6 October 2015

like a fairytale ♡ visiting Sanssouci palace

As I mentioned in the September nutshell, here - during my time as a mentor for the study group from Nagoya, we spent their first afternoon with us, visiting Sanssouci park.
It's a great park in Potsdam, where you can find three castles, the most popular being Sanssouci palace - which we took a tour inside as well. 
I finally managed to get myself a photo permit and some of the girls commented on how excited they assumed me to be, judging by the tons and tons of photos I took.

It wasn't my first visit to the palace and one of the guards/guides said he thinks Sanssouci palace - though the most popular, the smallest castle on the park's ground - is over-rated.
We didn't have time to visit any of the other castles since it was already late afternoon but I intend to go there again before it gets too cold and maybe visit one of the other sites there, to form my own opinion but I can say for sure - Sanssouci is really beautiful already. 

It's no surprise that Sanssouci is that famous, seeing that there are a couple of unusual and really interesting things about it.
It's comparatively small with only a couple of rooms and reminds faintly of a bungalow, with no second story which makes it blend in with the vineyard it is built on.
It used to be the summer residence of Frederick the Great - who I think was one of the most interesting Prussian kings there were.

Frederick II (or Frederick the Great) was a great fan of music, philosophy and the fine arts and used to invite famous philosophers and artists to his summer residence - which was his favorite place and he even included the wish to be interred on the top of the vineyard, next to Sanssouci Palace in his last will. 
He's also the one who made potatoes staple food in Prussia, a vegetable that wasn't popular among the farmers since it was foreign to them but prevented famines once they finally included it into their diet - thanks to the efforts of this king. 
He's definitely one of my favorites and really interesting because of his love for art and everything beautiful which stands in high contrast to - for example - his father who was known for his authoritarian attitude and is still refered to as the Soldier King in some history books.

I could go on and on about Frederick II but instead I want to share some of the photos I took during our small tour and invite you to visit the park when you get the chance because everything I've seen so far is brimming with beauty and definitely worth to be seen with your own eyes.

Most of the palace's interior is in roccoco stlye which looks absolutely amazing - all of the paintings were individually picked by Frederick II himself, explains the voice on the audio-guide you get for free upon entering.

After wandering through the king's chamber and listenting to some more explanations you'll find yourself guided into a small concert hall where the king liked to play the flute for his guests, as well as another room where the discussions about art and philosophical questions or political issues took place.

After another hall, that originally opened directly to the first room you found upon arrival and lead directly to the garden on the other side, you're lead into the opposite wing, were a couple of guest rooms were located. The last being the most famous one (the yellow one) and named after one of Frederick's most popular visitors: the French philosopher Voltaire. 
It's a bit ironic though, it's said that Voltaire never actually stayed at the palace but an apartment in Potsdam during the 3 years he stayed with the king after the invitation.

Today, I went a bit over the top with photos in this posting again, but I just can't blanket my excitement and fascination for places like that. Sometimes the history and art and architecture fan inside of me just breaks away and jumps up on the stage that my conscious mind is. 
But maybe I find like-minded people among my readers...?

Do you like to visit palaces and castles?
Tell me in a comment below.

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