Potsdam Square, or Potsdamer Platz, lies about a kilometre south of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. It is at the heart of the city, being the intersection of the five busiest streets. It was a thriving area in the 1920s and 1930s, when it was thought of as Piccadilly Circus would be thought of in London, and it contained the famous Cafe Josty, where many artists and famous people of the time congregated.
The square was almost completely destroyed by bombing in World War Two.Despite this, trading began again very quickly in the area, as the ground floor sections of the ruined buildings were quickly converted into shops again.
When the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, it bi-sected the square.
Since the deconstruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Potsdam Square has been redeveloped and has become a very busy traffic intersection. It contains some striking new buildings, although as Elina and Ted comment in the novel, it also has a more commercial look about it today.