Frederick II of Prussia
Schloss Sanssouci Potsdam Park Sanssouci : Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great)

Frederick II of Prussia -also known as Frederick the Great or familiarly as "der alte Fritz"- was born the son of William I and Sophie Dorothea in Berlin/Potsdam on January the 24th 1712. Although born the crown prince his enthusiasm for matters of warfare was limited, much preferring music and the arts. Such inclinations didn't fare well with his strict father, and when the 18-year-old Frederick II was caught attempting to secretly flee the army, he was promptly taken to the fortress Küstrin where his father had his friend and helper Leutnant Hans Hermann von Katte beheaded before his very eyes. Being thus made aware of having to yield to his father's iron will, he also agreed to his arranged marriage with Elisabeth Christine of Braunschweig-Bevern.

With the death of his father in 1740 he succeeded the throne and reigned over his empire from Palace Sanssouci in Potsdam. During his reign he created the sprawling park surrounding the palace, which today extends over an area of 290ha and has some 70km of walkways. Frederick II enriched the city of Potsdam by its possibly greatest tourist attraction, the park of Sanssouci.

Frederick II presumably took welcome respite at Park Sanssouci whenever he returned to Potsdam from military expeditions. And the latter were numerous, as he had soon come to realise that no decent State was to be made of the Prussia he had inherited from his father. Thus he and his army invaded Silesia and occupied Breslau for the first time in December of 1740. The rather inglorious outcome of this expedition saw him renew his attempts twice more. Whether he planned his sieges and conquests from within Sanssouci is not confirmed, but highly probable. Frederick II famously considered himself to be the "first servant of the state" and always acted accordingly. He provided religious fugitives with new homes, founded the Academy of Science in Berlin, and introduced the freedom of the press and compulsory education.

After his death on August 17th 1786 he was buried in a previously prepared tomb at Sanssouci, although his successor later had his remains moved to the Garrison Church of Potsdam.

Events in Potsdam

ticket sales

Music Festival in Potsdam

The Music Festival in Potsdam will be held again in June. This year's theme "Music and gardens" ubiquitous. So even on the opening day in June. Interesting and unique you can take guided tours and visits to many different places. For those interested there is an Opera Workshop.


Details about the Music Festival in Potsdam can be found here.

The concert on the eve and Night of the Palaces in Potsdam

The Park of Sanssouci and Sanssouci Palace with its terraced vineyards and the New Palace are undisputedly the most important monuments in Potsdam, therefore provides the Night of the Palaces as an excellent temporal orientation, to learn more about the state capital of Brandenburg.


Details about the Night of the Palaces can be found here.

Official Contact

Official Park Sanssouci Contact

The Foundation for Prussian Palaces and Gardens.

Phone : +49 (0)331/9694-0

Fax : +49 (0)331/9694-107