If you approach Potsdam from the water, you can see the red shell-like structure of the Hans Otto Theater on the shore of the Tiefer See. There, on Schiffbauergasse, a unique cultural area for modern theater, experimental dance and contemporary art has been created. Right in the middle of it is the Waschhaus with its rock and pop arena and the small stages for jazz and world music. Downtown, you will find the Nikolaisaal, which also serves as a location for concerts by the university choir and orchestra, the Barberini Museum and the the Potsdam Museum. Potsdam has something to offer for everyone. You can get to know some of these institutions on November 6, 2020 at “WarmUP in Potsdam”, since they offer free tickets or special offers for UP students on that day. You can find more detailed information on our Program website.
94,000 m², 700,000 visitors, almost 40 abutting businesses and institutions and 2,000 cultural programs per year: The international arts and culture quarter Schiffbauergasse at Tiefer See is a creative center and a place to relax in downtown Potsdam. Between industrial monuments, historic riding halls, anchored ships and modern architecture, contemporary art exhibitions meet theater, dance or literature, and cultural education programs meet open-air concerts. And there are also more than enough choices if you love good food. Ample waterfront green spaces, the marina, the playground and various recreational activities on and along the water make Schiffbauergasse a place to relax and experience nature.
The Hans Otto Theater is the theater of the city of Potsdam. Its main venues on Schiffbauergasse are the Großes Haus, a new stage building opened in 2006 by Pritzker Prize winner Gottfried Böhm, and the nearby Reithalle, which also houses the Box riding hall. There is also an open air summer stage at Tiefer See, which is located right in front of the Großes Haus.
Since the 2018/19 season, Bettina Jahnke has been the managing director of the Hans Otto Theater with its 25-member permanent ensemble. In addition to her artistic direction, the artistic identity of the theater is shaped by directors with a wide range of experience as well as young directing talents. They are characterized by conceptually strong styles with political poignancy, pictorial aesthetics and an interest in ensemble work.
You can see the trailer for the current season here.
The Museum Barberini is the art museum in Potsdam’s historical center, endowed by SAP founder and patron of the arts Hasso Plattner. Since its opening in 2017, the museum has made a name for itself as one of the most visited museums in Germany with exhibitions on Picasso, Richter and Monet. In addition to the temporary exhibitions with international cooperation, the museum has been presenting the extensive collection of impressionist paintings owned by the founder Hasso Plattner since September 2020, including masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Caillebotte and Signac. Apart from this collection, you can visit the exhibition “Impressionism in Russia. Dawn of the Avant-Garde” from November 7, 2020.
The museum FLUXUS+ in Potsdam shows modern art with a focus on Fluxus, Wolf Vostell and four contemporary artists. In addition to Wolf Vostell, the collection includes works by Emmett Williams, Ben Patterson, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Mary Bauermeister and Niki de Saint-Phalle, among others. The free Fluxus documentation “permanentFLUXUS” in the atrium, a museum café with a patio and the appealing museum store make the museum FLUXUS+ a popular cultural venue on the river Havel.
All first-semester students will be granted free admission through March 31, 2021 upon presentation of their student ID card!
20 years, one mission: good music – The Nikolaisaal Potsdam, this somewhat unusual concert hall, can look back on 20 eventful and successful years. Right in the heart of the city, it has established itself with its appealing and unconventional program as the prime address for good music in Potsdam. The spectacular Great Hall with its gently undulating ceiling and bulging walls as well as the foyer, which can be used for a variety of events, were opened in August of 2000. The building ensemble was built based on the designs of French star architect Rudy Ricciotti and quickly became a visitor magnet with well over 100,000 guests annually.
Exciting contrasts and a stylistic open-mindedness that are typical for the architecture of the building also characterize the program of the Nikolaisaal. It is aimed at the traditional concert goer as well as the receptive newcomer. With a total of 13 different concert series, a broad spectrum of musical styles and genres is offered for all generations: Classical music, pop and film music are presented alongside jazz, chamber music and dance. With exciting style crossovers, imaginative children’s and workshop projects, new productions and German premieres, top-class artists delight a curious and demanding audience.
The Potsdam Museum invites you on a journey of discovery through the history of the city. The narratives cover the long arc from the 17th century, when Potsdam was chosen as a royal residential city, to the present, where it serves as the state capital. A special emphasis is placed on the presentation of historical events. In addition, appealing media presentations expand and elaborate on the content conveyed across the various epochs. Guided tours and lectures, events and a broad museum education program offer numerous opportunities to explore individual topics.
The permanent exhibition of the Potsdam Museum “Potsdam. A City Makes History” sends its visitors on a journey of discovery through 1,000 years of Potsdam's history and can be visited at any time free of charge.
In addition, the Potsdam Museum presents special exhibitions of national importance. From September 26, 2020 the exhibition will show the works of Potsdam photographer Frank Gaudlitz. He focuses on events in world history as well as the portrayal of individual fates.
Since the early 1990s, Waschhaus Potsdam has evolved from an occupied building into one of the largest socio-cultural centers in the state of Brandenburg. With a diverse program of events in the areas of dance, contemporary art, club culture, and concert and literary events, the cultural center attracts over 120,000 visitors a year. At the same time, Waschhaus acts as an innovative platform for new forms of artistic expression and specifically promotes the work of young artists. Creating networks of and with actors within Potsdam’s urban society and promoting cultural participation – these are important elements of the identity of the institution, both now and in the future.