Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Schloss Sanssouci

Potsdam is a city in the province of Brandenburg, a short S-Bahn ride from my house. Realistically, it's all one big city, except that since Potsdam is technically in a different province the city centre ticket just won't cut it. Potsdam has more than its fair share of palaces, being the former seat of the Prussian emperors, and is supposed to be a big tourist attraction. Also, I have become somewhat of a connoisseur of German palaces, and have had excellent luck with the guided visits, so when an out of town guest showed up, a palace in Potsdam was high on my list of sights to see. According to the guidebook and internet references, Schloss Sanssouci was the best bet.

View of Sanssouci from the gardens
Sanssouci was the summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and is open to the public with "guided" tour. The tour was extremely pricey by palace tour standards, but given the hype, I didn't mind. However I minded a lot after going on the tour - it was not in fact guided (rather, world's most uninformative audio tour), covered only 10 rooms and lasted a mere 30 minutes. Gah. I fell into a tourist trap. Very embarrassing; my guest was shocked I could make such an amateurish mistake.

After the massive failure of the main attraction, we were a bit leery of the subsidiary palaces and outbuildings, so didn't pay for the tours. We walked around the gardens though - they were free, but not worth the trip to Potsdam.

One of the few parts of the Neues Palais not under construction
View of fake classical ruins and modern scaffolding from Sanssouci

Maybe Schloss Charlottenburg is better? Now at least I know I have to go by myself first before dragging friends along . . .

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