Out Of The Archives:
Potsdam’s Little Amsterdam


The Holländisches Viertel – Dutch Quarter – in Potsdam is unique in that it was not only built to house Dutch craftsmen, it was also built in the Dutch style for the sole purpose of making them feel comfortable while living there. The four square block neighborhood of red-brick, gabled houses was built between 1734 to 1742 by King Frederick Wilhelm I. The director of the construction on the buildings was Dutch master-builder, Johann Boumann.

The Dutch who moved here provided their skills as goldsmiths, cabinet makers, and masons.

While wandering the streets, the street level viewing will bring all of the typical touristy delights one might think to find in such a neighborhood – food, crafts, flowers, coffeehouses, and biergartens. The more interesting detail to look at here is the architecture. How the roof lines cut the sky. The red of the brick. The shutters on the windows. The old wooden doors. The symmetry.

While there are no canals, such as there are in Amsterdam, running through the neighborhood, Potsdam is surrounded by water. The Jan Bouman Museum can be found at Mittelstrasse 9 and besides showing off its original construction it also has a lot of information on the building of the quarter.

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