Sunday, October 21 - Potsdam
left early for Potsdam and Schloss Sanssouci, a wise precaution
since we missed the worst Sunday crowds that way. "Sanssouci
is the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia
at Potsdam, just outside Berlin. It is often counted among the German
rivals of Versailles although Sanssouci is in the more intimate
Rococo style and is far smaller than its French Baroque counterpart.
The palace was built between 1745 and 1747 to fulfill Frederick's
need for a private residence where he could relax away from the
pomp and ceremony of the Berlin court. It was a place for relaxation
rather than a seat of power. The palace is little more than a large
single-storey villa containing just ten principal rooms, it was
built on the brow of a terraced hill at the canter of the park.
first saw a windmill that survived form the previous farmland due
to a stubborn farmer. Then we went up on the state entrance side
of the palace where there is a wide plaza with a semicircular colonnade.
Then we had a tour of the interior, but photographs were not permitted.
As usual the rooms were intended to increase in decoration as they
approached the center room where Frederick would be located. One
did not fit the rococo pattern, being the one he died in, which
was then ruined by his 22 dogs. That was redecorated in another
style by his heir.
the tour we went on the other side of the palace to see the graves
of his dogs and this gave us a good view of the other entrance and
facade. After that we went on a long bus ride around the whole palace
complex seeing a few of the buildings but from a distance. Apparently
it was a policy of German royalty never to be satisfied with previous
royal housing and to construct their own palace. Even minor royalty
did this, as we saw when we continued aroused the city of Potsdam
and its environs.
stopped next at Schloss
Cecilienhof, the last palace built by the Hohenzollern dynasty.
It was erected 1914-1917 for Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife.The
architect emulated the English Tudor style, quite a change form
what we had been seeing. From 17th of July to 2nd of August 1945
the Potsdam Conference negotiations between the victorious Allies
of World War II were held here. We had a tour of the interior and
it was quite interesting
we went on to the Wannsee district which is basically a resort community.
However there we paused to look at the house that had been owned
by the notorious Nazi Reinhard Heydrich and was the site of the
infamous Wannsee conference. The Wannsee Conference was a meeting
of senior officials of the Nazi German regime on January 20, 1942.
The purpose of the conference was to inform senior Nazis and senior
Governmental administrators of plans for the "Final solution to
the Jewish question." (See the movie Conspiracy.)
at the hotel we had an independent lunch at the hotel and then went
out on our free afternoon to see a tourist attraction on the Kurfurstendamm
called "The Story of Berlin." It was quite large and informative,
but not really very well done. We spent a good bit of time there
but finally gave up and fled for a short rest. After dinner in a
nearby restaurant we were taken to the new Philharmonie Hall for
a concert by the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin. An interesting
building and a pleasant concert of music by Schumann, Schubert and