Place
New Palace Potsdam
palace situated on the western side of the Sanssouci park in Potsdam, Germany
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New Palace Potsdam
palace situated on the western side of the Sanssouci park in Potsdam, Germany
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Am Neuen Palais
Potsdam
Germany

Contributor

In Europe, they know how to do palaces right. And New Palace Potsdam is no exception.

Us Americans should take a lesson from Germany, because the White House ain’t got nothing on this royal mansion. Considered to be the last Persian baroque palace, this building was created at the end of the Seven Year War in 1773 to commemorate Prussia’s success. Because Prussia was just sooo stoked on their victory and they saw this building as an opportunity to show the world how powerful and glorious they were, they smothered the place with marble, stone, glitter and gold.

This palace was turned into a museum in the early 1920 and was successful as such until WWII, when Hitler decided Germany needed to be centralized. He abolished Prussia, integrating it into Germany. Luckily, compared to other museums at the time, this one was not ravished too badly by the Soviet Army. Some of the palaces treasures and tons of the furniture was taken, but most items were ultimately recovered and brought back after the war.

The palace thus survived, and is still quite grandiose. It has two hundred rooms including a home theater (which is still in use today), and some giant festival halls. While big old buildings give me the creeps, I bet you could throw an epic party at Potsdam.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about New Palace (Potsdam)

The New Palace (German: Neues Palais) is a palace situated on the western side of the Sanssouci park in Potsdam, Germany. The building was begun in 1763, after the end of the Seven Years' War, under King Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) and was completed in 1769. It is considered to be the last great Prussian Baroque palace.

History

The building of the palace commenced at the end of the Seven Years' War, to celebrate Prussia’s success. The war is also variably referred to as the Third Silesian War, owing to the dispute over Silesia. In an architectural form, Frederick the Great sought to demonstrate the power and glories of Prussia attributing it as fanfaronade, an excess of splendor in marble, stone and gilt.

For the King, the New Palace was not a principal residence, but a display for the reception of important royals and dignitaries. Of the over 200 rooms, four principal gathering rooms and a theater were available for royal functions, balls and state occasions. During his occasional stays at the palace, Frederick occupied a suite of rooms at the southern end of the building, composed of two antechambers, a study, a concert room, a dining salon and a bedroom, among others.

After the death of Frederick the Great in 1786, the New Palace fell into disuse and was rarely occupied as a residence or entertainment venue. However, starting in 1859 it became the summer residence of the German Crown Prince, Frederick William, later German Emperor Frederick III. The palace was the preferred residence of Frederick and his empress, Victoria, throughout the 99 Days’ Reign. During the short reign of Frederick III, the palace was renamed "Friedrichskron Palace" (Schloss Friedrichskron) and a moat was dug around the palace. The accession of Wilhelm II saw renovation and restoration within the palace being carried out with the installation of steam heating, bathrooms in state apartments and electrification of the chandeliers which Frederick the Great had collected from across Europe. Until 1918, it remained the preferred residence of Wilhelm II and the Empress Augusta.

After the November Revolution and the abdication of Wilhelm II, the New Palace became a museum and remained such until the Second World War. Some of the palace’s treasures were looted by Soviet Army at the end of the war. Much of its furniture had been removed and taken to the residence of the exiled Wilhelm II at Huis Doorn in the Netherlands. The majority of the furnishings were discovered by the Dutch in the 1970s, still in their original packing crates, and returned to Potsdam. Because of this, and because it escaped bombing in the Second World War, the palace today looks much as it did in 1918.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about New Palace (Potsdam).