Eight questions for...

Petra Wesch, member of staff at the Prussian Palaces and Parks Berlin-Brandenburg Foundation

When I visit the World Heritage Site of Potsdam, what should I definitely not miss?

Frederick the Great's vineyard, crowned by Sanssouci Palace of course - it really is brilliant. And if you don't like the tourist traps, the Charlottenhof Palace with its Roman baths is a little off the beaten track next to the main path.

What do you particularly like here?

The garden world of Sanssouci is very different to the structured parks with their geometrical paths and trimmed trees and hedges that you usually find in royal gardens. Here the paths, meadows and clusters of trees appear to have been created by chance. You feel as if you're walking in a painting. The Charlottenhof Palace is also very different from the way we think palaces are supposed look. It is more like the villa of some wealthy person who designed his home with much taste and extravagance.

Do you have an insider tip?

Well if I told you it won't be an insider tip anymore. But I'll tell you anyway: it's the rose garden at Charlottenhof Palace. But I shall reveal no more!

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

The perfect harmony of sculpted and natural landscapes. As water is the defining element here, the best way to experience the uniqueness of this cultured landscape is by boat. One more tip: use a water taxi.

Which time of the year is the most attractive here?

It is always a delight to be here. I think it depends on what type of person you are. I, for example, love to walk from one Havel lake to another on a cold winter's day, admiring the landscape.

What else should I see here?

It is worth exploring the town of Potsdam on foot. That doesn't mean walking up and down the Brandenburger Strasse - go down the side roads and maybe even venture into the house entrances, so you can be amazed by the courtyards of the second Baroque-era town extension.

Visiting World Heritage Sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

In spring the regional asparagus is by far the best.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

The Great Wall of China. I would love to hike along a part of this gigantic construction, maybe from dawn until dusk.

Petra Wesch

was born in Eckartsberga in Saxony-Anhalt.

She worked for over twenty years in cultural education for children and young people in Potsdam, but the town's palaces and parks have been her workplace since 1983. She is responsible for planning and creating guided tours and events in Frederick the Great's former gardens.