The Park Sanssouci was originally an orchard near Potsdam. This was the favorite retreat of King Frederick II - later known as Frederick the Great. Here he could stay without worries (hence the name sans souci, French for "without worries"). No women were allowed in Sanssouci, not even the king"s wife.
In 1744 the king commissioned architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff to build a summer palace, the Schloss Sanssouci. Here he could leave all the formalities of the royal court behind and spend time on his hobbies like music and philosophy. In the central room, the Marmorsaal which was loosely based on the Pantheon in Rome, he would invite famous philosophers like Voltaire.
The design of the Sanssouci Palace was based on sketches made by Frederick the Great himself. The relatively small palace with only twelve rooms was completed in 1747. It is located on top of a terraced vineyard, known as the Weinberg (wine mountain). The palace is only one storey high, but beautifully decorated in rococo style. Over the years, several other buildings were added to the grounds of the Sanssouci park.
The most impressive of all is the Neues Palais, a large Baroque palace. It was commissioned by King Frederick the Great in 1750 but construction only started in 1763 after the Seven Years" War, which solidified Prussia"s status as a powerful nation. The Neues Palais is one of Germany"s most impressive palaces; in contrast to the Sanssouci Palace, which is rather modest, the imposing sumptuous palace contains more than two hundred lavishly decorated rooms spread over two storeys. The central ballroom is topped by a large dome. Another noteworthy building in the Sanssouci Park is the Chinesisches Teehaus, an oriental style teahouse constructed in 1756. It currently houses a collection of porcelain.
The 700-acre / 287-hectare large park around the palace consists of several different gardens, all with their own character. The park contains many statues and fountains, the largest of them, the Große Fontäne (Great Fountain) in front of the Neues Palais.
The Friedenskirche (church of peace) was built by King Frederick William IV between 1845 and 1854. It was based on the Santa Maria Clemente church in Rome.References:
Olargues is a good example of a French medieval town and rated as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was occupied by the Romans, the Vandals and the Visigoths. At the end of the 11th century the Jaur valley came under the authority of the Château of the Viscount of Minerve. The following centuries saw a succession of wars and epidemics, and it was not until the 18th century that Olargues became re-established. This was due to the prosperity of local agriculture and artisanal industry.
The Pont du Diable, 'Devil's Bridge', is said to date back to 1202 and is reputed to be the scene of transactions between the people of Olargues and the devil. The old village is clustered around the belltower, which was formerly the main tower of the castle (Romanesque construction). The old shops have marble frontages and overhanging upper storeys. A museum of popular traditions and art is to be found in the stairs of the Commanderie.