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Potsdam Travel Guide - Sights to See
The Baroque town of Potsdam on the Havel River is a 3 star attraction. From the beginning of the 18th century, it was the residence and garrison town of the Prussian kings. World attention focused on Potsdam from July 17 to August 2, 1945, when the Potsdam Conference took place here. Potsdam is 16 miles east of Berlin. During World War II, a British air raid destroyed much of the center of the old city, but the major attraction survived.

San Souci Park with its palaces and gardens was the work of many architects and sculptors. The park covers an area of about I square mile. Frederik II chose Potsdam rather than Berlin as his permanent residence. The style of buildings he ordered erected is called Potsdam Rococo. The palace was inaugurated in 1747 and was called San Souci, meaning free from worry.

San Souci Palace is a long, one-story building crowned by a dome and flanked by two round pavilions. Of all the rooms, the Music Salon is the supreme point of the Rococo style. The elliptically shaped Marble Hall is the largest in the palace. As a guest of the king, Voltaire is said to have lived here in the last general room from 1750 to 1752. The Picture Gallery was built between 1755-1763. Its facade is similar to that of Sans Souci Palace. The interior is considered one of the most flamboyant rooms in Germany. A collection of some 125 paintings is displayed, including works by Rubens, Van Dyck and Caravaggio.

The Orangerie is to the west of San Souci. Built between 1851-60, it was based on designs of Italian Renaissance palaces. Its purpose was to shelter southerly plants during the cold months. In the central core, with its twin towers, is the Raphael Hall with 47 copies of his paintings.

New Palace is the largest building in the park... dating from 1763-69. Frederick II called it a "fanfaronade". Crowning the center is a dome. The three Graces bear the crown of the lantern. The rooms were used as a residence for members of the royal family. Filled with paintings and antiques, the rooms were decorated in the Rococo style. The most notable chamber is the Hall of Shells.

Charlottenhof Palace is near Potsdam. Built between 1826-29, the palace is designed in the style of a villa. Nearby are the roman baths on the north of the artificial lake. This group of buildings have no practical purpose... were built strictly for the romantic love of antiquity.

New Garden is in the northern part of Potsdam... about a mile from Sans Souci. The nephew and successor to Frederik the Great ordered the gardens laid out.

Cecilienhof Palace was completed in the style of an English country house... built by Kaiser Wilhelm II... occupied as royal residence until 1945 when the prince and his family fled to the West taking most of their possessions.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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