Sanssouci Palace Kitchen
King Frederick William IV chose Sanssouci Palace as the summer residence for himself and his wife, Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria, after he ascended the throne in 1840. The great grandnephew of Frederick the Great honored his ancestor and left the older king’s rooms at the palace largely untouched. Nevertheless, he had the palace’s side wings expanded to gain space needed for his court. The Ladies’ Wing was thus created to the west to serve as living quarters for the ladies-in-waiting and gentlemen of the court. The “Large Kitchen,” the bakery, the coffee kitchen with a “room for the coffee master,” the Silver Chamber (now the museum shop) and a pantry next to the royal chef’s room were housed in the eastern wing. In the palace’s cellar the king used the wine cellar from Frederick the Great’s era and managed to accommodate several storerooms, the dishwashing kitchen, as well as a patisserie and an area used to make ice cream. The staff resided on the upper level.
Even today, the Palace Kitchen shows off a mid-19th century technological advancement: the imposing “cooking machine” or simply “the cooker.” For the first time it was no longer necessary to cook over an open fire; instead the stove’s various heating plates could be utilized. Typical copper cookware used for cooking in the 18th and 19th centuries is on display alongside porcelain, pots and pans, pudding and ice and ice cream molds, ladles, roasting pans, baking trays, and much more.