Filled with these memories of Frederick, no one will leave Potsdam without paying a visit to a plain edifice, known as the Garrison Church, because the soldiers stationed in the town are required to attend service here. Within this building Frederick the Great is buried, and on the walls, in honor of the man whose ashes rest beneath its roof, are hung the battle-flags taken by Frederick from Austria and Russia, as well as some secured by his descendants from Austria in 1865, and from France in 1871. Other strange decorations for a structure dedicated to the Prince of Peace are swords and lances, placed among the flags; and at each of the four corners of the organ are drums and trumpets, the former having figures wound by springs to beat them when the instrument is played.
A Concert At Sans Souci.
Frederick The Great.
At midnight, on the 4th of November, 1805, Alexander, Tsar of Russia, Frederick William III., and Queen Louisa stood within this church, and, clasping hands above the hero's tomb, solemnly pledged themselves to a coalition against Napoleon. How inscrutable is the future! Just one year later, on the same day of the month, and almost at the same hour, Napoleon in his turn visited this tomb of Frederick, having meantime overwhelmingly defeated the armies of Prussia, Austria, and Russia. The flight of the Prussians from Potsdam had been so hasty that many relics of the great Frederick were left behind. Among them was the sword which he had worn during the Seven Years' War. It lay alone upon the warrior's casket. Napoleon had a great admiration for Frederick's military genius, and, as he took his sword into his hands, he exclaimed to the officers of his suite: " Gentlemen, this was one of the greatest commanders of whom history has made mention. If he were alive to-day, I should not be standing here." Dust had settled on the royal sarcophagus, and in this the French Emperor thoughtfully traced the letter " N." Then he ordered that the sword of the Prussian King be sent to Paris to decorate the Hotel des Invalides. General Rapp, who stood beside him, ventured to express surprise that Napoleon did not keep the relic for his own use; whereupon Bonaparte turned to him with a smile and, playfully pulling his ear, remarked, " Have I not, then, a sword of my own ? " Napoleon, furthermore, manifested his respect for Frederick by ordering that, in honor of his memory, Potsdam should be exempted from paying any military contribution to the conqueror.
Napoleon At The Tomb Of Frederick.
Another prominent edifice at Potsdam is called the " New Palace," because it was built by Frederick the Great, in addition to the royal residences he already possessed, to prove that his resources were not exhausted by his Seven Years' War with Russia, Austria, and France.
In this New Palace, however, the tourist comes upon more recent souvenirs than those of Sans Souci, since in this structure he may pass from recollections of Frederick the Great to those of Frederick the Noble, -" Our Fritz," as he was fondly called, but who is now enrolled in history as Frederick III. Here on the 15th of June, 1888, in the room whose windows are the fourth and fifth to the left of the doorway on the ground floor, the father of the present Emperor breathed his last.
The Marble Gallery, Potsdam.
This illustrious Prince seemed the very ideal of a high-minded and noble-hearted sovereign. At the conclusion of the war with France, in 1871, it would have been hard to find a more perfect specimen of manly vigor. He was called, indeed, by some " the handsomest man in Europe."
Tall, muscular, and finely formed, he had the fair complexion, golden beard, and clear blue eyes of the old Teutons. Every one knows how gallantly he bore himself in both the Austrian and French campaigns, receiving on the field of battle, from his father's hands, the highest of all German decorations. Yet, notwithstanding his ability and courage, he was heartily opposed to bloodshed, and even at the time of the triumphal entry into Paris, he remarked to his officers : " Gentlemen, I do not like war. If I ever reign, I will never make it." Perhaps this love of peace, and the concessions he was willing to make for it, formed the starting-point of that antagonism which existed so long between himself and Bismarck.