Okay, forgive me for my fixation on Berlin, but all in all it was a fantastic trip and there was so so much I wanted to write about.

My visit to Berlin was in the dead of this past winter…a winter with unrelenting snow storms, as we well remember. Nevertheless, I was curious to take the short train ride outside of Berlin to the city of Potsdam , where one can find Sanssouci ,the summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. The palace was built so that Frederick could relax away from the tumult of Berlin.  Although smaller, it is considered to be a true German rival to Versailles. It  was constructed in the more intimate Rococo style and  has many follies and temples in the park surrounding the main building.

This palace was important in Frederick’s “get-away” life…apparently his wife never set foot inside! Plus the whole palace was built on the cheap, according to my German guide…they actually used trompe l’oeil bricks on the outside of this gigantic building instead of the real thing !  The palace has a  classic grandeur about it,  however, the surrounding smaller buildings are far more intriguing from an architectural point of view.

As they say, “seek and you shall find”, and sure enough I found  one room inside the main palace called The Grotto that blew me away.

This  ballroom size space is encased in designs and details made entirely out of every variety of sea shell that you could imagine. All visiting dignitaries would bring gem stones that were inserted amongst the shells on the wall to give it some added pizazz. To me it was the original Upside Down Design room of the time.  It became the rage with all the European royal set and every king, queen, and prince and their brother just couldn’t live without a Grotto room!

I’ve got to admit I was quite enamored with the design execution … I mean it is not your run of the mill 18th century Rococo room…Louie XV was probably drooling!!!

And I wanted to be sure and share it with you.  Take a peak and let me know what you think.

Also, check out some of my photos of  the surrounding buildings to Sanssouci…they are really quite exquisite and charming.

Ciao, ciao ’til Thursday!