I took a day trip with my friends to Potsdam, a town on the outskirts of Berlin. Potsdam was the second residence of Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg in the 17th century, and Friedrich II, also known as Frederick the Great, commissioned several palaces here in the 18th century. This is the lavish Neues Palais, in which we took a guided tour.
Park Sanssouci, the garden surrounding the palace, is huge and contains many other sights. Dotted around were numerous wooden huts, which we surmised hid statues to protect them from the winter. Another palace here is the Unesco-protected Schloss Sanssouci, built in 1747.
A curious find in this park was the Chinesisches Haus (Chinese House), a circular building containing gold-plated statues which seemed to set off an alarm if anyone so much as looked at it.
Potsdam is a lovely town of cobbled streets and red-brick buildings, and made an ideal day-trip from Berlin.