Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

Spring time in Potsdam is the ideal time frame to visit the royal palaces and gardens around Potsdam in Brandenburg, Germany. Home to the Prussian Kings of Germany and their magnificent royal residences, Potsdam became their showpiece close to the city of Berlin and the German equivalent to Versailles. The Sanssouci palaces and gardens are the largest Unesco world heritage site in Germany and worth spending an entire day to visit all the main landmarks throughout the site and attractions around the city.

With temperate German weather during the spring and still being the low season in Germany, a visit to Potsdam is ideal without all the massive crowds that visit the castles during the peak summer periods. Here are some highlights of what you will see in visiting the amazing royal palaces, gardens and other cultural landmarks around the city of Potsdam in Brandenburg.

 

 

Crossing the Havel River into Postdam, Germany

 

A colorful garden next to the Havel River

Potsdam is filled with green belts and beautiful parks, in fact the city has over three quarters of green space that take up the entire city limit and the rest allocated for urban development.

 

Public garden next to the Havel River in Postdam, Germany

 

 

Gorgeous details to a public building in Potsdam

 

A grand architectural building in Potsdam, Germany

 

 

 

 

 

A natural park in royal gardens of Potsdam, Germany

 

Sanssouci park and palaces

Towards the main entrance to the palaces are expansive natural parks with a sprinkling of statuary, greenhouses and other follies that were a retreat for the royal families to enjoy.  Broad meadows filled with wild yellow flowers dot the entire grassy areas of the semi forested park. Along the way to the main residences of Sanssouci and the Neues Palais are green houses and beautiful structures like the wire folly and statues on pedestals that pop out unexpectedly in different areas. Following one of the main gravelled roads eventually leads to the stately Neues Palais below. I could have easily enjoyed a simple picnic and explore some of the cool monuments and follies in the park, but there is definitely so much more in store visiting this magnificent site.

 

A garden folly in the royal gardens of Potsdam Germany

 

 

 

 

 

Royal entry to the Neues Palais or New Palace at Potsdam, Germany

Entering the Neues Palais or New Palace 

Built 20 years after the smaller villa style of Sanssouci, the Neues Palais was envisioned by Frederick the Great to showcase his power and strength to the rest of the world. A grand palace done in over the top Baroque style that was popular during that time frame, the Neues Palais was designed to impress. Both the exterior and interior of the palace are embellished and filled with multiple statuary, grand staircases, imported luxury materials with gilt details and skilled craft work to present a more is better approach for the Prussian Kings of Germany. It looks like every window detail, rooftop perimeter and even the terraces have to be jammed with excess and be topped with sculpture and architectural details to make the building look even more impressive. Unfortunately, the time I was visiting, a lot of the façade was undergoing restoration to clean and polish the dingy and worn surfaces to bring it back to its former glory. You can see from the image below what the sculptures would look like after a nice power cleaning, and it does make a wonderful difference.

 

 

Entry courtyard to the Neues Palais or New Palace at Potsdam, Germany

 

 

 

 

 

Statue and building façade of the Neues Palais or New Palace at Potsdam, Germany

 

 

 

Still a lot of spring cleaning needed to all the exterior statuary and architectural details on the façade

 

Statuary at the Neues Palais Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand courtyard entry at the Neues Palais in Sanssouci

 

Facing the main residence of the Neues palace were the Communs with its identical buildings and an attached colonnade. These buildings housed the royal kitchens, palace guard, servants, utilities and gardner’s shops. Today the Communs is utilized as the University of Potsdam and is not open to the public for viewing but fun to walk through the perimeter and capture some nice architectural details on the ornate structure.

 

Rococo style Interior room at the Neues Palais in Sanssouci

Touring the interior of the Neues Palais

Just like the lavish details to the exterior, the interior of the Neues Palais reflected the Prussian Kings interest in the grand Baroque and Rococo style which was all about excess, filled with gilted details in all of the state and private the rooms above and below. Even the ceilings and chandeliers where dripping with gold leaf, crystals and fanciful flourishes that were hand carved from skilled craftsmen who were brought in from around the country to create the splendid rooms of the Neus Palais.

 

 

Ceiling Rococo detail and chandeliers at the Neues Palais

 

Stunning and real silver leaf details in the Silver room

 

Silver leafed room at the Neues Palace in Sanssouci

 

 

 

 

 

Royal gardens of Sanssouci Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

 

Royal gardens of Sanssouci

Just like the expansive gardens of Versaille, Sanssouci’s gardens are also impressive with a variety of gardens appealing to the all the pomp and grand lifestyle in an outdoor setting. With so many garden rooms on display, it can easily filled up an entire day to explore the different gardens, follies and special areas all around the entire Unesco site (So pick and choose your place of interest because there is a lot to see at this Unesco site). An extensive volunteer and landscape staff from the Sanssouci foundation grow the beautiful seasonal arrangements while maintaining the expansive grounds for visitors to enjoy. Here are some highlights of the different gardens on display and in bloom for springtime.

 

The Chines tea house

 

Life-size golden figures to the Chinese tea house

 

Golden statuary at the Chinese tea house

Views and landscape from Sanssouci Palace

From above Sanssouci Palace, the views below to the formal gardens, reflecting pool and the terraced planting beds create a majestic and scenic vista of the landscape around Potsdam. The summer palace at Sanssouci reflected the Prussian kings version of  harmony between nature and man.  Directly below Sanssouci palace is a terraced garden of mostly fruit trees and grape vines along walled terraces and colorful annuals on the beds. The “little vineyard house” crowns the hill of terraced plantings and is the personal retreat or Sans souci (“Without a care”) of Frederick the Great and his guests. On a beautiful spring day like today, it is really nice to be outdoors to explore and enjoy the gardens and colorful spring plantings at Sanssouci.

