Potsdam Museums and Attractions
From: Potsdam Travel Guide
ABOVE: A cell block in the Lindesstrasse 54/55 Memorial, which was a GDR prison for political detainees from 1952 through 1989.
Museums and monuments in Potsdam
Potsdam isn't about to unseat Berlin as a museum city, but it won't leave you unsatisfied: The official city tourism guide lists a dozen museums and attractions, not counting the city's many palaces, villas, and gardens that are open to the public.
The Lindenstrasse 54/55 Memorial should be at the top of your "places to visit" list. The outwardly placid 17th Century building, which once housed the city parliament, became a Soviet political prison in 1945 and was run by East Germany's State Security Service (the "Stasi") from 1952 through 1989. Today, the former prison--preserved as it was during the GDR era--is a memorial to victims of political constraint in the 20th Century.
The Potsdam-Museum focuses on the city's history and everyday life over the centuries. It occupies a 300-year-old house in the Dutch Quarter.
The Schloss Cecilienhof, site of the 1945 Potsdam Conference, houses both a hotel and a museum where you can see the room where Truman, Stalin, and Churchill negotiated the postwar division of Germany. (The city's tourist office offers tours that include the museum and other places of interest.)
The Filmuseum Potsdam offers "a journey through the history of Babelsberg film studios." It's located in the Marstall, or royal horse stables of the former city palace, and it's only 10 minutes away from the Filmpark Babelsberg, Eastern Germany's version of Universal Studios. (The Babelsberg film studios have been producing movies for nearly 100 years.)
In the Sanssouci Park, near the palace, an Historic Mill is open daily from April to October and on weekends during the off-season. The mill, a re-creation of a Dutch mill that stood on the site from 1738 until 1945, has old milling equipment and a viewing platform overlooking the park.
Other museums and attractions within the city include the Museum FLUXUS+ (modern art), the Natural History Museum, the Biosphere Potsdam (a tropical environment with exotic flora and fauna), and the Exploratorium Potsdam (a hands-on science museum for all ages).
Bunker museums in Brandenburg
The Honecker Bunker in Prenden has been sealed, although you can take an online virtual tour through the late GDR head of state's emergency headquarters.
Other bunkers that can be visited include the Harnekop Bunker (see English article), the Wollenberg Bunker and Museum (designed as a radio-communications center), Atombunker Garzau (the former organizational and data center of the National People's Army in the GDR), and the Wünsdorf Bunker air-defense complex, which has guided tours daily from April to October and on weekends during the winter months.
For information on 8-hour guided tours of the bunkers at Harnekop, Wollenberg, and Garzau, check the Brandenburg Tourism Web site.
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3rd inset photo copyright © Christina Hanck.
4th inset photo copyright © Zuitograf.
5th inset photo copyright © Fornaxus.
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