Sanssouci is a French word meaning “without worries.” As you stroll the beautiful gardens and take in the impressive architecture of Sanssouci Palace (Schloss Sanssouci in German), you are certain to leave your own worries behind as well.
About The Sanssouci Palace And Its History
The Sanssouci Palace was commissioned by Frederick the Great in 1744. As a warrior-king, Frederick wanted a place that he could use as a refuge, a place where he wouldn’t have to worry about the outside world. And so, Sanssouci was born.
The architect responsible for building this kingly sanctuary was Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. Von Knobelsdorff used sketched drawn by the king himself when he was designing Sanssouci. In fact, so much of the king’s design was present in the palace, that this style of rococo architecture has come to be known as “Frederician Rococo.”
After a spat with his initial architect, Jan Bouman ultimately completed the castle three years later, in 1747. The final design of the palace was quite different from other German palaces. For one thing, there are only about a dozen rooms within Sanssouci. While this makes it rather small for a palace, it is testament to Frederick’s vision of a home where he could focus on art and philosophy, rather than the grand affairs of state.
Nevertheless, despite a bit of eccentricity, the palace was a favorite with future generations of the German monarchs. It was used by the royal family right up to the end of the First World War, and subsequent downfall of the Hohenzollern royal family. It became a public museum in East Germany after World War II, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.
Sanssouci Palace Highlights And Features
The Palace Grounds
Sanssouci boasts amazing grounds that are certain to delight any visitor. Apart from the wonderful foliage, which includes over 3,000 fruit trees that include peaches, melons, oranges and bananas, there are a number of eye-popping buildings scattered all around.
There is the Chinese House, a picturesque garden pavilion painted in pale blue and gold, in the rococo style. The Dragon House Pagoda can be found not far from this place. There is a water pumping station, cleverly and beautifully disguised as a Turkish mosque with a minaret. Roman baths and the Temple of Friendship are some other highlights.
Overall, the best part is not knowing what wondrous, surprising structure you’ll see next as you wander through the garden hedges! :-)
The signature feature of Sanssouci Palace is the lovely terraced gardens that stand in front of its royal rococo facade. The Great Fountain is in front of the terraces, offering one of the best photo ops that you’ll find here. And as you walk around, you can check out all the superb, elegant marble sculptures of Grecian gods.
Sanssouci Palace Location And Opening Hours
Sanssouci Palace is found in the city of Potsdam, which is just 36 km (22 mi) southwest of Berlin. You can drive here using your on-board navigation system, simply plug in the address of Maulbeerallee for the street and Potsdam for the city. Use the Autobahns A100 or A115 to get here from the capital city.
You can also access Potsdam and Sanssouci easily by using public transportation. Berlin’s suburban rail, the S-Bahn, can connect you from Berlin to Potsdam. Hop on S-Bahn number 7 to reach Sanssouci. You could also take a train to Potsdam’s main station. From here, Bus 695 or 606 will get you to Sanssouci.
Sanssouci Opening Hours
Sanssouci is open year-round, from Tuesday to Sunday. (So don’t try to visit on a Monday!) From April to October, the hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. From November to March, you can visit from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.