 

Views and reflecting pool from Sanssouci palace Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

Terraced gardens below Sanssouci palace

There is plenty to see if you love gardens or beautiful landscape and panoramas. The many gardens surrounding Sanssouci are filled with gorgeous focal points, statuary, fountains and interesting follies from a distance that are fun to explore and photograph. This includes the imposing Orangerie (below)that housed the many tropical and citrus plants, the Windmill above Sanssouci palace, an ancient Obelisk and many other garden ornaments around the site.

 

Terraced gardens of Sanssouci palace Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

Looking up the terraced wall garden to Sanssouci palace

 

 

 

 

Annuals and gardens of Sanssouci Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

 

Statue fronting the Orangerie

 

Statue fronting the Orangerie Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

 

 

 

Sanssouci walled garden and pool Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

 

Sanssouci façade Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

Interior rooms of Sanssouci

Frederick’s little vineyard house was filled with whimsical details and Rococo flourishes on both the exterior and interiors of Sanssouci creating a new style called “Frederician Rococo”. The Prussian king wanted to be surrounded with beautiful objects and works of art which fills up all the decorated rooms to his own personal taste and love of excess and luxury materials. Starting with a grand hall and marbled hall, the state and common rooms progress to more private apartments on the east end of the building. Baroque rooms with marble, gilted wood details and exuberant ornamentation fill the themed rooms in intricate craft work and luxurious materials. Below are some more highlights to the interior apartments of Sanssouci.

 

Sanssouci grand hall Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

Sanssouci grand hall and ornate wall details

 

Sanssouci grand hall Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

 

 

Rococo flourishes on the ceilings and walls are a personal favorite style

 

Rococo style splendor at Sanssouci Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

 

 

 

The colorful birds of the yellow room at Sanssouci

 

Yellow room at Sanssouci Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

Beautiful marquetry work details

Interior rooms at Sanssouci Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

Friedenskirche and colonnade galleries

Friedenskirche gallery Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

Friedenskirche or the Protestant Church of Peace located inside the palace grounds is built to resemble more of a medieval style that Frederick William IV requested to be built to resemble the Basilica di San Clemente in Rome. The church was used as a royal chapel and church for the parish of BrandenburgerVorstadt.

Promenades of central Potsdam Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

A visit to central Potsdam

After exiting the royal palaces of Sanssouci and the Brandenburg gate, it’s worthwhile to walk around Potsdam especially on the main pedestrian promenades in the center of town. The pedestrian only street is filled with small galleries, souvenir shops,  cafes and coffee shops and specialty goods stores that are fun to explore. After spending some time visiting Sanssouci, its nice to relax and have a nice meal and there are plenty of eating and drinking options around the walking promenades.

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam, hopefully some of these places will inspire you to visit when you come to the city. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

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13 Responses to Exploring the palaces and gardens of Potsdam

  1. Hung Thai March 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    Incredible collection of photos as usual. Such beautiful interiors – such grandeur.

  2. Johanna Bradley March 27, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

    Came across this almost by chance this morning, Noel, and already you have me packing my bags! Fabulous photos! Happy Easter Monday! 🙂

  3. Meg Jerrard March 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

    Beautiful images Noel – Potsdam had never really been on my travel radar until now, though the opportunities for photos seem endless. I love that there is so much interesting architecture – that’s a big draw for me 🙂

  4. Karla (Karla Around The World) March 27, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Wow, the view inside the Royal gardens of Sanssouci is so breathtaking. The details are really amazing. I love the Royal gardens of Sanssouci too. It may no be as beautiful as I expected, but I like it a lot.

  5. mark wyld March 27, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    Potsdam is amazing . One of my biggest regrets is that we only spent half a day there in 2013 when we went to Berlin. Never have i been to a place with so many palaces, gardens and history all in one

  6. Mar Pages March 27, 2016 at 1:26 am #

    Theres something about European gardens, there are immaculately beautiful! The colourful flowers and beautiful structures compliment each other so well. I could spend an entire afternoon sitting amongst the greenery with a good book.

  7. Nisha March 26, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos!

    What a lively place, full of live. I especially liked the golden statues.

  8. Trisha Velarmino - P.S. I'm On My Way March 26, 2016 at 2:27 am #

    Beautiful photos, as always!!! Will you be around Europe by June? Would love to meet up again, Noel! Xx

  9. Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers March 25, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

    I love the historic architecture and the spring flowers all blooming in the gardens. A great tip to travel in the spring to avoid the summer season crowds, probably makes it a little more affordable in the shoulder season too I guess.

  10. Curious Claire March 25, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    I love Potsdam! I took a day trip there when I was in Berlin last year. Fantastic place 🙂

  11. LeAnna March 25, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

    It’s sad to admit, but we’ve lived in Bavaria for 5 years now and still have never been to Potsdam! I also have to admit though that sometimes I get a little palace/ gardened out. If this was a bit closer, I could see it being the perfect day trip for us though when looking for something to do!

  12. dannielle March 25, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

    So much greenery! And those ornate walls are just stunning. I had never even heard of this place so will definitely have to add it to my list now!

  13. Rhonda Albom March 24, 2016 at 1:03 am #

    What a beautiful place, and your photos are fabulous. The golden interior is really impressive. .

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