Potsdam

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Potsdam (German pronunciation: [ˈpɔtsdam]) is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and is part of the Metropolitan area of Berlin/Brandenburg. It is situated on the River Havel, 24 km (15 miles) southwest of Berlin city center.

Potsdam has several claims to national and international notability. In Germany, it had the status Windsor has in England. It was the residence of the Prussian kings until 1918. Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and unique cultural landmarks, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany. The Potsdam Conference, the major post-World War II conference between the victorious Allies, was held at another palace in the area, the Cecilienhof.

Babelsberg, in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, was a major movie production studio before the war and has enjoyed increased success as a major center of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Filmstudio Babelsberg is historically significant as the oldest large-scale film studio in the world.

Potsdam developed into a centre of science in Germany from the 19th century. Today, there are three public colleges and more than 30 research institutes in the city.

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Geography

The area was formed from a series of large moraines left after the last ice age. Today, the city is three-quarters green space, with just a quarter as urban area. There are about 20 lakes and rivers in and around Potsdam, for example the Havel, the Griebnitzsee, Templiner See, Tiefer See, Jungfernsee, Teltowkanal, Heiliger See and the Sacrower See. The highest point is the 114-metre (374 ft) high Kleiner Ravensberg.

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