If it’s a cold day, head into the Russian restaurant in Alexandrowka - they serve delicious bowls of piping-hot Borscht.
In the north of Potsdam, near the southern end of the pretty Waldpark, you can find thirteen simple, rustic wooden houses. They were built in 1827 on the specific orders of Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm III, who wished to demonstrate the depth of his friendship with Czar Alexander of Russia. To this end, he built what became known as “The Russian Colony”, a dedicated space where Russian singers living in Prussia could relax and practise their art at leisure. It was designed in imitation of a village near St. Petersburg, and soon became much beloved of the homesick Russians. In 1999, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A Russian Renaissance
These days, a few descendants of the original inhabitants still live in the area, and in recent years there has been a big effort to restore Alexandrowka to its original form. Houses 2 and 8 have been faithfully rebuilt according to their original specifications, and in 2005 the Museum Alexandrowka was opened inside the former. It’s a simple place, but gives a great insight into how people live in the colony.
Local Russian Cuisine
Take a walk around, and you could almost be in Russia. There’s an Orthodox church, and even a restaurant serving traditional Russian fare. It seems remarkable that this place survived 12 years of Nazi rule, even after Germany’s 1941 declaration of war on the Soviet Union. It’s an unusual attraction, but is certainly worth a visit if you’re in the area.
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