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Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz, one of the most bustling squares in Berlin in the past, was devastated during World War II and split in two by the Berlin Wall. Nowadays, the completely reformed square once again shines with the pre-war splendor.

Potsdamer Platz was the site of a dense commercial and cultural activity during the nineteenth century and some remains of that evolution are still preserved, such as the first traffic light in Europe, which operated manually.

After the war and the subsequent construction of the Wall, the shattered Potsdamer Platz became an empty land forgotten next to it.

It was after the fall of the Berlin Wall when the square became an attractive buildable area that the architects used to build a series of buildings representative of the new unified Berlin.

Only a building of those that formed part of the square managed to survive World War II. This is Haus Huth (Alte Potsdamer Strasse number 5), a six-storey building that withstood the bombing thanks to its steel structure, something revolutionary for the time.

In the square there are also some remains of the luxurious Grand Hotel Esplanade from which only 10% could be saved after the passage of World War II. At the entrance to the Sony Center from Postdamer Platz you can see part of the facade of the hotel and some rooms that represent the way of life of the pre-war Berlin high class.

Although some remnants of the wall are still preserved, the square was recently rebuilt to become part of modern Berlin.

To the west of the square, in the so-called Postdamer District, are two important architectural blocks: Sony Center and Quartier Daimler Chrysler.

The Sony Center is characterized by its huge dome of glass and steel illuminated with lights of changing colors. This dome, the work of Helmut Jahn, is a shelter for many Berliners and tourists who crowd in their terraces and restaurants.

The Daimler Chrysler area, across Potsdamer Strasse, is much less touristy and much more unfamiliar. If you enter it you will find relaxing gardens.

Fans of the world of cinema who know the Berlin Film Festival or Berlinale, will know that this takes place on Potsdamer Platz.

The square is situated quite close to the Brandenburg Gate and it is entertaining to walk that short walk on foot, following the gap of the ground that marks the path that traveled the Berlin Wall.

Climbing to one of the tallest buildings on Potsdamer Platz, the 25-storey Kollhoff Tower, over 100 meters high, you can enjoy one of the best views of central Berlin. The gazebo entrance, called Panoramapunkt, is located on Alte Potsdamer Strasse.

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