Countries, Europe

From Prussia With Love

There are some things we never question, one of which is where the Brandenburg Gate leads to… which is why today we bring you the answer From Prussia With Love.

Granted there is is a touch of lazy shorthand about the tag ‘outer Berlin’.

And yes, I was part of the great Beetablockers Teeline scandal at the Centre for Journalism Studies in Cardiff in 1988)!

Because the iconic gate in the west of Berlin leads to another great Prussian town, Brandenburg an der Havel.

And Brandenburg housed the royal City Palace of that state’s monarchs.

To the north of the gate is the Reichstag parliament building and through it is Unter den Linden, a boulevard of linden trees.

It has long been my mission to say Ich Bin Ein Beriner and Der Scary One is on board.

And all the more so as Berlin and its environs is a gardener’s Nirvana.

German unification

When most of my teenage peers were spiking their hair and pogoing to Punk.

My Dear Old Dad was pummelling education into me.

And while I never did get the point of the hypoteneuse or the litmus test.

I did take to history and developed a lifetime passion.

For whatever reason one of the core periods on the curriculum was the Unification of Germany.

If you know your Medieval Germanic you’ll recognise that Brandenburg derives from braniti (to defend) and bor (forest).

And there’s history aplenty (and nature too) with Brandenburg the regional capital and hub from the early 10th century.

Until it ceded that to Potsdam in the mid-17th century at the end of the Thirty Years War.

Potsdam pomp

My old history books may be where I first met the Prussian Princes and Bismarck.

And it is where I will meet them again in the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam.

It’s a world all of its own, with more than 500 hectares of parks and 150 buildings constructed between 1730 and 1916.

The complex was designed by the top architects and landscape gardeners of the period.

And they worked with sculptors and painters to create masterpieces such as the Sanssouci Park, the New Garden and the Park of Babelsberg.

Our German friends

Now, of course, it’s impossible to boil down the scale and beauty of Potsdam.

Or its importance in modern history.

Frederick the Great’s gaff it also housed Kaiser Wilhelm II until his abdication at the end of the First World War in 1918.

While it also brought the Great and Good of the Allies together in 1945 for the Potsdam Conference.

And the Allies

That would be Stalin, Truman and Churchill and then Attlee.

And they had the small matter of the reconstruction of Europe.

And the destruction of Japan, though Harry S decided to keep his intentions to himself.

All of which I’ll immerse myself when we get out there next year.

While Der Green-Fingered One explores the parks of Sanssouci (carefree), Germany’s largest World Heritage site.

All of which we gladly bring you From Prussia With Love.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.