Once one of the busiest squares in Europe, Potsdamer Platz became a no-man’s-land during the cold war years when the Berlin Wall sliced right through it. It reemerged in the 1990s as the shiny face of the New Berlin, though its commercial glitz today tends to polarize visitors: Some feel it’s a charmless non-place, while others are impressed by its soaring starchitecture and bevy of entertainment options. Some of the local diversions include Deutsche Kinemathek, an excellent film museum that showcases everything from classic movies like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to a special exhibition on Marlene Dietrich; a large Legoland Discovery Centre for kids; and the neighboring Kulturforum, which offers several top-notch museums like the Gemäldegalerie (Portrait Gallery).
By Paul Sullivan, AFAR Local Expert
Potsdamer Platz was long one of Berlin’s most famous gathering places and much of the history of the city has played out here. In the late nineteenth century, it was an elegant area for Berliners to promenade while later the Berlin Wall divided Potsdamer Platz in two, just as it did the city as a whole. Since the fall of the wall, it has been the site of a number of redevelopment projects including the Sony Center and it is also now the location of the city’s famous annual film festival.
By John Newton, AFAR Contributor
Potsdamer Platz, 10785 Berlin, Germany
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