Aufstand in Stadt und Land: Der 17. Juni im Bezirk Potsdam (German Edition)

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Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. View Metrics. So the layout stayed put, although in Schinkel did get to rebuild the Potsdam Gate. The one on the north side served as the customs house and excise collection point, while its southern counterpart was a military guardhouse, set up to prevent desertions of Prussian soldiers , which had become a major problem. The new gate was officially dedicated on 23 August The design also included a new look for Leipziger Platz.

Attempts to create a market there to draw off some of the frenetic commercial activity in the centre of the city had not been successful.

And so Schinkel proposed to turn it into a fine garden, although this part of the design was not implemented. Meanwhile, country peasantry were generally not welcome in the city, and so the gates also served to restrict access. However, the country folk were permitted to set up trading posts of their own just outside the gates, and the Potsdam Gate especially. It was hoped that this would encourage development of all the country lanes into proper roads; in turn it was hoped that these would emulate Parisian boulevards—broad, straight and magnificent, but the main intention was to enable troops to be moved quickly.

Thus Potsdamer Platz was off and running. It was not called that until 8 July , but the area outside the Potsdam Gate began to develop in the early 19th century as a district of quiet villas, for as Berlin became even more congested, many of its richer citizens moved outside the customs wall and built spacious new homes around the trading post, along the newly developing boulevards, and around the southern edge of the Tiergarten.

Initially the development was fairly piecemeal, but in this area just to the west of Potsdamer Platz, sandwiched between the Tiergarten and the north bank of the future Landwehrkanal, received Royal approval for a more orderly and purposeful metamorphosis into a residential colony of the affluent, and gradually filled with houses and villas of a particularly palatial nature. These became the homes of civil servants, officers, bankers, artists and politicians among others, and earned the area the nickname "Millionaires' Quarter" although its official designation was Friedrichvorstadt Friedrich's Suburb , or alternatively the Tiergartenviertel Tiergarten Quarter.

Many of the properties in the neighbourhood were the work of architect Georg Friedrich Heinrich Hitzig —81 , a pupil of Schinkel who also built the original "English Embassy" in Leipziger Platz, where the vast Wertheim department store would later stand, although Friedrichvorstadt's focal point and most notable building was the work of another architect—and another pupil of Schinkel.

The Matthiaskirche St. This church, one of fewer than half a dozen surviving pre-World War II buildings in the entire area, forms the centrepiece of today's Kulturforum Cultural Forum. Meanwhile, many of the Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in France, and their descendants, had also been living around the trading post and cultivating local fields.

Noticing that traffic queues often built up at the Potsdam Gate due to delays in making the customs checks, these people had begun to offer coffee, bread, cakes and confectionery from their homes or from roadside stalls to travellers passing through, thus beginning the tradition of providing food and drink around the future Potsdamer Platz. In later years larger and more purpose-built establishments had begun to take their place, which in turn were superseded by even bigger and grander ones. The former district of quiet villas was by now anything but quiet: Potsdamer Platz had taken on an existence all its own whose sheer pace of life rivalled anything within the city.

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The removal of the customs wall allowed its former route to be turned into yet another road running through Potsdamer Platz, thus increasing still further the amount of traffic passing through. Since the city authorities would not allow the new line to breach the customs wall, still standing at the time, it had to stop just short, at Potsdamer Platz, but it was this that kick-started the real transformation of the area, into the bustling focal point that Potsdamer Platz would eventually become.

Just three years later a second railway terminus opened in the vicinity. Both termini began life as fairly modest affairs, but in order to cope with increasing demands both went on to much bigger and better things in later years, a new Potsdamer Bahnhof, destined to be Berlin's busiest station, opening on 30 August and a new Anhalter Bahnhof, destined to be the city's biggest and finest, following on 15 June In addition, a railway line once ran through Potsdamer Platz itself.

This was a connecting line opened in October and running around the city just inside the customs wall, crossing numerous streets and squares at street level, and whose purpose was to allow goods to be transported between the various Berlin stations, thus creating a hated traffic obstruction that lasted for twenty years. Half a dozen or more times a day, Potsdamer Platz ground to a halt while a train of 60 to wagons trundled through at walking pace preceded by a railway official ringing a bell. The construction of the Ringbahn around the city's perimeter, linked to all the major stations, allowed the connecting line to be scrapped in , although the Ringbahn itself was not complete and open for all traffic until 15 November In later years Potsdamer Platz was served by both of Berlin's two local rail systems.

