 102m span of the central Forum of the Sony Center, Berlin. ...

Potsdamer Platz (October 2005)
Potsdamer Platz (October 2005)

The whole project was the subject of much criticism from the beginning, and still not everyone applauds how the district was commercialized and replanned. However, the plaza now attracts several thousand visitors a day, and some critics may be surprised by the success of the new quarter. At almost any time of the day, the place is alive with people. It has become a must-see for visitors, a top shopping area for tourists and probably the number-one spot to go for english speaking film fans, with more than 40 screens in three cinemas, including an english speaking cinema, a film academy and a film museum. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1791x1186, 2345 KB) Self-created, 2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1791x1186, 2345 KB) Self-created, 2. ...


Some scenes of the 1987 Wim Wenders movie Der Himmel über Berlin (English title: Wings of Desire) are located on the old, almost entirely void Potsdamer Platz before the Wall fell. The movie thus gives a good impression of the surroundings at the time, which are completely unlike what can be seen today. Wim Wenders at Cannes, 2002. ... Wings of Desire is the English title of Der Himmel über Berlin, a 1987 film by the German-born director Wim Wenders. ...


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Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Potsdamer Platz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (627 words)
Potsdamer Platz is an important square and traffic intersection in central Berlin, Germany.
As was the case in much of Berlin, many of the buildings around Potsdamer Platz were turned to rubble by air raids and heavy artillery bombardment during the last years of World War II.
Potsdamer Platz during the early years of the Berlin Wall.
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