Suum cuique ("to each, his own"), the motto of the Order of the Black Eagle created by King Frederick I in 1701, was often associated with the whole of Prussia. I like the motto, Its sounds like a NIAS doctoral program motto to me! ( specially in our 'Multi-disciplinary' fields) And hey notice the eagle similarities to our logo at NIAS? Heh Heh.
Here are two nice examples of the eagle.
The Hohenzollern state was then known as Brandenburg-Prussia, belonging to family called Electors.The Margraviate of Brandenburg within the Holy Roman Empire and the Duchy of Prussia outside of the Empire.(This was not a Kingdom as kingdoms within the holy roman empire were not allowed.) It was Frederick I who convinced the then Leopold I, Archduke of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor, was to allow Prussia to be ruled as a kingdom. He called himself "KING IN PRUSSIA," so as not to threaten territories of the hohenzollern that were not in Prussia. Berlin was called Königsberg!
His son called Frederick II (the great) had a traumatic childhood and youth. At age 16, Frederick II had formed an attachment to the king's 13-year-old page, Peter Karl Christoph Keith. Wilhelmina ( his older sister) recorded that the two "soon became inseparable. In a strange turn of political events the young prince tried to run away from his autocratic father to England, was caught and punished. The saddest part is that the king forced Frederick to watch the decapitation of his confidant Katte at Küstrin on 6 November, leaving the crown prince to faint away and suffer hallucinations for the following two days.
Taking on the Kingdom after his father's death,Frederick managed to transform Prussia from a European backwater to an economically strong and politically reformed state. His acquisition of Silesia during the silesian war provided economic benefits. Canals were built, including between the Vistula and the Oder, swamps were drained for agricultural cultivation, and new crops, such as the potato and the turnip, were introduced. The potato story is worth retelling.
So the people hate eating things that grow below the ground. "Food For hogs! ( pigs)" they insisted. Food shortage was affecting the people of Prussia who had to learn to eat this nice round kartoffels. Despite education and awareness people tried to eat the green shoots of the potato and fell ill. So Fredrick devised a strategy. He had potatoes planted in the royal gardens and had it heavily guarded as special food for the royal kitchens. The curious citizens raided the gardens for the "special veggie." The guards (as planned by the king) looked the other way as the smuggled potatoes made their way into people's kitchens and cuisines.
The Flip side is that potatoes became so much important in europe that when the crop failed, it caused the potato famine that also affected germany. Apparently turnips saved the day reported my guide.
Forced in to marriage for political reasons, he never spent time with his wife who lived in a different palace. ( He called her a fat cow!!) He is often suspected to be homosexual, or struck with some ailment that made him stay away from women but the pages of history are blurred even about kings.
Frederick took no pleasure from his popularity with the common folk, preferring instead the company of his pet Italian greyhounds, whom he referred to as his 'marquises de Pompadour' as a jibe at Madame de Pompadour. His final resting place marker is near his beloved dogs as he had requested. ( not next to his wife) People put potatoes on his grave as a mark of respect which is in the beloved summer palace in south side facing the gardens at Potsdam.
It was befitting tribute to der alte Fritz ("Old Fritz"), he was fondly called , as both the nazis and the autocratic rule of had done much damage by using him for their propaganda.
The king preferred spending his time in his summer residence Potsdam, where he built the palace of Sanssouci, the most important work of Northern German rococo. Sanssouci, which translates from French as "carefree" or "without worry", was a refuge for Frederick.The most beautiful facade overlooks the beautiful gardens on the south side. You walk down the steps from this and you are in a steps like garden that is delightfully coloured. ( I am not sure but either all women were not allowed here or the queen was not allowed)
On a personal aside, the guide did have a very thick accent and for some time I kept thinking the king loved ducks ( "Doocks" he said) and he was buried next to his lovely ducks. ( there are ducks in the fountains). Kept wondering how in those days those ducks did not end up on his table? Then realized it was dogs when he said in reply to a question by some one that the Doocks were italian greyhounds!!!
