Potsdam – Babelsberg
Babelsberg is the largest district of Potsdam, and it is a historical centre of the German film industry and media. In addition, there are many tourist attractions in Babelsberg such as Babelsberg Park, Babelsberg Palace, the Flatow tower, and more. Babelsberg offers a great architectural variety: we can stand out buildings such as the Babelsberg City Hall (Gothic style with brick paving), the Goethe School (a peculiar brick construction) and the area referred to as Weberviertel.
In addition, the area known as Neubabelsberg is full of beautiful and impressive villas, standing out those that are named after historical figures such as Stalin, Guggenheim, Churchill or Truman.
Next to the Friedrichskirche -a beautiful church with simple baroque patterns- another three churches were built in the neo gothic period: the Alte Neuendorfer church, the Oberlink church and the Klein Glienicke chapel.
In the 20s, Babelsberg had already become an important location for the film industry. Babelsberg Film Studio was the place where hundreds of German classic movies were churned out by the UFA -a film company that was home of the German film industry during the Weimer Republic and through World War II. During the time of the German Democratic Republic (DDR), the DEFA (the state-owned film studio in the DDR) was established. Nowadays, Babelsberg Film Studio is considered the oldest and biggest large-scale film studio in Europe and has been a major centre of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Well known movies -including Metropolis or The Blue Angel- and more recent productions such as Sonnenallee, The Reader, The Pianist, Inglorious Basterds or Cloud Atlas, were shot at Babelsberg Film Studio. Popular German soap operas such as Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten or Schloss Einstein have been filmed there also.
Furthermore, Babelsberg Film Studio hosts an attractive pleasure ground dealing with the world of cinema and television. There you can soak up a century of cinematographic history and feel behind the scenes, getting to see original accessories and wings that have been used to produce movies.
The rbb (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, which is the national broadcaster for the states of Berlin and Brandenburg) and the College of Film and Television are other significant institutions situated in Babelsberg.
Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg, has a population of 160.000 people and is situated on the outskirts of Berlin.
Potsdam was first mentioned in a document from the Holy Roman Empire in 993 AD as Poztupimi –which means “beneath the oaks”, according to a common theory- when Emperor Otto II gifted the territory to the Quedlinburg Abbey.
Potsdam stands out for its beautiful parks and palaces, in particular the Sanssouci palace. It was the residence of the Prussian kings and German Kaisers, until 1918. Cecilienhof was the last palace built by the Hohenzollern family and was the place of residence of William II, the last German emperor. Cecilienhof was also the location of the Potsdam Conference between 17 July and 2 August 1945. Participants were the victorious powers: the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. The Potsdam Conference ended with the occupation of Germany and consequently division of the country into four occupation zones.
Potsdam has been the largest UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany from 1990. At the same time, Potsdam has become a university town and an important place for research, with three state universities and more than 30 research institutions and foundations.