Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Well one must ask the question.
Thursday 8th August - Potsdam


If one closes ones eyes for a bit and tries to imagine a couple of Danes dining with a couple of Australians most recently from Belgium, in a Thai CafĂ© on a footpath in a Dutch community in the former East Germany, then one won’t come anywhere near close to unravelling the wonder that is Potsdam.

At first its a bit disconcerting, trying to understand that by most accounts pretty much all of it had been destroyed by bombing in the nineteen forties.  Yet, the original historic and very charming Dutch district has been “preserved” apparently exactly as it was.  The fantastic castles and Sansoucci gardens, rightly World Heritage listed have also been “preserved” in a state of magnificence which reminded us very much of some of the   preserved sites we have seen in other former Soviet states.   It’s all very beautiful but what we see does not compute when viewed against post war photos of bombing destruction.

Where did the former German Democratic Republic obtain the resources for this rebuilding, and what was it thinking, reinforcing connections to the Tsarist past?  The brick construction, with its thin veneer of sandstone coloured render does not particularly reek of Prussian opulence either, but in our ignorence we are not about to question its authenticity.   These are the sort of questions that irritate until they are scratched, just like the insect bite that one of us was mumbling about, so we have yet another reason to return at some time in the future.

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