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:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.