Destination Germany: a taste of Holland in Germany at Potsdam's charming Dutch Quarter

 Allan Grey / Flickr

Allan Grey / Flickr

This week we will be in the north east of the country in the state of Brandenburg. The capital of Brandenburg is Potsdam and that is where where we will find this week’s destination. Not the entire city itself as there are a million and a half things to do there, but specifically the Dutch quarter that is centrally located in the city.

Potsdam has been a major city in Germany for quite some time. But during the early to mid 1700s there was a urban expansion going on. This expansion of the area was led by a Dutch architect and he together with the support of Frederick William the first laid the plans and began construction of the area. Frederick William the first died before it was finished but his son agreed to finish what was started.

This baroque city plan consisted of four square blocks equaling of 134 brick buildings. And if you have seen the architecture in the Netherlands you will have some idea. It is actually the largest grouping of this style of architecture outside the Netherlands in all of Europe.

Now this area of Potsdam brings in quite a lot of tourists who both want to see the architecture as well as experience the culture.

Today, besides having residential houses, there are a wide variety of interests for the public to enjoy. There are many boutique shops along the streets as well as an assortment of art galleries. Many also come for the food and drink.

Many restaurants and pubs have patio seating right on the street so guests can feel like they are right in the middle of everything. But, this being Dutch style housing, there are also many courtyard gardens to get a bit of a more intimate experience.  

While popular, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with tourists most of the year. But there are some special festivals that go on that bring in quite a few people.

A tulip festival has been going on this month. The next major festival will be a pottery and ceramic festival in September. And then, at the end of the year, the quarter is known for having an especially nice Dutch themed Christmas market.