The New Palace or Neues Palais is a palace situated on the western side
of the Sanssouci royal park in Potsdam, Germany. The building was begun
in 1763, after the end of the Seven Years' War, under Frederick the
Great and was completed in 1769. It is considered to be the last great
Prussian baroque palace.While Frederician Rococo was established at
Sanssouci, Frederick the Great had the New Palace built in varying forms
of baroque architecture and decoration, with some deviations. The King
preferred rococo and baroque to the classicism that was already taking
hold of Europe at the time as the preference of many monarchs. Architect
Johann Gottfried Büring, with the aid of Heinrich Ludwig Manger, was
assigned with the task of planning the New Palace and had already
demonstrated success with the completion of the Chinese Teahouse and the
Picture Gallery in the Sanssouci royal park. After disagreements over
the design of the palace, in 1764 the design of the palace was totally
vested in the architect Carl von Gontard. The three-story façade had
already begun to rise around unfinished interiors, as construction had
steadily been underway. With 220 metre east and west façades, the centre
portion of the palace was crowned with an enormous dome, at the top of
which were placed the Three Graces supporting the Prussian royal crown.
The dome is not only architectural, it provides an attic area under the
supporting timbers which carry it. Additionally, the north and south
auxiliary wings are crowned with domes surmounted by gilded eagles.
Between the pilasters, what appears to be brick is actually a painted
effect, leaving only the King’s south wing with exposed brick.
Repointing the mortar of the joints proved to be an arduous and
expensive task, therefore Frederick had the brick covered in stucco and
painted in such a way that even tourists today are fooled by the
deceptive finish. Over 400 sandstone statues and figures adorn the
palace and auxiliary buildings, created by many notable sculptors,
namely Johann Peter Benckert, Johann Matthias Gottlieb Heymüller, the
brothers Johann David and Johann Lorenz Räntz and more.