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The street in Potsdam by the name of Schiffbauergasse has undergone constant transformations. For a long time the influence of industry and the armed forces was dominant. Before 1800 it was the site of a mill that manufactured what was known as Muckefuck, a coffee substitute made from chicory roots. From 1817, the Englishman John Barnett Humphrey established a shipyard here where the first Prussian steamships were built. This was the origin of the name Schiffbauergasse, which means “Shipbuilders’ Lane”. In 1822 the first military riding hall and stables appeared, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel; many more were to follow in subsequent years. In the course of the 19th century the Schiffbauergasse also saw the construction of Potsdam’s first gasworks and a large laundry. The barracks were later used by the Nationale Volksarmee, the East German army, as well as by Soviet forces and the KGB. As a result, the area here beside the Tiefer See was closed to the public and little known...

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