Europe,  Germany,  Potsdam

Potsdam City Palace

City Sightseeing, Potsdam, Potsdamer Stadtschloss
View through the Fortuna portal of the Potsdam City Palace

The Potsdam City Palace, rebuilt in 2014, is one of the most important sights of Potsdam again today. The palace stands on the Alter Markt in Potsdam and is an external reconstruction of the palace structure that was destroyed in 1945 and demolished during the GDR era. The reconstruction was inaugurated in January 2014 and serves as the seat of the Brandenburg State Parliament. The very simple, functional interior was designed by Peter Kulka.

History of the Potsdam City Palace

In 1752 the original city palace was built mainly under the architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff with the help of the builder Friedrich the Great (Friedrich II.). The palace was one of the most important buildings in Potsdam’s city center until it was destroyed.

However, the building history goes back even further. A castle stood there as early as the 13th century, from which the city palace later developed. This took place in particular after the takeover of Electress Katharina and later by Elector Friedrich Wilhelm, who made Potsdam (after Berlin) his second residence in 1660. From 1662 to 1669 he had a new castle 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

The city palace was rebuilt and expanded several times in the following years. Among other things, the extension of the side wing to the Alter Markt between 1679 and 1682 according to plans by Michael Matthias Smidts and Johann Arnold Nering.

Friedrich I also had conversions carried out. During this time, the Fortunaportal was created as an effective closure. From 1746/47 to 1752 the city palace was expanded into a winter residence of the king after major works based on designs by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. In the end, the castle offered a uniform architectural structure with rich classic jewelry and a striking color scheme. The castle had a red-painted brickwork, yellow architectural parts and a blue copper roof.

Interiors of the Potsdam City Palace

The royal palace had several interiors and halls. Mention should be made of the staircase, the marble hall, the bronze hall, the concert room, the confidence table room, the marshal’s table room, the writing cabinet, dining room, several bedrooms and apartments.

Destruction and rebuilding

The Potsdam City Palace was badly damaged in the war. In an air raid, the city palace and large parts of its vicinity burned down to the outer walls. After years of conflict, the SED leadership decided in May 1959 to demolish the ruin in order to create a Karl Liebknecht forum at this point. In early 1960 the castle was blown up.

From 1991 onwards, discussions about the reconstruction of the city palace began. However, this did not materialize until Günther Jauch from Potsdam and other sponsors had the Fortuna portal faithfully restored with donations. In May 2005 the decision was made to build a new state parliament in the outlines and elevations of the historic Potsdam City Palace by 2011. This was completed in 2014.


Am Alten Markt 1
14467 Potsdam