Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state Brandenburg. It directly borders the German capital Berlin. It is situated on the River Havel, 24 kilometres (15 miles) southwest of Berlin's city center.
Potsdam was a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser,until 1918. Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and 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.
Potsdam-Babelsberg in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, was a major film production studio before the war and has enjoyed success as a major center of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Studio Babelsbergis the oldest large-scale film studio in the world.
Potsdam developed into a centre of science in Germany in the 19th century. Today, there are three public colleges, University of Potsdam and more than 30 Research institutes in the city.