Exploring Potsdam by Bicycle II: Neuer Garten

Schloss Cecilienhof Potsdam
When you have finished soaking in the view at Park Babelsberg, it is time to head up-hill again. Cycling past the Pförtnerhaus, and over a small bridge to the other side of the river. There it is easy to cross into Berlin. Towards the Glienicker Brücke.

Glienicker Brücke Berlin Potsdam
This bridge will have caught your sight during the whole cycle tour so far but what has probably gone amiss, is that it used to be an official boarder crossing from the DDR into West Berlin.

At least until the 10th of November in 1989. Nowadays you get to comfortably cycle over it without a second thought. Right after crossing it - without any boarder controls, mind you - you take a right off the main road and into the Neuer Garten (engl. New Garden) in Potsdam.

Exploring The Neuer Garten 

The neuer Garten is 102,5 hectares big, including two lakes. It was created as an answer to Park Sanssouci, and thus, it contains 10 oddities to keep a visitor entertained. This cycling tour is going past some of those, as well as the lake side.

After entering the park from the North East, the first oddity that meets your way is the biggest of all: Schloss Cecilienhof.

Schloss Cecilienhof Potsdam

It is not only a stunning piece of architecture that was build in the layout of an English Tudor manor house, the palace also hosted the Potsdam Conference in 1945. During this time, leaders of the Soviet Union, UK and USA decided into which parts they would split Germany and who would govern what. Due to this, the palace is a very popular attraction to almost any tourist, and unless you are willing to wrestle through a crowd admiring it from afar will do as well. Furthermore, you are not allowed to enter with a bicycle.

However, only a few meters away lies the Muschelgrotte, which looks onto the Jungfernsee:

Jungfernsee von der Muschelgrotte aus
Originally it had been used as a hidden retreat for dining and tea drinking. In later years, it completely fell into disuse, and the matter was not helped that after WWII it had been within the prohibited zone. After the border had been opened, it had been possible to restore parts of it. Despite this, it is has not fully returned to all its glory but remains one of the last pieces of grotto architecture.

The next stop on the oddity tour is the pyramid. This basically does what it says on the tin: it is a black and grey pyramid in small. There are even writing on it - which don't mean anything. As well was a tiny door - which can't be opened and doesn't go anywhere.

pyramid Neuer Garten Potsdam
pyramid Neuer Garten Potsdam

Staying near the shore line, the next building that is going to catch your eye is the Marmorpalais

Marmorpalais Potsdam
Marmorpalais Potsdam
which is kept in tip top condition until now, and you are able to walk around it. At the back there is a patio that overlooks the Heiliger See, as well was a fountain centered of the building.

Heiliger See Neuer Garten Potsdam
If you keep to the shore, you will be able to see part of the Orangery, which has taken inspiration of Egyptian elements as well:

Orangery Potsdam Neuer Garten
The last stop is right at the South East exit: the Gotische Bibliothek.

 Gotische Bibliothek Neuer Garten Potsdam
Despite the name, Gothic library, there are no books in there today. However, in consists of three floors, and back in the olde days it was used as a smaller library by King Wilhelm II. He did not only collect German but also French literature. The Second World War also left its mark on this building: it slipped closer towards the lake after a bomb exploded near it and it had been left to its own devices after the war. Thus, it gained the nickname "Schiefer Turm von Potsdam" or in plain English "The Leaning Tower of Potsdam."

 Gotische Bibliothek Neuer Garten Potsdam
However, for Potsdam's 1000th birthday Berlin gifted it enough money to reconstructs the building to its old beauty. Nowadays, you can look inside through windows and catch a glimbs of what it used to be. The upper floor is not accessible.

Then you are free to leave the park and only a small bicycle ride later, you will have reached the Nauener Tor and the historical centre and can freely explore it by bicycle. Which I am going to share mid December.


  1. Such a more scenic way to travel and absorb the culture. THanks for sharing!

  2. I'm certainly no cyclist but I can appreciate that this is a much better way to see the sights. Faster than walking and much more eco friendly than driving. I love the picture of the Jungfernsee, that looks so peaceful! Lisa x

    1. It was a great little tour. I very much enjoyed it :) Thank you for reading ♥


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