Bridge of Spies
By Dr. Jo Ellen Chatham
Posted on 3/21/2019 - 3 minute read
This was not the first bridge to span the Havel River connecting Potsdam, the capital of Brandenburg, and the Wannsee district of Berlin. The first bridge was made of wood, constructed in about 1660 to facilitate access to hunting grounds near the ancient village of Stolpe. After several expansions to manage increased traffic, in 1907 a design contest was held resulting in a modern, iron bridge. Nearly forty years later, just months before the end of World War II in Europe, the retreating German army planned to blow up the bridge to slow the advance of the Russians, but an unexploded shell accidentally did the work for them, causing severe damage and rendering the bridge useless.
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