A Palace for Royal Guests
In 1768, King Frederick the Great reached the decision to have the orangery building redesigned into a guest palace. It had been built 20 years before by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, directly next to Sanssouci Palace and as a pendant to the Picture Gallery. An impressive late work of the Frederician Rococo resulted that continues to fascinate visitors with its richly designed interiors.
Despite the simple appearance of its exterior, the "New Chambers" – as the palace was thereafter known – presents visitors a succession of elaborately decorated banquet rooms and suites furnished by the leading artists of Frederick the Great's era. A highlight of the sequence of rooms is the square Jasper Hall at the center of the palace, lined with precious jasper and adorned with ancient busts. The room is crowned by a ceiling painting with a scene portraying Venus, who represented 18th century ideals of the paradigm of beauty. In the adjacent Ovid Gallery are rare gilded wall reliefs depicting scenes from the Roman poet Ovid's Metamorphoses – one of Frederick the Great's favorite subjects.
The highlights of the luxuriously arranged guest apartments are two rooms completely lined in wood paneling ornamented with intarsia and the Green Lacquer Cabinet. Numerous paintings with 18th century views of the city of Potsdam enhance the exquisite decorative style of the interior design.