Muskau Park

Bad Muskau, Germany

The Muskau or Muskauer Park is the largest and one of the most famous English gardens of Germany and Poland. Situated in the historic Upper Lusatia region, it covers 3.5 square kilometers of land in Poland and 2.1 km2 in Germany. The park extends on both sides of the Lusatian Neisse, which constitutes the border between the countries.

A fortress on the Neisse at Muskau was first mentioned as early as the 13th century under the rule of Margrave Henry III of Meissen. The founder of the adjacent park was Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871), the author of the influential Hints on Landscape Gardening and owner of the state country of Muskau from 1811. After prolonged studies in England, in 1815 during the time when the northeastern part of Upper Lusatia fell to Prussia, he laid out the Park. As time went by, he established an international school of landscape management in Bad Muskau and outlined the construction of an extensive landscape park.

The works involved remodelling the Baroque 'Old Castle' - actually a former castle gate - and the construction of a Gothic Revival chapel, an English cottage, several bridges, and an orangery designed by Friedrich Ludwig Persius. Pückler reconstructed the medieval fortress as the 'New Castle', the compositional centre of the park, with a network of paths radiating from it and a pleasure ground influenced by the ideas of Humphry Repton, whose son John Adey worked at Muskau from 1822 on. The extensions went on until 1845, when Pückler because of his enormous debts was constrained to sell the patrimony. The next year it was acquired by Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, who employed Eduard Petzold, Pückler's disciple and a well-known landscape gardener, to complete his design. Upon his death in 1881, he was succeeded by his daughter Princess Marie, who sold the estates to the Arnim family.

During the Battle of Berlin, both castles were levelled and all four bridges across the Neisse were razed. The von Arnims were dispossessed by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany and since the implementation of the Oder-Neisse line in 1945, the park has been divided by the state border between Poland and Germany, with two thirds of it on the Polish side. Not until the 1960s did the authorities gradually accept the legacy of the 'Junker' Prince Pückler.

In 2004 UNESCO added the park to its World Heritage List, as an exemplary example of cross-border cultural collaboration between Poland and Germany. It was added to the list on two criteria: for breaking new ground in terms of development towards the ideal man-made landscape, and for its influence on the development of landscape architecture as a discipline.

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User Reviews

Ayodhya Pathirana (2 years ago)
Beautiful park to visit. Take time to walk around the park and. I visited in mid November and there were still amazing autumn views.
Aaron (2 years ago)
What a peaceful and wonderful park! I liked coming here especially in the morning during my stay when I can have the whole park by myself. It’s located at the border between Germany and Poland. I came here to attend my friend’s wedding and she got us a horse carriage ride around Muskauer Park. It was a great experience.
Prashant Tiwari (2 years ago)
Very beautiful Park, we really enjoyed walking and hiking around. Looked even more beautiful due to autumn colors. Must visit place.
Josip Rosandić (2 years ago)
As a park for jogging, recreation or just walking around is great. But photos of amazing flowers that people uploaded mostly belong to the castle, not the wider park area. It is still lovely, but also mostly empty vast area.
Artur Żarski (2 years ago)
Great place. Beautiful views. Only one problem I found in ananas plant where you cannot pay card but cash only. Worth to see that place
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