Lush green parks that tempt you to picnic under the trees. Fragrant colorful flowers, wide lawns and winding paths where relaxed people stroll. Atmospheric concerts, sculptures in the light green, plus historic manor houses and castles. Saxony-Anhalt is the state of gardens and parks - and has developed a unique concept from them.
From the approximately 1,000 garden monuments in the state, a network of 50 outstanding sites has been woven under the title "Garden Dreams - Historic Parks in Saxony-Anhalt," which celebrates its anniversary this year and next. The botanical gardens, castle parks and monastery gardens are an impressive reflection of garden art throughout the state. We present seven of the parks here.
The historic pheasant garden at Blankenburg Castle is old, having been laid out as early as 1700 and later redesigned several times. But this is by far not the only sight around the estate, which was first mentioned in a document in 1123. The terrace garden with fountains and sculptures followed as early as 1718, and a mountain garden adjoins it. Here, too, visitors will find beautiful fountains and also a romantic viewing area. Later, the grounds were expanded to include a "rose angle" - and the icing on the cake of the castle gardens, which cover more than 100 hectares, is the Princess Tower, which today serves as a vacation home.
The highest alpine garden in the northern half of Germany, no more and no less is the Brocken Garden. Around 1500 often rare plant species from many of the world's high mountains grow here on the 1141-meter-high Brocken and are thus saved from extinction. In summer, the plant belonging to the Harz National Park can be visited, there are also guided tours with park rangers on the Brocken circular hiking trail. By the way, it is not possible to get there by car, but you can go up on good hiking trails - or with the romantic Brocken narrow-gauge railroad, which is still pulled by steam locomotives today.
You can find out more information about the Brocken here: In the Harz Mountains the largest chunk
The creation of these historic gardens and parks began as early as the late Middle Ages. They are set against the backdrop of Hundisburg Castle, which Johann Friedrich von Alvensleben had converted into a Baroque palace between 1693 and 1712. About 40 years later, large areas of the 100-hectare park were adapted to the style of an English landscape garden. Today, thanks to its natural beauty with more than 150 species of trees and shrubs, it attracts visitors from near and far all year round. They can also enjoy the castle's library, painting collections, music events, restaurant and brewery.
The lake stage with its colorful program, tropical feeling in the butterfly house, beautiful rest areas under old trees - the Elbauenpark is popular with both young and old Magdeburg residents and their visitors. The meadow area stretches along the Elbe meadows and was opened as a park in 1999 for the 25th Federal Garden Show. Various themed areas, sports and playgrounds, and sculptures in the greenery provide variety. The highlight is the wooden, 60-meter-high millennium tower, which, with scientific exhibitions under its pointed roof, is the new landmark of the State capital Magdeburg applies.
A large park pond, rare tree species such as holly, jade tree and ginkgo, winding paths and magical blooming larkspur and rhododendron in spring - all this makes the park of Krumke Castle. It was built between 1854 and 1860 in neo-Gothic style, and already from earlier times there are a cavalier's house (today a cultural café), a temple of Fortuna (now housing a mineral collection) and beautiful sandstone figures. Later still, a rock garden was created with an emphasis on alpine flora. A special feature is the old box hedge - with its 400 years it is one of the oldest in Europe.
Have you heard of the "Green Rose", the "Black Rose" or the "Barbed Wire Rose"? They can all be seen here, and much more. For the 1903 opened Rosarium in the old town of Sangerhausen between the southern Harz Mountains and the Kyffhäuser Mountains, rose fans and experts have assembled the world's largest collection of this noble plant - it includes more than 8,600 cultivated forms, 500 species of wild roses and 850 varieties of climbing roses. In addition, there are all kinds of rare trees, an Alpinum with a great view, various works of art, the play and adventure world and the RosenCafé - a nice destination for the whole family.
Narrow paths meander over an area of 2600 square meters, are lined by two-meter-high hornbeam hedges. A platform in the center of the labyrinth, whose entrance is guarded by a sculpture of the Roman fertility goddess Ceres, allows a view over the entire complex. Germany's largest baroque maze is located in southeastern Saxony-Anhalt and was created in the mid-18th century in the Altjeßnitz Manor Park, which also includes an old fieldstone church, small meadows, a pond with an island, and old trees. Playing facilities and picnic areas make it round for big and small visitors.
Cover photo: Hundisburg Castle became a baroque castle with an English landscape garden in the 18th century © KULTUR-Landschaft Haldensleben-Hundisburg e.V. / Joachim Hoeft
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