Sanssouci Park is a large park surrounding the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, near Berlin. The palace and park were built as a summer palace by Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia. Whilst the palace is impressive, it is renowned for its park, which include numerous temples and other decorations.
When the palace was completed a terraced vineyard was added to complete the structure. It was then decided to add a Baroque flower garden and lawns, flowerbeds as well as including trees and hedges.
To improve the design more than 3000 fruit trees were planted along with numerous greenhouses and nurseries, which contained oranges, melons, peaches and even bananas.
The goddesses Flora, the goddess of flowers, and Pomona, the goddess of fruitful abundance, are remembered with several monuments to highlight the connection between flowers, fruit and vegetables
Frederick created the palace as a place to relax, away from the concerns of his empire, as well as the pomp and ceremony of his Berlin court. This idea is reflected in his choice of name, Sanssouci. The name is derived from the French “sans souci” which translates to “without concerns” or “carefree”, which highlights the Palace, and particularly the parks, purpose was a place of relaxation, rather than a seat of power.
The park was begun in 1748, the year following the palaces completion, with a 2.5km (1.5mi) main avenue being built. Over the following years, several buildings were added to the park, including the Picture Gallery (1755), New Chambers (1771), Chinese House (1755) and the Temple of Friendship (1758), to name a few, which would later be adorned with statues, fountains and hedges. By doing this, Frederick deviated from the traditional model of Baroque gardens by combining the beautiful with the useful.
Frederick spent heavily on the park in Sanssouci, particularly in regards to water systems, which were a vital component to Barque gardens. The Neptune Grotto and the Great Fountain are two fine examples of this. Unfortunately, Frederick never had the chance to see them work correctly as the builders lacked the expertise to move the water around such a large area with the necessary pressure to make the fountains impressive. It wasn’t until almost 100 years later, when steam power technology was developed, that the parks fountains became operational like they are today.
Many German monarchs who followed Frederick, continued to enlarge the park as well as add building and fountains to give us the incredible nature reserve we have today