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Schloss Sanssouci: A Prussian Palace of Rococo Extravagance

GERMANY | Thursday, 18 June 2015 | Views [418]

The Orangerie at Sanssouci

The Orangerie at Sanssouci

Sanssouci Palace is a UNESCO heritage site located in Potsdam, Germany – a quick hop, skip, and jump down from Berlin. It is a sprawling park complex than one can easily find themselves lost in and spend the whole day trying to run around to see everything. Note: you’ll probably fail.

I woke up early in Berlin and took a train down to Potsdam and walked all the way to the park. And then walked some more around the park. And then walked back. Quite a lot of walking, really, but a lovely view. The weather in late May was beautiful and it was a perfect time to visit the park with just a light jacket.

The first thing you’ll want to do is head straight to the Palace to buy your tickets for 20€. You’ll be assigned a time to get in – we were assigned a two hour gap in which we could wander the park before heading in to Sanssouci itself. Two hours was barely enough to scratch the surface of the park so consider getting an even later time to view more architectural sites. Just a thought.

Tickets in hand we set off to get lost in the Park itself and only managed to make it into a few buildings before our time was up. The Orangerie was a lovely building quite close by indicative of the Rococo splendor you will find later on in more grand buildings. It was a quick in and out and wasn’t crowded when we got there so an easy place to take some photos if you bought the photography wristband on top of the Palace ticket.

Next up was the Chinese Pavilion which was my favorite of all the buildings we saw. It was tiny but full of elaborate displays of golden people, animals, and fruit. I especially appreciated the pineapple chandelier so prominently displayed at the center of the building.

Charlottenburg Palace needed ticket times as well – free but a German guided tour only every 30 minutes – so if you want to go here make a beeline to get a ticket time and know that you’ll be guided in German with a pamphlet in English.

We made it all the way to the Neues Palace on the other side of the Park but didn’t have enough time to go inside before we raced back to get into Sanssouci. Alas. But from the outside the views were stunning and I was saddened to leave it before catching a glimpse of the Frederician Rococo splendor that I’m sure the inside must have held!

Sanssouci Palace itself was much smaller than I imagined – only ten rooms – but gilded and painted and gold bedazzled my eye everywhere I looked. We were given handheld devices with information on each room and went at our own pace. It was quite crowded so not as easy to take photos but still a lovely, if rather excessive, building.

By that point we had walked all over the place and were tired so we meandered our way back in to Potsdam for a well-deserved sit-down at one of their charming cafés scattered about the city. Overall I found Sanssouci to be gorgeously over-the-top and I only wish I had more time to spend gawking. It is a beautiful park so if you think of it bring some snacks and blankets and have a picnic like I saw a few people doing. You won’t find much by way of food or refreshments in the park itself – there was a tiny over-priced café at the windmill – so plan ahead and bring a lot of water and things to nibble on.

Happy viewing!

Tags: berlin, germany, palace, potsdam, prussia, sanssouci

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