your royal tour of germany
Lake Constance has ten gardens and a whole lot more. Take a trip through the history of garden culture: gardens and parks with breathtaking views bring to life the region’s rich history. Experience first-hand gardens from the Stone Age, the Ancient World and the Middle Ages through to the 19th century and on to the present day. And there is no need to travel great distances. Gardens such as the island of Mainau, the park at Arenenberg Castle and the new Medieval garden, Reichenau Island, Salem Monastery and Palace, the New Castle Meersburg, Ittingen Charterhouse and the garden rendezvous at the Lower Lake all join together to form a network: the Gardens of Lake Constance.
Almost 1,200 years ago, the Reichenau monk Walahfrid Strabo wrote Europe’s first gardening book “Hortulus”. Its 24 verses describe the same number of plants and make the World Heritage island of Reichenau the birthplace of Western horticulture. A herb garden based on the Hortulus model recalls the long tradition of gardening on the island.
Mainau is possibly the world’s most famous ‘flower island’. This is where the Bernadotte family created a real flower paradise from 54 hectares of a historical 19th century tree collection. A top landscape architect, Fürsten Pückler, was hired in 1840 to work on the English garden at Arenenberg Castle. Just a short distance away, you will find the site of the former Carthusian monastery of Ittingen, featuring a Baroque rose garden, vineyards, herb garden and monk’s garden. The archaeobotanical gardens in Frauenfeld and Hemmenhofen demonstrate how the earth was ploughed as early as the Stone Age.
Just a short boat ride away on the other side of the lake, you will find an unforgettable garden with stunning views. Besides Baroque garden architecture, the park at the New Castle Meersburg boasts a majestic view of the lake. Just a stone's throw away from here is the former monastery and palace of Salem. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by glorious Baroque gardens.
Suggested tours for visiting individual gardens – whether by boat, bike, bus or train – are available to guests from April 2014. Bicycle tours can also be booked individually through “Radweg-Reisen”. At the Lower Lake, discover the history of gardens on your own and follow four different routes, each a maximum of 30 kilometres. On the island of Mainau, gardening enthusiasts can even step into the shoes of a Mainau gardener for a day (or longer on request). The “Grüne Schule” (Green School) on Mainau offers children's gardening activities on specific dates.
The network of Gardens at Lake Constance will welcome two new German members in 2015: The horticultural trails in Überlingen and Lindau. The first trail will connect the most beautiful green attractions in Überlingen, including the town garden with its exotic plants and mighty trees. Along the horticultural trail in Lindau, visitors can discover 30 magnificent villas and parks, all true jewels in the crown of the Bavarian banks of Lake Constance.
Groups of 20 people or more can book a Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque tour with “art cities Reisen”. More offers can be found at www.bodenseegaerten.eu.
For more information on the Gardens of Lake Constance, please click here.