The easiest way to get to the Dutch Quarter is on the S-Bahn’s S1 line.
Take a little walk around Potsdam, and at some point you may find yourself in a part of town which somehow doesn’t feel German. The houses are built of red bricks, and in a markedly different style, one which makes you think more of Germany’s neighbours to the West. That’s because you’re in the Dutch Quarter, which has the largest collection of Dutch-style houses outside the Netherlands.
In the mid-18th century, King Frederick William I of Prussia was a worried man. Fearing for the security of his city, Frederick decided to expand the military facilities of his garrison as a matter of urgency, and he decided to bring in hundreds of the best Dutch craftsmen to get the job done. In order to encourage them to stay and to do a proper job, Frederick had 134 houses specially built for them in a bid to make them feel more at home. They were designed by the Dutch architect Jan Bouman, and he completed the job between 1733 and 1740.
An Easygoing Neighbourhood
These days, the Dutch Quarter is a firm favourite with tourists and locals alike. Wander through the streets and admire the clean white seams of the houses against their red Dutch brick, or duck into one of the many cosy little coffee shops which pepper the area. Keep your eyes peeled, and you’ll find art galleries, craft shops, antiques dealers and plenty more to while away a pleasant afternoon.
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