1000 years of city history in 60+ minutes

POTSDAM. A City Makes History

facade poster Potsdam Museum, Design: BüroStich
facade poster Potsdam Museum, Design: BüroStich
facade poster Potsdam Museum, Design: BüroStich

Over 500 original artifacts, pictures, short texts, audios and film clips illustrate Potsdam's development from the Middle Ages to the present: historical highlights and lineages, well-known personalities, anecdotes and curiosities.

Where and when did the city come into being? What did Frederick II have his guards at the city gates tell him? How did the Old Market Square develop in the 18th century? How did Casanova or Alexander von Humboldt experience Potsdam? The Dutch, Swiss, Russians – who came when and why? Why does the imported mulberry tree still grow here today?

When was Potsdam considered a flourishing manufacturing city and what was produced? Why did Hindenburg and Hitler open the Reichstag in March 1933 in Potsdam of all places? Where were Soviet army bases located? How did the fall of the wall in 1989 play out in the city?

The city's history is told thematically in an accessible and memorable way: Luxury and splendour, immigration and the military, kings and the bourgeoisie, religion, urban development and architecture, art, crafts and scientific achievements.

Curious? We look forward to your visit!

The permanent exhibition on Potsdam's city history is free of charge.
An audio guide in English can be rented for €2.
Group tours in English are also available - contact: fuehrungen-pm@rathaus.postdam.de

Opening hours Tuesday to Sunday and on public holidays (except 24.12. and 31.12.): 12 a.m. - 6 p.m.


OUR FACADE POSTER: A big crowd at the Old Market

Six coaches have arrived from Berlin, stopping at the Old Market – an illustrious crowd disembarks... They have come to see the residences of the Hohenzollerns and especially that of Frederick the Great, the palaces and gardens.

The picture captures a beautiful moment at the Old Market Square – a glimpse into the past and the long history of Potsdam, which goes back to, at least, the first documented mentioning of Potsdam in the year 993. In the Potsdam Museum, the city's rich history is told. And as the picture beautifully illustrates, it is the people who make the history of a city.

Visitors flocked to the Old Market as early as 1910. The tourists from Berlin were certainly also planning a visit to the city's museum, which was first located in the old town hall from 1909 to 1910. The photo dates back to this time. The photographer is unknown.

The people in the photograph 
The arriving tourists belong to the more affluent class of Berlin. In the foreground of the photo other contemporary individuals of the city have been inserted as a collage – all from the Potsdam Museum's photo collection. Their identities are not known, but their appearance allows us to make some assumptions. The friendly looking young woman in the center of the picture is certainly from the upper middle-class. The three gentlemen to the right, also bourgeois, could be Potsdam city representatives. The gentleman with the glasses on his hat on the left side is one of the bus drivers.

The only person known by name is – in the front left with a cigar – Fritz Rumpf (1856-1927). The painter, art writer and translator was an active member of the Potsdam Museum Association, co-founder of the City Museum – and was also director of the museum for some time.