Exploring Potsdam by Bicycle I: Park Babelsberg

with contributions from Sovotchka

There are many ways to explore a city: a hop-on/hop-off bus tour, a walking tour, or forging your own path through the city, and then there is the bicycle. This was the perfect method to explore the beautiful sides of Potsdam: you manage to cover a lot of ground, can access almost any terrain as well, and all at your own pace. It seems to be Silver's preferred method of enjoying the beautiful landscape and sights that Potsdam has to offer.

What Has Potsdam To Do With Berlin? 

Aside from proximity, not much. As far as Potsdam is concerned its affiliation with Berlin is nothing, they don't even share a state, and Potsdam is the captain of Brandenburg ... so take that. However, while Berlin shines in character, Potsdam shines in beauty and has always done. In the olden days, Potsdam and especially Park Babelsberg was used as a small getaway for the rich and wealthy that lived in Berlin. In doing so, they built little castles - because that's what you do when you have so much money lying around - and these around until this day.

Coincidentally, they are also the way-points on Silver's favourite cycling tour and she was intend on showing me her route. So we geared up and headed out!

Exploring Park Babelsberg 

Park Babelsberg is a bigger park in the district Babelsberg of Potsdam. It is roughly 114 hectare in size contains various little castles, Schlösser and historical sights. Furthermore, it has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1990. It and indeed many others in and around Potsdam, were designed by Peter Joseph Lenné, who was a famous landscape architect and at one point was the garden director in Schönbrunn. He also designed Dresden Zoo. He is buried in Bornstedt in Potsdam.

Babelsberg was created because Glienicke was built for Carl of Prussia, Charlottenhof for Friedrich Wilhelm IV., and  prince Wilhelm was sad that his brothers had palaces but he did not. There's a mountain in Berlin, upon which there is a small lodge, from which you can see the park Babelsberg.

After snatching a bicycle for me, we set off and drove into Park Babelsberg from the South East. The first castle can be seen quite soon from the Kindermannsee with a view onto the Flatowturm:

Park Babelsberg Potsdam
While a tiny tower showed its might in front of us, when you turn around there is another building slightly reminiced of an church. This one has not been kept in shape but is still enjoyable to look at.

We continued our tour by cycling along the shore of the Tiefer See. When you look over your shoulder, you are able to spot Potsdam's Dom alongside modern block of flats.

This also gives you the chance to get closer to the Flatowturm. When you press on, you are going to encounter the kleines Schloss Babelsberg - which looks like what it says on the tin: a tiny Schloss in Babelsberg.

Park Babelsberg Potsdam
Park Babelsberg Potsdam

However, not only is it cute and pretty, from 11 AM to 6 PM it is also a café that offers a sweet view over the lake and onto Potsdam's skyline.

After a possible coffee stop, keep to the shoreline of the like and very soon you are going to encounter the Dampfmaschinenhaus.

Park Babelsberg Potsdam

Then a swopping right later, is going to lead you to a slight incline. Now it is time to paddle your way up the hill, in order to reach Schloss Babelsberg. Once there, you can enjoy the view that overlooks the whole park and lake as far as the Glienicker Brücke.

Park Babelsberg Potsdam
Park Babelsberg Potsdam

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