Built between 1841 and 1843, Dampfmaschinenhaus is a distinct and exotic sight in Potsdam. King Frederick William IV commissioned Ludwig Persius to design the waterworks, which resembles a mosque with a chimney hidden in the minaret. Both the architecture and the interiors are decorated to reflect Moorish style. As a result, the building is also known as the "Potsdam Mosque". Although it was common to integrate foreign architectural styles into the design of structures at the time, the combination of technology and religious elements from abroad makes the Dampfmaschinenhaus a truly extreme example. Its construction added a picturesque feature to the Potsdam’s landscape close to Sanssouci Palace.

The Dampfmaschinenhaus in Potsdam is a fine example of the architectural extravagance and Frederick William IV’s enthusiasm for technology. The King also wanted to demonstrate Germany’s technological superiority over England. Inside the building is an 81.4-horsepower steam engine that was built in 1842, which ensured there was an adequate water supply for Potsdam’s gardens. Water was pumped out of the Havel through a 1.8 km long pipe. This helped supply the 38-metre high fountain in Sanssouci Park, which at the time was a technological marvel. The original Borsig steam engine operated for 50 years until it was replaced with a more powerful 160-horsepower engine, which was used until 1937. In later years, the water for Potsdam’s gardens became increasingly supplied using more modern techniques. However, the Dampfmaschinenhaus remained intact.

Since September 1985, the Dampfmaschinenhaus in Potsdam has stood as a monument of technical achievement and a public museum. From May to October, regular guided tours are provided on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 to 18:00. Tours last about 20 minutes and include the seeing the original Borsig steam engine in operation. Visitors can marvel at the technological wonder of bygone in action. In addition, there is a permanent exhibition on the history of the building and the engine. The Dampfmaschinenhaus is just outside the Sanssouci Park, next to the Neustädter Havelbucht on Broad Street. From the Potsdam train station, it is easily accessible via tram line 91 (Feuerbachstraße stop). During opening hours, you can visit Dampfmaschinenhaus as well as take the Frederick William IV tour of Sanssouci Park. The tour begins in the Orangerie and continues through the park to Charlottenhof Palace and Park and the Roman Baths to Dampfmaschinenhaus. The tour also includes stops at the Church of Peace at the Marly Gardens, Sanssouci Palace and the Norman Tower.

Dampfmaschinenhaus map

Events in Potsdam

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Music Festival in Potsdam

The Music Festival in Potsdam will be held again in June. This year's theme "Music and gardens" ubiquitous. So even on the opening day in June. Interesting and unique you can take guided tours and visits to many different places. For those interested there is an Opera Workshop.


Details about the Music Festival in Potsdam can be found here.

The concert on the eve and Night of the Palaces in Potsdam

The Park of Sanssouci and Sanssouci Palace with its terraced vineyards and the New Palace are undisputedly the most important monuments in Potsdam, therefore provides the Night of the Palaces as an excellent temporal orientation, to learn more about the state capital of Brandenburg.


Details about the Night of the Palaces can be found here.

Official Contact

Official Park Sanssouci Contact

The Foundation for Prussian Palaces and Gardens.

Phone : +49 (0)331/9694-0

Fax : +49 (0)331/9694-107