Day 10 was spent entirely in Potsdam. Potsdam is a city located on the edge of Berlin. It is known for being home to several historic castles and gardens. Our first stop was at Schloss Glienicke. Schloss Glienicke is a palace in Potsdam designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Schinkel was a Prussian architect who designed several buildings and castles in the Berlin area. One thing I really liked about Schloss Glienicke was the water features. The palace and surrounding areas had really interesting and intricate fountains.
From Schloss Glienicke, we embarked on a long walk to Belvedere Castle. On this walk, we saw a number of old houses and small palaces. We also stopped for a while to swim in a lake, which was so much fun! We passed a number of formal and natural gardens, allees, topiaries, and more. It was a really beautiful walk!
We took a break for lunch before making the climb up to Belvedere Castle. The journey itself to the castle was really interesting. We had to walk through a residential area to get to the castle. The homes were very beautiful, and there were gardens everywhere.
The castle was really interesting. It was created to essentially be a viewing platform for Berlin and Potsdam. It had many levels, which made the experience of walking through the castle all the more interesting. The architecture was beautifully done; the ceilings had intricate designs that were slightly different in every part of the castle. From the highest point of the castle, the view was breathtaking. You could see parts of the heart of Berlin, the Grunwald forest, and more. It was really interesting to visit a place that was created solely for the purpose of viewing the surrounding area.
Day 11 was also spent in Potsdam. We started out analyzing the streetscape of downtown Potsdam. One thing I really like about Potsdam and Berlin, compared to cities like New York and Philadelphia, is the lack of skyscrapers. It makes the streets feel a lot more open and less closed in.
Next, we went to Sanssouci. Sanssouci itself is a palace that was once used as the summer palace of Frederick the Great. However, the area includes a lot more than just the palace. There are other buildings, several gardens, fountains, and more. We explored the whole area, and I have to say, it was probably one of my favorite places that we visited so far. We went on a tour inside the main Sanssouci palace, which was absolutely stunning. The walls were decorated with intricate artwork, and a lot of the original furniture had been preserved. Every room of the palace was different, but it still felt uniform in its own way. As you made your way to the palace, you passed the Terrace Garden. This garden basically lines the stairs up to the palace, and is terraced, which is a really fascinating style of garden.
After walking around the Sanssouci area, we made our way to Charlottenhof Palace (my research topic!). The garden outside of Charlottenhof Palace was really interesting. Directly outside the palace is a small garden with vines that droop in a very particular way across the courtyard. These vines mimic the tent room located inside the palace. The tent room is completely draped in blue and white wallpaper, and the shape of it mimics that of a tent, so it was really cool to see the consistency between the inside and the outside of the palace. Unfortunately the palace was closed, so we were not able to get a tour of the inside of the palace, but it was still really fascinating to view it in person after doing research on it.
It’s almost time for the travel weekend, and I’m so excited! We have a few more days of classes left, but after that, we get a few days to ourselves to rest and explore parts of the city we haven’t seen yet.