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Potsdamer Platz

The U-Bahn arrived first, from the south; begun on 10 September , it opened on 18 February , with a new and better sited station being provided on 29 September , and the line itself being extended north and east on 1 October By the second half of the 19th century, Berlin had been growing at a tremendous rate for some time, but its growth accelerated even faster after the city became the capital of the new German Empire on 18 January Potsdamer Platz and neighbouring Leipziger Platz really started coming into their own from this time on.

Now firmly in the centre of a metropolis whose population eventually reached 4. Some of these places became internationally known. Next door, the Herrenhaus, or Prussian House of Lords the Upper House of the Prussian State Parliament , occupied a former porcelain factory for a while, before moving to an impressive new building erected on the site of the former Mendelssohn family home in — by Friedrich Schulze Colditz — Potsdamer Platz was also the location of Germany's first electric street lights , installed in by the electrical giant Siemens , founded and based in the city.

The heyday of Potsdamer Platz was in the s and s. By this time it had developed into the busiest traffic center in all of Europe, [1] and the heart of Berlin's nightlife. It was a key location that helped to symbolise Berlin; it was known worldwide, and a legend grew up around it. It represented the geographical centre of the city, the meeting place of five of its busiest streets in a star-shaped intersection deemed the transport hub of the entire continent.

These were:.


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As well as the stations and other facilities and attractions already mentioned, in the immediate area was one of the world's biggest and most luxurious department stores: Wertheim. It also contained a summer garden, winter garden and roof garden, an enormous restaurant and several smaller eating areas, its own laundry, a theatre and concert booking office, its own bank, whose strongrooms were underground at the eastern end of the building and generated their own history decades later , and a large fleet of private delivery vehicles.

In the run-up to Christmas Wertheim was transformed into a fairytale kingdom, and was well known to children from all over Germany and far beyond. However, in —8 the architect and entrepreneur Carl Stahl-Urach — transformed the whole building into a gastronomic fantasy land, financed and further elaborated upon by new owners the Kempinski organisation.

It reopened on 31 August as the Haus Vaterland, offering "The World in One House," and could now hold up to 8, guests at a time. The rest of the building had been turned into a large number of theme restaurants, all served from a central kitchen containing the largest gas-fuelled cooking plant in Europe. Up to eight orchestras and dance bands regularly performed in different parts of the building, plus a host of singers, dancers and other entertainers.

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It should be pointed out here though that not all of these attractions existed simultaneously, owing to changes in those countries that Germany was or was not allied to, in the volatile years leading up to and during World War II , a good example being the closure of the Wild West Bar following America's entry into the war as an enemy of Germany. Among the major hotels at or near Potsdamer Platz were two designed by the same architect, Otto Rehnig — , and opened in the same year, Two other hotels which shared the same architect, in this case Ludwig Heim — , were the room Hotel Bellevue sometimes known as the "Grand Hotel Bellevue" , built , and the room Palast Hotel , built on the site of an earlier hotel.

The Bellevue was well known for its Winter Garden. The new U-Bahn station was being built at the same time as the hotel and actually ran through the hotel's basement, cutting it in half, thus making the construction of both into something of a technical challenge, but unlike the Wertheim department store and contrary to several sources , the hotel did not enjoy a separate entrance directly from the station.

His son, the wine wholesale dealer William "Willy" Huth — , took over the business in and, a few years later, commissioned the replacement of the building by a new one on the same site. It was thus given a strong steel skeleton, which would stand the building in very good stead some three decades after its completion. Famous for its fine claret, numerous members of European society were made welcome there as guests.


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A total of 15 chefs were employed there, and Alois Hitler , the stepbrother of the future Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler , was a waiter there in the s, before he opened his own restaurant and hotel at Wittenbergplatz , in the western part of the city. It had occupied various locations including from till , a site in front of the Berlin City Palace , before moving to Potsdamer Platz in the latter year.

Among the many beer palaces around Potsdamer Platz were two in particular which contained an extensive range of rooms and halls covering a large area. After closing in , it underwent a revamp before reopening in under the new name Bayernhof. Originally intended to be a concert venue until concerns were raised about increased traffic problems in the already congested streets, it was ruled that it should serve a gastronomic purpose only.