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German History in Documents and Images
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Avenue of Fruit Trees in the Pleasure Garden at Sanssouci (after 1745)
Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam near Berlin is an outstanding example of Rococo architecture. It was commissioned by Frederick II (“the Great”) (r. 1740-86) and built between 1745 and 1747. Its name means “without worries,” and it served as Frederick’s favorite summer retreat. The grounds include large English parks and gardens in the Italian-French style. The symmetrical orchards and avenues shown here attest to Frederick’s interest in agriculture. During his reign, he promoted improvements in arable farming, initiated land-drainage projects, encouraged potato cultivation, developed an extensive silk industry (based on mulberry tree plantations), and supported improved methods of fruit production. Copperplate engraving by Georg Balthasar Probst (1673-1748), after 1745.