The Sanssouci Park is a large park in Potsdam. It contains several palaces, the most famous being the Schloss Sanssouci.
The Park Sanssouci was originally an
orchard near Potsdam
was the favorite retreat of King Friedrich II - later
known as Friedrich the Great. Here he could stay without
worries (hence the name sans souci,
which means without worry in French).
In 1744 the King commissioned
architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff to build
a summer palace, the Schloss Sanssouci (Sanssouci
Palace). Here he could leave all the formalities
of the royal court behind and spend time on his hobbies
like music and philosophy. In the central room, the
Marmorsaal which was loosely based on the Pantheon
, he would invite famous
philosophers like Voltaire.
The design of the Sanssouci Palace was based on sketches
made by Friedrich the Great himself. The relatively
small palace with only 12 rooms was completed in 1747.
It is located on top of a terraced vineyard, known as
the Weinberg (wine mountain). The palace is only one
storey high, but beautifully decorated in rococo style.
The 700acres/287ha large park around the palace consists
of several different gardens, all with their own character.
The park contains many statues and fountains, the largest
of them, the Große Fontäne (Great Fountain) in front of the
Sanssouci Palace is 18 meter high.
Over the years, several other buildings
were added to the grounds of the Sanssouci park. The
most impressive of all is the Neues Palais,
a large baroque palace. It was commissioned by King
Frederick the Great in 1750 but construction only started
in 1763 after the 7 Year's War, which solidified Prussia's
status as a powerful nation.
The Neues Palais is one
of Germany's most impressive palaces; in contrast to
the Sanssouci Palace, which is rather modest, the imposing
sumptuous palace contains more than 200 lavishly decorated
rooms spread over two storeys. The central ballroom
is topped by a large dome.
Next to the Neues Palais
is the Communs building. This building contained the servants' quarters and the palace kitchens, but the
outside is decorated as if it were a palace itself.
Another noteworthy building in the
Sanssouci park is the Chinesisches Teehaus,
an oriental style teahouse constructed in 1756. It currently
houses a collection of porcelain.
The Friedenskirche (church of peace) was built
by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV between 1845 and 1854. It was based on the Santa
Maria Clemente church in Rome
Park Sanssouci borders the city center of Potsdam
which can be reached from Berlin via S-Bahn nr 7.