Nowhere is Prussia's Baroque heritage more dazzling, lush and romantic than in the park of Sanssouci in Potsdam, Germany. In summer every year, for one glorious evening, the Potsdamer Schlössernacht turns the landscape into a magnificent evocation of 18th century luxury and leisure pursuits.
From the Orangery to the Chinese House, from the Roman Baths to the Church of Peace, costumed Schlössernacht players add to the atmosphere as they greet visitors. Actors and dancers perform onstage at the New Palace, and in smaller venues scattered around the magnificent landscape designed by Peter Lenné. Food stands provide a wide range of culinary offerings. The festival closes with a fireworks display at midnight.
This spacious setting easily accommodates the 33,000 attendees allowed into the park. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales goes to continued reconstruction of Prussian palaces and gardens.
The former summer paradise of the Prussian kings--a UNESCO World Heritage Site--is just an hour away from Berlin, and easily accessible by road or rail. Local transport services are beefed up for the event, with extra staff on hand to guide visitors traveling by train, bus and tram.
Potsdamer Schlössernacht is brilliant, especially as twilight falls and paths and fountains are lit by small electric torches. It's astonishing to think of the effort that goes into creating such an unforgettable mood for just one night each year!