The castle of Sanssouci is found in Potsdam a short train ride from the center of Berlin. The castle was built by Friederick II the great King of Prussia. It was his favorite castle and his summer residence where he could retire to a peaceful park away from Berlin. He named the castle Sanssouci which is French – yeah like all royalties in Europe during this era his mother tongue was French – it translate into something like carefree, without concern or without worries. This was his place to relax and not the seat of power which was for his other castles.
The castle is the most famous of the castle around Potsdam despite its fairly small seize compared to other royal residences around the world. The castle was constructed from 1745 to 1747 and it has survived till this day unharmed despite the widespread destruction in Berlin itself.
The castle is located in a big park outside Potsdam on the top of a hill overlooking the park. Down below the castle on the hill is a lot of decorations with statues and fountains – when we visit during the winter the park looks a bit strange since there are not flowers with colours – and the statues is hidden away in boxes put around them to protect them from frost damage during the winter – so during the winter you will miss out on the pretty outdoor in the park which we enjoyed at another visit to Potsdam.
You can only visit the castle on a guided tour which – there is a discount if you get a combination ticket with the other castle in Potsdam. If you come early in the day you might be able to go to three castles during the winter and possible three castles and the windmill or other places in the park during the summer where the opening hours are longer.
We go into the castle where you pick up a audio guide – despite this is a guided tour the guide isn’t actually talking just taking you around the palace making sure you don’t go too fast so you collided with the previous tour. The audio guides are available in several languages including English which seems the most suitable for us not testing out our Chinese or Russian capabilities.
The castle only got one floor but the rooms are impressive and there are some furniture inside the rooms including the chair in which the king was confined in his later day when he was plagued by illness and wasn’t comfortable anywhere but in this chair. Eventually the king actually died in this chair.
One interesting fact about the king’s castle is it got the kings apartment – but there is no apartment for the queen. The king had been forced to marry the queen at the marriage was without love and the two lived separate though luxurious life’s. The king’s apartment at the castle is magnificent and you can understand why he loved this place to relax and enjoy.
After we visited the king’s apartment and the common rooms for the service of guest we go into the guest apartments. The king might not live with his wife but he did entertain his many visitors. Some of the visitors came so frequently they got a couple of the rooms named after them – the most well-known visitor was probably Voltaire who got one room named after him.
The visit to the castle takes an hour and after the visit we go out and walk down the terrace which leads you into the center of the park. We can walk through it to the other castles in the park. The walk isn’t so nice during the winter since there are no flowers and the statues is pretty much all hidden inside boxes – it is different during the summer where the park is amazing.