Considered the German version of Versailles, the Sanssouci Palace lies within a sprawling park in Potsdam. It served as the summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and was designed in an elaborate Rococo style, surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens.
The Sanssouci Palace was built by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff between 1745 and 1747 with the purpose of being a relaxing escape for King Frederick away from the Berlin court. Its name “Sanssouci” exemplifies this, translating from French to “without concerns” or “carefree”. The design and decoration of the palace were so influenced by King Frederick’s personal taste that its style has become known as “Frederician Rococo”.
During the 19th century, the Sanssouci Palace became the residence of Frederick William IV who enlarged the palace and beautified its gardens. Following World War II, the palace and its grounds were opened to the public as a tourist attraction and after Germany’s reunification in 1990, King Frederick’s body was returned to Sanssouci and buried in a tomb overlooking his gardens.
Today the Sanssouci Palace and its grounds are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with guided tours on offer through its lavish rooms. Visitors are greeted in the “Entrance Hall”, with the adjoining “Marble Hall” being the principal entertaining room. This white and gold oval hall its topped by a large cupola, with Carrara marble paired columns and gilded ornaments.
Also of note is the Dining Room, which is decorated with 18th-century French masterpieces and Rococo ornamentations, as well as the King’s study and bedroom that is noted for its plain classicist lines. A cedarwood library in a circular layout is somewhat hidden through a connecting narrow passageway, with gold-colored Rocaille ornaments that were designed to create a tranquil atmosphere.