The Chinese House in Potsdam

The Chinese House is a garden pavilion in the park of Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam. The Tea House was designed by garden architect Johann Gottfried Büring and finished in 1764. That was a time when all things Chinese were absolutely en vogue.

Teehaus Potsdam Chinesisches Haus im Park Sanssouci bekitschig blog
Teehaus im Schloss Park Potsdam bekitschig Blog
Chinesisches Haus im Park Sanssouci Chinese House Potsdam Germany
Tea house potsdam palace
garden pavilion in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam Chinese House
garden pavilion in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam

The style is called Chinoiserie, a mix of rococo elements and Chinese architecture. Or to be more correct, what they thought was Chinese. If you look at the statues closely, the faces look rather European. The gilded sandstone sculptures of the Chinese House are quite something.

Chinese House garden pavilion in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam Germany bekitschig blog
Tea House garden pavilion in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam
garden pavilion in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam  Chinese House
Tea House garden pavilion in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam
Chinese House garden pavilion in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam Germany bekitschig blog

What do you think? Is this art or kitsch?

Teehaus Schlosspark Potsdam

When you visit Berlin and you have more than just a few nights, I highly recommend a trip to Potsdam. It offers a variety of castles and beautiful architecture as well as the famous movie park.

Happy online traveling!

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42 thoughts on “The Chinese House in Potsdam

    1. Thank you so much Linda! We went in fall (between lockdowns) and the weather wasn’t that fab … One think I liked about Australia was the always perfect lighting …

      1. Hi Linda, you’re too kind. The sleeping in bit is nice but we’re all starting to feel a bit locked up. We’ve had snow here for the first time in 3 years and people are actually staying at home now 😉 there was a week of school holidays, so a nice break from home schooling 😉 it is what it is, so far still standing!

      2. Glad to hear you are getting through this lockdown period without going stir crazy Jeanine. As much as I want to believe there will be normalcy again, I doubt it. President Biden says there will be 200 million vaccines available by July so if everyone opts to get the vaccine, it could be better here by Fall. Lots of “ifs” … good you got a break from home schooling too – lots of adjustments. I didn’t realize you got snow so infrequently there … Mother Nature turned on the snow machine after a moderate snow Winter … make the old gal stop please!

      3. Just a little crazy …
        When I was a kid there was snow every year but the last years it doesn’t seem to get cold enough in Berlin. They are predicitng -15 for Sunday. Bbbrrrrrrr But instead of the usual grey February it’s nice and bright outside. I may be getting to old for sled riding though. Kids are built to fall and get up laughing 😉

      4. I’ve liked our past two Winters – fairly mild and just small snowfalls … this year February has been horrible. I converted that … we are about that same temp this weekend as we get even colder and this will last another week. I remember going on the toboggan or a sled when young, but no more of that, nor ice skating. You’re right, kids are short so they have less room to fall and they turn over on the sled and get up laughing. We’d be at the emergency room! Stay warm Jeanine.

  1. Love potsdam and havel.. did not get to see this chinese house yet.. something to explore the next time we are there

    1. There’s never really enough time for Potsdam … The Biosphäre is supposed to be pretty good, too. Didn’t make it there yet 🙂

    1. Potsdam has a crazy population of students, profs and artsy folks. It’s very unique … Plus, they have this crazy architecture, that survived a struggle or two. It’s a very interesting place to visit

  2. Bling! The only place I’ve seen more gold leaf was in the royal palace in Turin. As for the lack of garden gnomes, one of the groups around the pillars in the third photo are rather gnomish, with their pointed hats, or rather wizardly; they could be straight out of Harry Potter, in fact.

    1. 😉 I’ve been a bit trigger happy there. Certainly no gnomes but I did like the pointy hat’s, too. More photos coming!

  3. I come back to my favourite reply to Kitsch or no Kitsch: If it’s kitschig enough, it is art (once more)….. very doubtful of course, but it’s OK for me (just! – you know me….)

    OK, honestly (you really wanna know?) – I find it quite terrible. Terrible in the OTT sens. And in that fashion truly Versailles-bis. But also honestly, one HAS to admire such dedication to gold, angels, delirious wall scones, Ladies in waiting (not very chinese indeed), pillars with dandruff and what-not. I’m bound in suppressed gaggles and rubbing my eyes with sores… but it’s really SOMETHING.

    I probably would go and view this ONCE in my lifetime, if all the parks, libraries and bookshops were closed in lockdown. As you would normally do with Versailles. We however attended several concerts – in different Versailles locations, and it was for the music and the atmosphere you’d do that – and the parks are AMAZING! Their waterworks are second to none – and you can picnic on countless lawns, plenty of benches everywhere, very grand and very beautiful. THAT’S what you go for. Once you’ve recovered from the Spiegelsaal, you’re glad to go outside into the fresh air and recover from ‘what you have become since you looked into a mirror for longer than 30″).

    1. Ha ha ha, I cannot really reply anything to this Kiki. You’ve summed this up perfectly! I did take a stupid amount of photos so this topic, I’m afraid, will come back!
      But just for you I’ll throw in a few garden gnomes first …

  4. … and just to set the right expectations … there is no food served and even no fortune cookies 😉

    1. There shoulld be fortune cookies! It’s all about lowering the expectations these days … 😉 I was a bit dissapointed that you don’t get to wear the oversized slippers anymore when visiting the castle.

      1. yeah. I remember this huge slippers. It was fun to slide over the parquet in house. May be they have been retired because no one wanted to slip into used, humid and warm shoes anymore … 😉

  5. What an amazing place! I agree that some of the fabulous statues are what the artists thought was Chinese. I’m thinking it’s art with a little kitsch mixed in. 🙂

    1. Back in the days, that would’ve been top notch contamporary. Like hipster, before Instagram … Looking at it today it just looks pretty kitschy … It is really interesting, how our reception changes …
      (There’s a really cool mermaid picture I took in the park. Will chare that soon!)

    1. We visited Sanssouci between lockdowns in fall. With the ticket you get to go into all the buildings in the massive park. There is just not enough time to take it all in in one day 🙁 Us Germans like to think of Sanssouci as little Versailles! The Tea House is pretty special …

      1. A well-timed visit! It looks wonderful and I don’t understand why is is not more widely known!! I will certainly try to visit it one day! 🙂

      2. My dear friend; for once you ‘Germans’ think right – this looks definitely Versailles Plus…. having been in Versailles several times for visits and concerts, I can only agree…. MORE in my comment!

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