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Tourist Guide Of Germany 3
Potsdam is the capital of Brandenburg, beautifully built on a meander of the Havel River. With 152,000 inhabitants, it is the only major city near Berlin. It is also inseparable, integrated in the operation of the city. Formerly, Berlin extended naturally to the south towards the “Potsdam islands”. The German separation drew a line between West Berlin and Potsdam. But today, the plague is closing and Potsdam again becomes a cluster of the Berlin agglomeration, even its “rich belt”. Green and full of exciting sites, she is also alive and academic.
This is a must for Berlin tourism. Similar to Versailles for Paris, it is the city of Sanssouci Palace, the former summer residence of the Prussian emperors, jewel of the Rococo which has one of the most beautiful parks in Germany. Very well connected to Berlin by the S-Bahn, it is a favorite weekend destination for Berliners, with the charms of its center, parks and lakes.
Founded in the mid-thirteenth century, the village of Potsdam gained importance only in the 1660s, when the Prince-elector of Brandenburg Frederick William, father of the first king of Prussia, elected the place as a second home. From then on, Potsdam went alongside Berlin to become the residence of the kings of Prussia, a showcase of enlightened absolutism. Castle, gardens, parks and churches were to become the symbol of the Prussian power and Enlightenment that the despots patronized. The most decisive reign was that of Frederick the Great in the eighteenth century. In Potsdam, a Voltaire with the key, the monarch carried Baroque and Rococo Prussian at their peak by the development of the Sanssouci site.
The abolition of the monarchy made Potsdam lose its importance, but the city remained in the twentieth century a symbolic place, as evidenced by the holding of the conference of Potsdam from July 17 to August 2, 1945 between the victors of the Second World War World. Although Potsdam suffered destruction during the war, the heart of the old town is very well restored and the rococo “frédéricien” is still ubiquitous today. Potsdam is the largest German ensemble on the UNESCO Heritage List. Potsdam can be visited in one day. As Sanssouci is rich in discoveries, it is better to get up early in the morning to have the time to see everything, the castle, the park, but also the old town and Babelsberg. Come between April and October is the best choice because the gardens are at the height of their splendor.
The essential places of POTSDAM
Small starting point: prefer to come between May and October, because many monuments of the park are closed between November and April. It was Friedrich Wilhelm II, nephew of Frederick II, who initiated the development of Sanssouci Park, a style radically opposed to the building itself. Then enjoy your visit to visit one of the beautiful parks of Europe: start with the Sanssouci castle and walk down the cascading gardens to the big fountain. Then walk along the stream to Chinesisches Teehaus (the Chinese Tea House) with its fabulous architecture and beautiful golden sculptures (open from May to October, Tuesday to Sunday and 10am to 17:30). Find the stream and continue on your left to reach the Roman baths (Römische Bäder), an imitation of Roman villa built by Schinkel and Persius (open from May 1 to October 31 from 10am to 17:30, Tuesday to Sunday). Behind this tribute to Antiquity, you’ll find Schinkel’s pure Renaissance wink with the Schloss Charlottenhof, which contains reproductions of classical statues (open from May 1st to October 31st, from 10am to 5.30pm, from Tuesday to Sunday). On your left, take the path that will take you through flowering meadows to the Neues Palais. Even if it does not have the prestige of its neighbor, the New Palace is worth the detour, if only for the slippers that you will have to put on at the entrance. From there, take the huge main alley of the park. After one kilometer, you will look up on your left to discover the huge Orangery, whose architecture evokes the most beautiful palaces of Tuscany (open from May to October, from 10am to 5.30pm, from Tuesday to Sunday). Take the narrow streets around the Historische Mühle (historic mill) to return to Sanssouci Castle.
Information and times on PARK SANSSOUCI
Free admission. It is necessary to count a full day if one wants to visit the garden and the different buildings of the park. Tip: It is possible to rent a bike from the train station and to reach certain parts of the park by this means.
Members comments on PARK SANSSOUCI
The imposing castle overlooks this very large park with cascading gardens to a magnificent fountain. It is good to walk there. Everything is feasible on foot.
Large park of the castle, pleasant to walk there. It was not very highlighted during our visit, with the fountains, certainly because it was winter. In summer, it must be more beautiful. The visit of the park is feasible on foot. The castle can already be seen from outside the park without entering.
Beautiful walk in this park which concentrates a large number of castles and palaces. Everything can be done on foot.
The Palace and Park Sanssouci are the major attraction of Potsdam. This is the most beautiful royal ensemble in Germany, the pinnacle of Prussian Baroque and Rococo. It is THE realization of the German Enlightenment monarch, protector of Voltaire, Frederick II the Great, a unique site and a rare wealth!
