The "Old Market" square is the hub of Potsdam's historical center and was home to the city's baroque palace for three centuries. The area was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in World War II and then further destroyed by the East German regime in 1960. After reunification, Potsdam decided to rebuild its palace, and the re-created structure, with a combination of modern and historic elements, has housed the state parliament since 2013. Thanks to private donors, a magnificent replica of the Fortunaportal, or Fortune's Gate, now stands proudly at the center of the square.
A gilded figure of Atlas tops the tower of the Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall), built in 1755 in the model of an Italian palazzo, its dome meant to mimic the Pantheon's in Rome. A modern structure joins the Altes Rathaus with a neighboring building designed by Sanssouci architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, simply referred to as the Knobelsdorffhaus. Together, the one new and two old structures
house the Potsdam Museum, with its large collection of paintings, photographs, and historical objects, and the Potsdam Forum, a cultural center.
Karl Friedrich Schinkel designed the Alter Markt's domed Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church), which was also heavily damaged in the war and only reopened in 1981 after extensive renovations. In front of it stands an Egyptian obelisk also erected by von Knobelsdorff.