Neue Kammern

Potsdam, Germany | C.1775

Photo Credit: Rainer Halama

The mission was clear: transform a 1745 orangery into a guesthouse for Sanssouci Palace, a summer retreat in Potsdam, Germany. Combined with the Picture Gallery, the ensemble of buildings are known as the New Chambers (German: Neue Kammern).

The New Chambers were constructed for King Frederick the Great of Prussia from 1771 to 1775. Master builder Georg Christian Unger was chosen to convert the original orangery, and ramps on which the tubs were taken in and out serve as reminders of the building’s original use.

The interior of the Sanssouci Palace contains seven guest rooms and two ballrooms. Even as Frederican Rococo was on its way out in favor of Neoclassical, this Palace is considered a crown jewel of the former style.

The Palace’s largest room, the Jasper Room, resides underneath the cupola in the middle of the building (pictured). The ballroom’s walls and floors are decorated with red jasper and grey Silesian marble.

The ceiling painting Venus mit ihrem Gefolge (Venus with her Retinue) was created in 1774 by Johann Christoph Frisch. Decorated panels from both antiquity and the 18th century were attached to the background of red jasper. Since 1990 the palace and garden of Sanssouci including the New Chambers has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, called Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin.

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