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SPLENDID SANSSOUCI – PRUSSIAN PALACES AND GARDENS FOUNDATION OVERSEES MORE THAN 30 GRAND SITES
 
(2024 - Spring/Summer Issue)

Writer: LINDA BARNARD



Feel your own sense of carefree escape in 300 hectares of parks and themed gardens as you stroll the green spaces of Sanssouci Palace. With a name that means “without a care,” Prussian King Frederick the Great’s delightful 18th-century summer palace at Potsdam, Germany is not to be missed.

The grand sunflower-yellow palace resembles a pastel wedding cake. Muscular heroic figures atop columns appear to hold up the roof. The long building sits at the crest of rows of vineyard terraces and a six-level grand staircase. It’s easy to understand why this lavishly dramatic retreat is often called the German Versailles.

The Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sanssouci is one of more than 30 architectural and historic treasures overseen by the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation (SPSG). Visitors can picture nobles strolling in manicured gardens or relaxing in imperial leisure in grand palaces amid elegant sculptures and paintings by Flemish, Dutch and Italian masters.

The SPSG sites also had important roles in world history. For instance, seven generations of Hohenzollern rulers were in residence at Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin while in Potsdam, the Cecilienhof Country House was the site of the historic Potsdam Conference at the end of World War II.

A Royal Weekend in Potsdam

Historic Potsdam is a short train ride from Berlin. With 17 palaces spread across three parks and in the city centre, Potsdam is one of the largest UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany. A weekend there, including a day at Sanssouci Park, is an immersive experience into the lives of the Prussian kings and queens and centuries of history and architectural styles.

World-famous Sanssouci is the SPSG jewel. It has just 10 main rooms; modest by palatial standards. But Frederick didn’t skimp on splendour for his opulent retreat. Carefully preserved baroque furnishings bring life to airy rooms painted in rich colours. Long passageways covered in gilt are lit by massive crystal chandeliers. Even the inlaid wooden and marble floors are works of art.

Did You Know?

Visitors can tour the impressive New Palace, Picture Gallery of Sanssouci and the Palace Theatre, built for Prussian royalty.

Jungle Animals and a Famous Guest

The Voltaire Room is a favourite stop. Carvings of exotic fruits, flowers and jungle animals adorn these pastel lemon-yellow walls where the French Enlightenment writer and philosopher may have stayed.

Travel Planner

For more information about the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation see spsg.de/en and for tickets visit tickets.spsg.de/

 
 
 
 
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