Sanssouci Palace is located in the city of Potsdam, on the border of Berlin, Germany. Although only an hour from Berlin, Potsdam is part of the state of Brandenburg and is very different from its famous neighbour. Sanssouci Palace (meaning ‘without care’) was once the summer home of Frederick the Great, former King of Prussia. He was king of Prussia for 46 years which was the longest reign of all Hohenzollern kings, who hail from the House of Hohenzollern in Swabia, south Germany.
The park was originally created to cultivate plums, figs and wine, however, with such stunning views, the king decided to turn it into a summer house. In the coming years the palace was built and today we are able to visit the palace with a ticket. The grounds are beautiful though and are free to all who desire to visit.
Pictured below is the beautiful University of Potsdam, just imagine studying there! The university is public and offers a broad range of Bachelors degrees and a selection of Masters degree programs. Potsdam University library and the Institute of History are located in the commons at the New Palace, and the Institute of Mathematics is situated in the former stables.
The New Palace, which is the main building on the site, was completed in 1769 at the end of the Seven Years War and is thought to be the last great Prussian baroque palace. What interests me most about this beautiful building is that after the death of Frederick the Great it was in disuse and rarely used for 73 years, now picture that for an urban exploration trip. The pink colouring is so beautiful and is such a contrast to the buildings in neighbouring Berlin.
You will also stumble across the delightful Chinese Tea House which was built from 1755 to 1764 during the Seven Years War. It was intended as a garden pavilion, a beautiful mixture of Chinoiserie and baroque architecture. Tickets purchased nearby or at the entrance will allow you entry into the Chinese Tea House.
Visiting the Sanssouci Park is a full day activity. If going on a weekend, especially in summer, be prepared for coach loads of tourists and mass photography. I would recommend going on a weekday in the cooler months to have a more enjoyable experience. Bring a picnic to snack on in the gardens, it’s such a lovely location to sit and enjoy the splendor.
Sadly King Frederick separated from his spouse Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern before she had a chance to live in the Sanssouci Palace. When seeing each other after six years of separation the only comment he made to his wife was: “Madame has grown quite fat.”
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