Feb 25, 2014

Sunday in Potsdam

Yesterday it was a beautiful Sunday again, perfect for our trip to Potsdam. I hope the weather stays like that for the whole next month! I'm leaving Berlin in the beginning of April and I would like to spend the rest of the weekends on the trips like yesterday's or the one to Kladow last Sunday. We actually have a lot of ideas for destinations, but most likely not enough time. There is so many things to see, so many places to explore, so much things to do! Yeah, Berlin it really is - like I heard someone saying - a place to stay, more than a place to visit!
So yesterday we took the S-bahn to Wannsee, like the last time. The plan was to then cycle from there to Potsdam. We could go with the S-bahn all the way, but we would have to buy an extra ticket. And it's just 5 km, that's not much. Well, we thought it is 5 km, but I just realized it is actually 9 km (from the station in Wannsee to the place in Potsdam where we parked our bikes) :D Sorry, Amiee!

At "our" place in Wannsee, before riding to Potsdam

Cycling to Potsdam was kind of .. hard. I'm not a serious cyclist and haven't been on a bike for some time (going with a bike to my German classes doesn't count). 9 km of which about half of the way is slowly uphill was quite of a good ---. My legs hurt today so much. But it was worthed, it really was, Potsdam is one beautiful town southwest of Berlin with population of 160.000. Really small compared to Berlin and big compared to my hometown. It is the capital city of State of Brandenburg (which borders the State of Berlin) and it is situated on the river Havel. We crossed it on Glienicke bridge while entering Potsdam.

The Glienicke Bridge, used for exchanging spies during the Cold War

We parked our bikes in the Old Market Square (Alter Markt) and decided to walk around the city - it is more practical to take pictures when you are on your feet :) And it was also a good location choice as it was easy to find the right direction to our bikes at the end of the day, with the rooftop of the Nikolaikirche visible from far away.

Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas' church)
Alter Rathaus (old city hall)
Knobelsdorff House
Today Potsdam is mostly an university city, but was historically a centre of European immigration. Its religious tolerance attracted people from France, Russia, the Netherlands and Bohemia. This is still visible in the culture and architecture of the city. The most know place in Potsdam is Sanssouci Park (more photos in my previous post!) which is French for "Without worries", the residence of King Frederick the Great. We've been in the park during our trip yesterday, but it is big with many sightseeings, so we plan to go back one day, to check all of them! Although I think it is more worthed to visit in the summer!

Infront of the Sanssouci Palace
Something was really funny :)
My favourite part of Potsdam would probably be the old city center. I simply love old colorful buildings and paved streets! After looking at all big boring modern buildings most of the time, it makes you feel like you traveled back in history! 

St. Peter and Paul church
Brandenburger Straße

Oh, and they also have a Dutch Quarter (Holländisches Viertel)! Consisting of 134 red brick buildings it is Europe's largest collection of Dutch-style houses outside of Netherlands. How cool is that?! Or maybe this is my favourite part of Potsdam, I can't decide :)

Another thing to see in Potdam are their gates. With their arhitectural style they were more built for show tha for defence. Of all the gates in the city, only three survived.

Nauener Tor
Brandenburger Tor - yes, they also have one in Potsdam :)
I think we didn't see a half of Potsdam yet. There is still Alexandrovka (Russian colony) we didn't have time to visit and Neuer Garten (big park in English style). And Babelsberg, a quarter with the film studios and big park with a palace. And many other churches, palaces and other buildings. Well maybe after all Potsdam is not so small :) And I will for sure go back, to see more, if not in the next month, then on my next visit of Berlin :)

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