Frederick The Great’s Picture Gallery Celebrates 250 Years With Special Exhibition

A magnificent art gallery constructed by Frederick the Great of Prussia in Potsdam is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year, Art Daily reports.

The gallery at Sanssouci Park, part of Frederick the Great’s palace complex, was home to his vast collection of Classical and (then) contemporary art. While it lost much of its collection over the years, especially during the Napoleonic Wars and WWII, it’s still an impressive center for fine art.

To celebrate the anniversary, the gallery is hosting “The Most Beautyful Gallery – Revisiting the Picture Gallery of Frederick the Great,” and has brought together much of the original collection that got dispersed across Europe. Paintings from various periods fill the walls, including examples from the Italian Renaissance and High Baroque as well as 17th century Flemish and Dutch works. The gallery also shows Frederick’s passion for Classical sculpture. Even the walls are made of marble torn from ancient buildings.

Potsdam is only 23 miles from Berlin and makes a good day trip from the German capital.

“The Most Beautyful Gallery – Revisiting the Picture Gallery of Frederick the Great” runs until October 31.

[Photo courtesy Kent Wang]

Taking Chessboxing to a whole new level – with a hotel

It has been 4 years since Gadling devoted an article to the fine sport of Chessboxing.

Chessboxing is a hybrid sport combining chess and boxing (duh). The name describes exactly what the sport involves, but if you don’t have a very creative imagination, picture a boxing ring with a chess board. The game switches between playing chess and punching the crap out of each other.

The sport is apparently so popular, that the man behind it has opened a hotel in Berlin with the sole purpose of offering affordable living space for people who play the sport, or those that just want to be surrounded by art inspired by famous chess and boxing icons.

Located in an old East German building near the Potsdamer Platz, the hotel offers 3 different rooms for just 90€ a night. Beds are named after Muhammad Ali, Bobby Fischer, Mike Tyson, Miyamoto Musashi and Anantoly Karpov.

Source: Chessboxing rental apartment

Across Northern Europe: Globians Film Festival

If you’re in Berlin and have a few free hours this weekend skip down to Potsdam, about 20 minutes away by express train. You’ll find the Globians World and Culture Documentary Film Festival presenting films which are especially geared to the global tastes of Gadling readers.

This weekend’s slate of films focus on Asia: from Indian call centers to Tibetan orphanages to Chinese suicides to Japanese gigolos.

Director Joachim Polzer created a thematic program, starting with general long-term travel last Saturday (full disclosure: my film opened the festival) and following with nights devoted to Latin America, the United States, Europe, Africa and other less geographic themes.

The festival began in 2005, some 15 years after one of Polzer’s interview subjects told him, “We are all Globians.”

“The word stuck with me,” Polzer said.

At the time, Polzer was making documentaries himself in California and was struck by the number of quality English-language films that never made it to Germany.

“People think ‘American documentary, what is that?’ but there are lots of good programs on PBS and other places that people here don’t know about.”

With that premise he launched Globians in Potsdam, Berlin’s smaller sibling to the southwest. It’s not the easiest place to attract interest in English-language documentaries but Polzer says its better than being “the 20th film festival in Berlin.”

The modest audience of 300 in 2005 doubled last year and doubled again this year. More than 70 features are on this year’s roster.

The common thread of the three films I had a chance to see was unique perspective. “Back to the Ice: A Year in Antarctica” is a portrait of long-term stays in one the planet’s harshest environments. “Dark Water Rising: The Truth About Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue” is a revealing, at times gruesome story of animal rescuers who seem somewhat ignorant to the simultaneous human suffering. “Match & Marry” explains the unorthodox coupling of Orthodox Jews in New York and elsewhere.

All three films told stories that I haven’t seen told elsewhere, stories that aren’t easy to tell for various reasons. Those difficulties were also evident in the limited production value and at times incomplete nature of the stories. They will all struggle to find a wide audience, which is too bad because they offer rarely seen perspectives. The chance to get a glimpse runs til Sunday and will return next summer for the festival’s fourth year.


Previously on Across Northern Europe:

  1. Shining a Light on Iceland
  2. Lonely Love on Iceland
  3. Iceland Gone Wild
  4. A Trip to the Airport
  5. Why Bother Going to Berlin?
  6. A Perishable Feast

Brook Silva-Braga is traveling northern Europe for the month of August and reuniting with some of the people he met on the yearlong trip which was the basis of his travel documentary, A Map for Saturday. You can follow his adventure in the series, Across Northern Europe.