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Chinoiserie Architecture Style in Potsdam
Potsdam—a thousand-year-old city on the outskirts of Berlin—is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sanssouci Park, with its many palaces and royal buildings, was the summer home for the Prussian king Frederick the Great. One small building inside the park is the Chinese House, designed by Johann Gottfried Büring between 1755 and 1765. The garden pavilion was designed and built in the trendy Chinoiserie style, with a mixture of Rococo and Oriental design elements.

The elaborate gold-leaf designs are typical of Chinoiserie art: parrots, monkeys, and Buddhas as well as Oriental fashion details (including parasols) are scattered throughout.


Leaving a Potato on Frederick the Great’s Grave
Most people visiting Potsdam are there for one reason—to view Frederick the Great's palaces. But in addition to the grandiose architecture, you can actually visit Frederick the Great's grave.

Frederick the Great wanted to be buried on the grounds of Schloss Sanssouci, his summer palace. As a relatively benevolent Prussian emperor, he was much revered by people around the world. One of his accomplishments, though, is a bit odd for such a cultured emperor. He's largely responsible for introducing the potato crop to the region. During his reign, he made a special point to promote the potato: Rumor has it that he actually stationed guards around the crops to make them appear valuable and therefore more desirable.

As a sign of respect today, visitors place potatoes on his tombstone. Leave it to Germany to show respect with such an unusual symbol!

Potsdam, Germany