Prussia's most famous king, Friedrich II—Frederick the Great—spent more time at his summer residence, Schloss Sanssouci, than in the capital of Berlin. Its name means "without a care" in French, the language Frederick cultivated in his own private circle and within the court. Some experts believe that Frederick actually named the palace "Sans, Souci," which they translate as "with and without a care," a more apt name, since its construction caused him a lot of trouble
and expense, and sparked furious rows with his master builder, Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. His creation nevertheless became one of Germany's greatest tourist attractions. The palace lies on the edge of Park Sanssouci, which includes various buildings and palaces with separate admissions and hours. Be advised that during peak tourism times, timed tickets for Schloss Sanssouci tours can sell out before noon.
Executed according to Frederick's impeccable French-influenced taste, the palace, built between 1745 and 1747, is extravagantly rococo, with scarcely a patch of wall left unadorned. Leading up to the building is an unusual formal terrace where wine grapes were once cultivated.
Neue Kammern. To the west of the palace are the Neue Kammern, which housed guests of the king's family after its beginnings as a greenhouse. 0331/969–4206. €4 guided tour only. Apr.–Oct, Tues.–Sun. 10–6; Nov.–Mar. closed.
Bildergalerie. Just east of Sanssouci Palace sits the picture gallery, which displays Frederick II's collection of 17th-century Italian and Dutch paintings, including works by Caravaggio, Rubens, and Van Dyck. The main cupola contains expensive marble from Siena. 0331/969–4181. €6. May–Oct., Tues.–Sun. 10–6; Nov.–April closed.
Park Sanssouci, Potsdam, 14469, Germany