frederick town palace park
POTSDAM, the seat of government for the Prussian province of Brandenburg, and the summer residence of the emperor of Germany, lies 16 miles to the south-west of Berlin, on the river Havel, which here expands into a series of small lakes. The town is handsomely built, though with a monotonous regularity that betrays its artificial origin, and is situated amid the prettiest scenery of the Mark of Brandenburg, consisting of an oasis of wood and hill and lake in the centre of a sandy and un-attractive plain. Except during the summer months, when its streets are enlivened by endless streams of excur-sionists from Berlin, Potsdam usually presents a somewhat dull and deserted scene, relieved only by the soldiers of its extensive garrison. The greater part of the town lies on the right bank of the Havel and is connected with the Teltow suburb on the opposite bank by a long bridge. At the north end of this bridge rises the royal palace, a large quadrangular building of the 17th century, with a colonnade, chiefly interesting for the numerous relics it contains of Frederick the Great, who made it his favourite residence. It also contains reminiscences of Voltaire, who also resided here for several years. The principal churches are tbe Nicolaikirche, a handsome edifice with a dome ; the garrison church, containing the remains of Frederick the Great and his father ; and the Friedens-kirche or church of peace, erected by Frederick William IV. as a "positive and Christian counterpart to the worldly negative of Sans Souci." Among other conspicuous build-ings are the large barracks, orphanages, and other military establishments ; the town-house ; the district courts ; the theatre ; and the Brandenburg gate, in the style of a Roman triumphal arch. The Lustgarten, Wilhelmsplatz, and Plantage are open spaces laid out as pleasure-grounds and adorned with statues and busts. In spite of its some-what sleepy appearance, Potsdam is the seat of a varied if not very extensive industry, of which sugar, cotton and woollen goods, chocolate, and tobacco are the chief pro-ducts. Market-gardening affords occupation to many of the inhabitants, and the cultivation of winter violets is important enough to be mentioned as a specialty. The Havel is well stocked with fish. In 1880 Potsdam con-tained 48,447 inhabitants, mainly Protestant. The garri-son consists of about 7000 men.
Potsdam is almost entirely surrounded by a fringe of royal palaces, parks, and pleasure-grounds, which fairly substantiate its claim to the title of a " German Versailles." Immediately to the west is the park of Sans Souci, laid out by Frederick the Great, and largely extended by Frederick William IV. It is in the formal French style of the period, and is profusely embellished with primly-cut hedges and alleys, terraces, fountains, statuary, and artificial ruins. Adjacent to the palace is the famous windmill (now royal property) which its owner refused to sell to the king, meeting threatened violence by an appeal to the judges of Berlin ; the whole story-, however, is now doubted. A little farther on is the so-called Orangery, an extensive edifice in the Italia,n style, containing numer-ous pictures and other works of art. The park also includes the Charlottenbof, a reproduction of a Pompeian villa. At the west end of the park stands the New Palace, a huge brick edifice 375 feet in length, erected by Frederick the Great at enormous expense in 1763-69; and now occu-pied by the crown prince of Germany. It contains other reminiscences of Frederick and Voltaire, a few pictures by ancient masters, a theatre, and a large hall gorgeously decorated with shells and minerals. The spacious build-ings at the back are devoted to the " Lehrbataillon," a battalion of infantry composed of draughts from differ-ent regiments trained here to ensure uniformity of drill throughout the army. To the north of Potsdam lies a small Russian village, established in 1826 to accommodate the Russian singers attached to the Prussian guards. A little to the east of it is the New Garden, eontalning the Marble Palace. The list of Potsdam palaces may be closed with two situated on the left bank of the Havel - one at Glienieke and the other on tbe bill of Babelsberg. The latter, a picturesque building in the English Gothic style, in the midst of a park also in the English taste, is the summer residence of the present emperor of Germany.
Potsdam was originally a Slavonic fishing-village named Potsdu-pinii, and is first mentioned in a document of 993. It did not, however, attain any importance until the Great Elector established a park and palace here about 1660 ; and even at the close of his reign it only contained 3000 inhabitants. Frederick 'William I. (1638-1740) greatly enlarged Potsdam, and his stiff military tastes are reflected in the monotonous uniformity- of the streets. Frederick the Great willingly continued his father's work, and is the real creator of the modern splendour of the town, of which his memory may be said to form the predominant interest. His successors have each contributed his quota towards the embellishment and extension of the town.