It all started with the ?Platz vor dem Potsdamer Tor?, a five-cornered crossroads in front of Potsdamer Tor, one of the 14 city gates of Berlin. In 1838, Berlin Potsdam Railway Station was opened here. Because the train stopped just outside the city wall, Potsdamer Platz became a major cargo transhipment point within just a few decades ? and one of the busiest squares in Europe.
After the founding of the German Empire in 1871, Potsdamer Platz first experienced accelerated growth marked by the construction of large buildings and numerous restaurants ? and then a real boom. Berlin was in a period of economic upturn, its wealthy citizens settling just outside the city gates and building the famous Tiergarten villas. The ?Grand Hotel Bellevue? and the ?Palast Hotel? opened before the turn of the century. The ?Fuerstenhof? followed in 1907 and the ?Esplanade? a year later. Within a mere 70 years, a bustling quarter had evolved.
Fast Days, Long Nights at Potsdamer Platz in the Roaring Twenties