Potsdam’s historic Baroque centre dates from the reign of Friedrich Wilhelm I, the Soldier King. His aim was to transform Prussia into a modern state. This meant rehabilitating the country’s finances, establishing a functional bureaucracy and installing a powerful army. Potsdam was developed as a garrison town and was further expanded twice by two residential areas in 1722 and 1733. Soldiers were billeted with civilians. The 3 metre-high city wall prevented desertion by the soldiers and customs officials collected tolls on goods at the city gates. Friedrich II continued the work of his father. He had simple framework houses replaced with ones of stable stone, important buildings were given splendid facades, and a number of representative buildings were also erected.
Potsdam’s Brandenburg Gate and Luisenplatz