12 Feb Spotlight on Sanssouci Palace and Park
The Sanssouci Park began as a garden designed to cultivate figs for Frederick the Great in 1744. However, the area’s natural beauty and amazing views soon prompted him to create a summer residence in the same location, which became the Sanssouci Palace and Park that visitors to Potsdam can enjoy today. The Sanssouci Palace was built over the course of two years and completed in 1747; its name is derived from a French phrase, sans souci, which means “without concerns.”
Sanssouci Palace’s gardens are built on an area previously covered by extensive woods; however, these trees were felled and the hillside left bare when the city of Potsdam was expanded. Frederick the Great ordered the hillside planted with terraced vineyards; the resulting gardens consist of three wide terraces designed to maximize sunlight. These terraces were originally planted with vines from a variety of locations, including Portugal, France and Italy; the walls were designed with niches in which figs were grown. Each terrace was further separated into strips that housed yew trees. A garden was also constructed below the hillside, which features the Great Fountain built in 1748.
After the vineyard and palace itself were completed, Frederick the Great began landscaping the remaining grounds, creating what would eventually become Sanssouci Park. A 2.5-km path guides visitors through the park, which sustains thousands of fruit trees among statuary, obelisks, temples, follies, and small housing meant to serve as additional reception space for the palace. Although Frederick the Great wanted to introduce fountains to the park, the use of hydraulics was not very advanced at the time—the original garden’s Great Fountain was not yet working by the time of his death, but working fountains were finally achieved in Sanssouci in approximately 1842.
You can learn more about this amazing location by visiting its page on the official Potsdam Marketing und Service GmbH website. If you’d like to explore more world-famous gardens and landscapes, please check out the additional articles in Santa Rita Landscaping’s blog series, The Most Spectacular Gardens in the World.
Image from http://www.potsdam-tourism.com/detail/id/10215/theme/a-z.html