The palace, prototype of the rococo “frédéricien”, is a small marvel, with its superb lines, its semicircular shape according to a zigzag and sloping geometry, its orange facades and plantations of vines, fig and orange trees. Intimist, pre-romantic, Sanssouci expresses a whole conception of the world. It was built between 1745 and 1747 by the architect Georg Wenseslaus von Knobelsdorff. The name of the castle reflects the Francophilia of the king (French was the official language of the Prussian court in the eighteenth century) as his state of mind (living carelessly). Voltaire, among many other prestigious hosts, took charge of the library and wrote important pages of his work, before his patron and he blurred forever. The interior (which a visit is really worth it) includes essential: the marble room (where the philosophical rounds took place), the concert hall. Right next to the castle is a pavilion which is considered to be the first German museum: the Baroque painting gallery. It gathers among others the works of Caravaggio and Dutch masters. Twenty years after the creation of Sanssouci, Frederick the Great built between 1763 and 1769 the Neues Palais, further to the west, which expresses a new stage in the Frédérician ideology: massive, powerful, it is the castle of a victorious king. It is a boastful accomplishment, according to the terms of the king himself, Baroque, which contrasts with the intimism of Sanssouci.
The park is superb. It responds to a picky concern for global architecture, just like Versailles. The highlight is the terraced gardens that open access to the park from the castle. There are three floors of terraces, separated in two parts by a staircase of 120 steps. The park itself is the head of the German Baroque, with its beautiful lawns, woods, fountains, marble statues and here and there all its prestigious buildings. Thus you will discover a gigantic Orangery in the style of the Italian Renaissance, the Spielfestung (the fortress of the Games) built by William II for his son, but also the chinesisches Teehaus (the Chinese tea house) with its porcelain collection from China and from Mainz and the Roman Baths, built by Schinkel and Persius.
Information and times on SCHLOSS SANSSOUCI – PALAIS DE SANSSOUCI
Free park, closing at dusk. Palace of Sanssouci open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10h to 17h30 from April to October, from 10h to 17h from November to December and from 10h to 16h30 from January to March. Entry 12 €, reduced 8 €.
Member reviews for SCHLOSS SANSSOUCI – PALAIS DE SANSSOUCI
The castle is nice and the gardens should be nice days (we visited in winter). By cons, a little bit of restoration would be necessary, the facades are a little tired.
Frankly not terrible
Parking is expensive and saw the price of the castle 12 euros and 3 tax photos
for about 9 and more pieces to see
Frederick II, a great art lover, had built Sanssouci to hang the works he had acquired throughout Europe. When he realized that his little pleasure castle was no longer enough to offer room for all his rooms, he built, by Johann Bühring, the Bildergalerie, the first German museum in history designed for this purpose. In addition to many copies of famous works there are some paintings by masters: Van Dyck, Rubens and the most famous of them: The Incredulity of St. Thomas of Caravaggio.
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BILDERGALERIE – TABLE GALLERY
Information and schedules on BILDERGALERIE – GALERIE DE TABLEAUX
Open from May 1st to October 31st, from Tuesday to Sunday and from 10am to 5.30pm. Entry 6 €, reduced 5 €.
4/NEUES PALAIS VON SANSSOUCI
Located west of the park 1 km from the castle, the palace offers its impressive architecture at a glance. Built between 1763 and 1769 to celebrate the victorious Prussian power after the Seven Years’ War, the last and most majestic baroque palace was designed by architects Büring, Manger and Gontard. The palace was never a principal residence, it served for the king of secondary residence where he organized great receptions and where he received his guests. Frederick II occupied occasionally in the castle its apartments located in the west wing (guided tour possible only for this part). Not to be missed, the Rococo lounge with its shell decorations or the Marble Gallery.
Left abandoned on the death of the king, the palace was only reused in the 19th century by Frederick III and Princess Victoria, then by Wilhelm II and Princess Augusta. Innovations such as elevators and bathrooms date back to this time! In front of the palace are two buildings of the same style. These are the common in other words the kitchens, servants’ rooms and guards, today belonging to the University of Potsdam.
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NEUES PALACE VON SANSSOUCI – NEW PALACE OF SANSSOUCI
Information and times on NEUES PALAIS VON SANSSOUCI – NEW PALACE OF SANSSOUCI
Open from January to March from 10h to 16h30, from April to October until 17h30 and from November to December until 17h (closed on Tuesdays). Entrance 8 €, reduced 6 €.
During his stays at the Sanssouci Palace, Frederick II appreciated the intimacy and the atmosphere of the Chinese pavilion. Built between 1754 and 1757, it represented a loophole for the leader, busy with his responsibilities. It must be said that in the eighteenth century, the Far East and its refinement nourished the fantasies of the aristocracy, which generated an unprecedented craze for these “chinoiseries” dear to their contemporaries. The Palace of Sanssouci Palace is a rather successful example: harmonious columns, interior decorated by porcelain trinkets of the eighteenth and a magnificent fresco depicting a scene of Chinese life painted in trompe-l’oeil architectural.
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CHINESISCHES TEEHAUS – CHINESE PAVILION
Am Grünen Gitter
Information and times about CHINESISCHES TEEHAUS – CHINESE PAVILION
Open from May 1st to October 30th, from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. 5 € the entrance. Last entry 30 minutes before closing.