Friedrich der Große

So here’s a bit more history for all you poor people…

Friedrich II and his father didn’t really get along. You gotta understand that Fritz’s father would literally throw out Friedrich’s books: Descartes — Machiavelli — too posh for the Elector. All Friedrich needed to learn was how to command troops. They were very different people. So Friedrich spent a lot of his younger years at a castle in Rheinsburg, which became a haven away from his father. Fast forward to Friedrich when he bacame king: he didn’t like bland Berlin — there wasn’t even an Opera House yet. And as king, Friedrich had to stay close to Berlin and Rheinsburg was just too far.

Hence, Sanssouci. It was so beautiful.

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Sanssouci Schloss is actually a pretty small palace and it was only intended for Friedrich’s friends to visit him — much like Rheinsburg used to be.

The Schloss itself consists of a small entrance hall, a reception hall, four guest rooms, a dining room, servants quarters, a music room, Friedrich’s bedroom/study, and his library. It’s supposed to be an exact replica of the Rheinsburg library.

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Friedrich’s bedroom had been somewhat changed by one of his nephew-descendents. I believe it was his grandnephew. So all of the Rococo was gone from his own room, but a lot of the furniture was original, including the very chair he died in. Friedrich spent much of his time in his bedroom/study. His bed and desk sat right next to each other. You want to talk about a crazy Prussian, Fritz woke up at about 4am every day and walked from his bed to his desk, in order to start ruling the country (but his afternoons were mostly for reading).

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The dining hall was definitely a cool moment for me. Friedrich loved bringing all kinds of people to stay with him — musicians, philosophers, generals, and scientists. Voltaire himself ate in the dining room on several occasions. (From what I’ve read, Friedrich and Voltaire often exchanged poems along with their letters and Voltaire wasn’t so impressed by the King’s French — you can never please the French.) Fritz actually knew more French than German, since French was the language of the Enlightenment. Fritz didn’t like the language or the main city, but he made Prussia a European powerhouse.

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IMG_6652Hi, Voltaire!

Another fun fact: Fritz actually opened his gardens and Schloss to the public while he wasn’t there — even his bedroom was open to curious eyes. I think he just wanted to share his pretty Rococo with the entire world.

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Ok, enough about Sanssouci. I can’t type forever.

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