Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz

At a point where five roads converged at the old Potsdam Gate, Potsdamer Platz became the busiest and most recognized intersection in Germany – if not Europe. It became so busy that Europe’s first recognised traffic lights were installed in 1924 to help keep things moving.

Its heyday was during the Roaring Twenties, when film stars such as Marlene Dietrich helped catapult Berlin onto the world stage of show business. It was the place to be and be seen. Grand hotels were built to accommodate the rich and famous, as did luxury stores, bars, and restaurants. The inter-war years had been good to Berlin, but it wasn’t to last.

Replica Traffic Light Tower
Potsdamer Platz 11
Potsdamer Platz 11
Boulevard der Stars
Boulevard der Stars

WWII dealt it a devastating blow. Situated as it was, near to Hitler’s Reich Chancellery, it took the full brunt of several air raids that reduced it to rubble. Very few buildings were left standing – the Weinhaus Huth being one notable exception.

Haus-Huth
Haus-Huth
Remnants of the Berlin Wall
Remnants of the Berlin Wall

After the war was over, the square fared little better. The Soviet, American, and British zones collided at Potsdamer Platz and when the Berlin Wall was built it ran straight through the middle, leaving the area a total wasteland between the eastern and western sectors.

With re-unification came a blank canvas for Europe’s largest building site and the area is now a thriving intersection once again. The modern architecture may not appeal to everybody, but whatever your thoughts about it are, there’s no denying that Potsdamer Platz has now become one of Berlin’s places to come to once again.

The Sony Centre
The Sony Centre
Potsdamer Platz during the Festival of Lights
Potsdamer Platz during the Festival of Lights
print
Please follow and like us:

2 thoughts on “Potsdamer Platz

  1. Linda Luque

    One of my Belgian students sent me a piece of the Berlin Wall during the time it was brought down. I’m glad to know that the area has been rejuvenated again. Thanks Malcom for the info and photos!

    Reply
    1. Malcolm Post author

      It sounds as though you haven’t been here Linda (and I know it’s a long way for you to come), but I’m pleased that I was able to visit Berlin as often as I have during the time that it’s been easier to visit. I would have liked to have visited before the wall came down, but it wouldn’t have been practical then.
      I’ve got a small piece of the wall myself, and it’s a part of history during our lifetime. I hope you look after your part of history. Thanks for taking a look.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.