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It is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel, 24 km (15 mi) southwest of Berlin city centre.
Potsdam has several claims to national and international notability. In Germany, it had the status Windsor has in Britain: it was the residence of the Prussian kings and German Kaisers, 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.Potsdam developed into a centre of science in Germany from the 19th century