Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau – bohemian, travel writer and landscape gardener of great renown – designed Muskauer Park, one of the most beautiful landscaped gardens in the world, in the early 19th century. Covering around 830 hectares, it is made up of a number of smaller parks on either side of the German-Polish border, each with its own character.
The largest English-style landscaped park in central Europe, Muskauer Park also testifies to German/Polish reconciliation: around a third lies in the town of Bad Muskau in Saxony, while the majority of the park is to the east of the Neisse river on the Polish side. Pückler modelled the park that surrounded his New Palace in Muskau on the English gardens of the early 19th century. What is considered so successful about the park is the way in which the individual, differently structured areas are connected by sweeping vistas and winding paths. The integration of the natural course of the river Neisse, which flows through Lusatia, with the man-made canal (called 'Hermann's river Neisse'), is also regarded as a masterpiece. Other attractions in this garden kingdom include the Old Castle, a tropical glasshouse, the Kavaliershaus, the spa park and hillside park, the orangery and the English Bridge, a historical footbridge over the Neisse that has been destroyed several times but was faithfully reconstructed in 2011. If you cross over the bridge, you'll suddenly find yourself in Poland where the beautiful old park cafés serve lody (Polish for ice cream) instead of eis. In whichever side of the park you find yourself, you simply must treat yourself to an original Prince Pückler (Neopolitan) ice cream. You can also spend the night at the park. Some of the buildings have been converted into holiday apartments, offering an authentic yet relaxing place to stay in the fairytale world of Prince Pückler.
Muskauer Park Tourist Information, Prince Pückler Park Foundation, Bad Muskau
April to October: 10am to 6pm daily
November to March: 10am to 5pm daily
Public guided tours and walks
April to October: Saturday, Sunday and on public holidays: 2pm; all year round on Sundays at 10am
Short guided tour: through selected sections of the park
Long guided tour: the short tours are combined with additional sections of the park or with the Polish section of the park on its own.
Whole park tour: this guided walk presents the entire park on both sides of the river.
'Pückler! Catch him if you can!' exhibition: April to October: 10am to 6pm daily
German-Polish Park Festival (May 2014)
Further information: www.muskauer-park.de