Wörlitz: Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz, lake view with palace and gothic church ©DZT/Kulturstiftung Dessau-Wörlitz (Bildarchiv Monheim GmbH)
Jun 12, 2017

A year of celebrations in the Garden Kingdom

The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz, a UNESCO World Heritage site, looks back over a 200-year history. Its unique quality is in many ways the result of a close friendship, which has become cause for celebration this year.

"It is infinitely beautiful here. I was once again greatly moved to see that the Gods have allowed the Prince to create a dream around himself …" wrote the famous poet Goethe on a visit to Wörlitz in May 1778. To this day, the unparalleled landscape of palaces and gardens continues to enchant visitors. Prince Franz von Anhalt-Dessau dazzled his contemporaries with his groundbreaking design – the first significant English-style park in the German-speaking lands. The 'kingdom' is a self-contained landscape of palaces, gardens, churches, flood-watch houses and ruins nestled within the meadowlands that run alongside the Elbe and Mulde rivers. An exceptional variety of artistic movements are represented here. In the area between Dessauand Wörlitz, you can see elements of many styles side by side, including baroque, rococo and classicism.

Two anniversaries – one celebration

2017 marks two important anniversaries for the Garden Kingdom, namely 200 years since the Prince's death and 300 years since the birth of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who is regarded as the father of art history. The summer exhibition 'Revolution of Taste' gives insight into the close relationship between the Dessau Prince and Winkelmann and the historian's influence on the design of Wörlitz House. And to further mark the occasion, Wörlitz House – arguably the most significant legacy of their friendship – is being reopened to the public. A series of events throughout the year, and most notably a week of festivities in August, offer ample opportunity to explore the fascinating history of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Click here for more information.

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