Stadtschloss, Potsdam, Potsdamer Stadtschloss, Schloss, Castle, Palace

Potsdam City Palace at the Alter Markt

The Potsdam City Palace is located on the Alter Markt in Potsdam and is an external reconstruction of the palace building that was destroyed in 1945 and demolished in GDR times. The reconstruction was inaugurated in January 2014 and today serves as the seat of the Brandenburg state parliament. The very simple, functional interior was designed by Peter Kulka. Today the palace is once again one of Potsdam’s many sights.

Potsdamer Stadtschloss
Potsdam.- City Palace with Fortuna Portal from the tower of the Nikolaikirche (Photo: Baur, Max)

History of the Potsdam City Palace

The original city palace was mainly built by 1752 according to plans by the architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff and with the participation of the builder Frederick the Great (Frederick II). It was the most important building in Potsdam city center before it was destroyed.

But the history of the building goes back further. As early as the 13th century there was a castle on this site, from which the city palace later developed. This happened in particular after the Electress Catherine took over and later by Elector Friedrich Wilhelm, who made Potsdam (after Berlin) his second residence in 1660. Between 1662 and 1669 he had a new palace built in place of the old building. This was probably done by Johann Gregor Memhardt. The exterior architecture was modeled on Dutch models.

Conversions and extensions of the Potsdam City Palace

In the following years, several conversions and extensions of the city palace took place. Among other things, the extension of the side wing to the Alter Markt in the years 1679 to 1682 according to plans by Michael Matthias Smidts and Johann Arnold Nering.

Frederick I also had alterations made. During this time, the Fortuna portal was created as an effective conclusion. From 1746/47 to 1752, the city palace was expanded into a winter residence for the king after major work based on plans by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. In the end, the castle offered a unified architectural layout with rich classical decoration and a striking color scheme. The castle had red painted masonry, yellow architectural parts and a blue copper roof.

Stadtschloss, Luftbild, Potsdam
Aerial view of the Alter Markt with the Potsdam City Palace (source unknown)

Interiors of the Potsdam City Palace

The royal palace had several interiors and halls. Worth mentioning are the stairwell, the marble hall, the bronze hall, the concert room, the confidence board room, the marshal board room, the writing cabinet, the dining room, several bedrooms and apartments.

destruction and reconstruction

The Potsdam City Palace was badly damaged during the war. During an air raid, the city palace and large parts of its immediate vicinity burned down to the outer walls. After years of arguments, the SED leadership decided in May 1959 to demolish the ruins in order to create a Karl Liebknecht Forum on this site. The castle was blown up in early 1960.

From 1991, discussions about the reconstruction of the city palace began. However, this only became concrete after Günther Jauch from Potsdam and other sponsors with donations had the Fortuna portal restored true to the original. In May 2005, the decision was made to build a new state parliament in the outlines and outlines of the historic Potsdam City Palace by 2011. This was completed in 2014.

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Am Alten Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

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