The Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, near Berlin, was built as the former summer residence of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. Although Sanssouci is built in a more intimate Rococo style and far smaller than its French Baroque counterpart Versailles, the Palace is also outstanding for its numerous temples and sites in the park. I was intended to fulfil King Frederick's need for a private residence where he could relax away from the pomp and ceremony of the Berlin court.
This is underlined by the palace's name: a French phrase (sans souci) which translates loosely as 'without worries' or 'carefree' symbolising that the palace was a place for relaxation rather than a seat of power. The influence of King Frederick's personal taste in the design and decoration of the palace was so great that its style is characterised as 'Frederician Rococo', and his feelings for the palace were so strong that he conceived it as 'a place that would die with him'.
Following the German reunification in 1990, Frederick's final wish was accomplished: his body was finally returned to his beloved palace and buried in a tomb overlooking the Palace Gardens. Sanssouci and its extensive landscaped park became part of the World Heritage Site of Berlin and Potsdam Palaces and Castles in 1990 under the protection of UNESCO.
© Fred. Olsen Travel.
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