Frederick the Great's three hundredth birthday

King of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg, Frederick the Great is one of the legendary figures of German history; the celebration of the tercentenary of his birth with an extensive programme of events provides an excellent excuse to visit his hometown of Potsdam, near Berlin, and discover the former residence of the Prussian royal family.

Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam, Germany
Sanssouci Palace / © German Tourist Board 

January 24, 2012 marked the 300th anniversary of the birth of Frederick the Great, but the celebrations and tributes to this historical figure are planned to continue for months, with numerous events and activities paying homage to the controversial king, grandson of the British monarch George I, who made Prussia a great European power.

The false Frederick: Frederick the Great in film, Frederick the Great and potato cultivation in Prussia and Frederick's footprints are among the intriguing titles of exhibitions organised to celebrate the three-hundredth anniversary of his birth. The common denominator is that they help to reveal the two conflicting sides of the historical personage. The first of these events, hosted at the Filmmuseum in Frederick's hometown of Potsdam, discusses how the contradictory character of the monarch, a proponent of religious tolerance and a man interested in music and philosophy who yet managed to win military acclaim, has been depicted on the big screen.

Meanwhile, Frederick's footprints offers a selection of photographs by Jurgen Hochmuth that are on display at the station at Potsdam, and which reflect the monumental legacy left behind by the king in the state of Brandenburg, ranging from palaces such as the emblematic summer palace of Sanssouci and the Neues Palais, to small churches of various denominations.

The main exhibition does not open until March.Then it will be on display at the Neues Palais in Potsdam, considered the true architectural heritage of Frederick the Great, whose desire was for the palace to reflect the majesty that Prussia had achieved during his reign.

Further information:
Friedrich 300