Situated on the western side of the Sanssouci royal park ( am Luste garten) The building was begun in 1763, after the end of the Seven Years' War, under Frederick the Great and was completed in 1769. It is considered to be the last great Prussian baroque palace.
The Seven years war : On 29 August 1756 his well-prepared army crossed the frontier and invaded Saxony, thus beginning the Seven Years' War (1756–1763). Facing a coalition which included Austria, France, Russia, Saxony, and Sweden, and having only Great Britain and Hanover as his allies, Frederick narrowly kept Prussia in the war despite having his territories frequently invaded.He was almost at the losing end of the war, the Prussian army was greatly weakened and had just lost the vital Baltic Sea port of Kolberg to the Russians when Emperess Elizabeth of Russia ( who was behind the Russian's assault) suddenly died ( at the beginning of 1762). It is called "Miracle of the House of Brandenburg," becoz it turned Frederick's defeat into a victory of sorts. Elizabeth's nephew came to the throne as Peter III. Peter was notoriously pro-Prussian; on his accession, he withdrew his troops and ended the war. In celebration getting into lots of debt Frederick the great built his new palace.
During his occasional stays at the palace, Frederick occupied a suite of rooms at the southern end of the building, composed of two antechambers, a study, a concert room, a dining salon and a bedroom, among others.
Skipping a few other kings and their stories... Read your own history.
From King to emperor:
Just fast forwarding to another Era in German history, now.
Wilhelm I, also known as Wilhelm the Great (William Frederick Louis, German: Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig) (22 March 1797–9 March 1888) of the House of Hohenzollern was the King of Prussia (2 January 1861–9 March 1888) and the first German Emperor (18 January 1871–9 March 1888).During the Franco-Prussian War, on 18 January 1871 in Versailles Palace, Wilhelm was proclaimed German Emperor. The title "German Emperor" was carefully chosen by Bismarck after discussion until (and after) the day of the proclamation. Wilhelm accepted this title grudgingly as he would have preferred "Emperor of Germany."
Under the leadership of Wilhelm and his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Bismarck looks a bit like one of our friends.. Just try a guess game till I get back and tell you.
Unfortunately, is diplomatic feats were undone, however, by Kaiser Wilhelm II, whose policies unified other European powers against Germany in time for World War I.
THE ONLY MAN IN GERMANY:
She was a woman, whom Napoleon called the only man in Germany. Luise Auguste Wilhelmine Amalie (Luisa Augusta Wilhelmina Amelia) (10 March 1776 – 19 July 1810) was Queen consort of Prussia. called Q. Louise of Meckenburg, this iron hearted lady stood by her people. As Queen of Prussia, she commanded universal respect and affection, and nothing in Prussian history is more admired than the dignity and unflinching courage with which she bore the sufferings inflicted on her and her family during the war between Prussia and France. After the battle of Jena she went with her husband to Königsberg, and when the battles with France had placed Prussia absolutely at the mercy of France, she made a personal appeal to Napoleon I of France at his headquarters in Tilsit, but without success.
And so we stop here letting you savour these different buildings in Potsdam,
Some Dutch, some barracks, some Siberian, some tudor, some plain ols german. All hertitage buildingsd and the town itself is one big building musuem.
We enter through the Brandenburg tor, as Potsdam is the capital of Brandenburg.
Above are pictures of the siberian houses colony in Potsdam, a set of wooden houses. There were many Russian soldiers stationed here Totally classic!!
The Dutch were called to drain the marshy lands in Potsdam and encouraged to stay and enjoy trade. A dutch colony was created that later of course was occupied by local traders.
The next blog is about LIFE in DDR ( east germany): common potty breaks in school and a plastic body car and a bit more on Bunkers after the second underground tour I took. Signing off from Berlin, your doctoral candidate friend in Berlin breaking out of her own walls, all wrapped up in wool... (PS.Gelathi, notice your nice gift's new use, it holds my mufflers in place)