Potsdam, the residence of the Kaiser until 1918, was planned on the ideas of the enlightenment “…through a careful balance of architecture and landscape.” (Wiki) It is indeed a lovely city with some magnificent architecture, including Charlottenburg Palace with its surprisingly attractive decoration, paintings and objects. The city borders what was once called West Berlin.
The area has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The city was established by Slavs in the 7th century. The earliest written reference dates to 972. It was granted a town charter in 1345. By the late 1800’s it was a steel producer and for that became a major target of the Allies in WWII.
The surrounding area has many lakes and the views from the river are quite lovely. The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof Palace. Babelsberg is a major film studio and has been an important studio since the fall of the wall, when this region joined Western Germany. The city is home to the University of Potsdam, three colleges and many research institutes. The Glienicke Bridge is also called the Bridge of Spies. It connected Potsdam to West Berlin, where exchanges of spies took place.
Sansoucci Palace is a World Heritage Site, I believe for its magnificent and large gardens.
The Alter Markt (Old Market) contains several magnificent buildings on a large square adjoining the Havel River.
Charlottenburg Palace is far more opulent than I expected. The Prussian kings were comparatively minor in the history of Europe. They managed to filch quite the fortune to build this joint.
Getting around by bike is quite pleasant. There are bike paths most everywhere. We used them to see the Dutch section, with houses in the Dutch style. The parks are peaceful and aplenty. The marina is well located and very near tram lines, which we used to visit the Russian section, where there are a half dozen or so old wooden houses in excellent condition.
There was more to see and much to do than we allocated time for, as we are on to Berlin!