The Gardens of Kings

Take a walk in Saxony’s most beautiful gardens, allow to be inebriated by their scents, experience unexpected views and gain undreamt-of insights.
Relax in the spacious gardens or stroll in sunshine, accompanied by the splashing of fountains. And take a piece of Schloesserland home with you: a flower bed brick from Bad Muskau, a camellia shoot from Pillnitz, summer flowers or an Azalea from Weesenstein can all be purchased in those places.

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Prince-Pueckler-Park Bad Muskau (A)

Hermann Prince von Pueckler-Muskau can be called a real artist. He knew very well how to place the colours of his »Nature Painting« in such a way that they would have an impressive effect in any light. Prince Pueckler-Muskau was inspired by English landscaping artists and created a complex piece of art on 830 hectares, which harmoniously combines the seemingly infinite landscape with the New Castle as its optical centre. You can explore the Muskau Park, which has been listed since 2004 as German-Polish UNESCO World Heritage, taking a ride on a horse-drawn coach or riding a bike. This will allow you to see how Pueckler once created an impressive piece of garden-architectural art by ingeniously arranging oak, linden, beech and poplar trees, expansive meadows, cleverly laid-out paths and flower gardens placed around the castle. If you fell like taking a break after having visited the exhibition on Prince Pueckler which is on show in the castle, why not treat yourself to a famed Prince Pueckler icecream in the cafe.

Details on Prince Pueckler Park in Bad Muskau

Further to Station B – Zabeltitz Baroque Garden, approx. 108 km

Zabeltitz Baroque Garden (B)

Zabeltitz Baroque Garden is among the largest and most important gardens in Saxony that had been designed in French style and the essential features of which have been preserved to the present day. Around 1728, the garden was conceived by Johann Christoph Knoeffel, the Court Master Builder of Augustus the Strong, on behalf of the Imperial Count August Christoph von Wackerbarth. Laid out in a strictly symmetrical order, the appeal of the garden lies in its magnificent alleyways lined by linden and chestnut trees, rows of hedges, groves, rondels, sandstone sculptures and a unique pond system.

Details about the Zabeltitz Baroque Garden

Further to Station C - Dresden Zwinger, ca. 35 km

The Dresden Zwinger (C)

In 1709, State Supreme Builder Matthaeus Daniel Poeppelmann was commissioned by Augustus the Strong to build an orangery in the garden of the Zwinger in Dresden, where orange trees and other potted plants could be stored in winter. Later it occurred to them that the Dresden Zwinger complex could also be used for court festivities. The Baroque festivity culture was not only for the amusement of the court, but also to show off its wealth and sovereign power. In August 2011, the Zwinger Festival took place for the first time before the grandiose Baroque backdrop of the Dresden Zwinger, and brought the story of Augustus and his mistress, Constantia Countess von Cosel, to the big stage.

Details about Dresden Zwinger

Further to station D - Pillnitz Castle and Park, about 13 km

Pillnitz Castle & Park (D)

Every year, the first joys of spring are brought out by the carmine flowers of the camellia in the Pillnitz Park. A guided tour of the pleasure garden, the English and Dutch gardens is highly recommended to get to know the precious Wettin collection of plants. The more than 250-year-old camellia is a botanical rarity which displays its carmine flowers from February through April in its glasshouse.
Lilac trees with their interesting spiral growth and Germany’s oldest citrus plant, aged over 250 years, are waiting to be admired. The Palmtree Glasshouse completed in 1861 and re-opened in 2009 accommodates bird-of-paradise flowers, proteas and “cangaroo paws”. Shoots of the famous camellia can be bought from February, which may found your own new camellia dynasty.

Details on Pillnitz Castle and Park

Further to Station E – The Grosssedlitz Baroque Garden, approx. 13km

Gross-Sedlitz Baroque Garden (E)

Not far from Dresden, the visitor is received by Versailles en miniature. After Imperial Count von Wackerbarth had sold the garden to Elector Augustus the Strong in 1723, the latter had it re-designed following the French ideal. Only 12 of the projected 96 hectares could be implemented, but are fascinating the visitor all the more. Today, the expansive, terraced area represents itself as a piece of landscaping art with two orangeries, many trick fountains and about 60 sculptures, including the four seasons, Hera and Zeus. Every year the 400 potted plants leave the orangeries to be set up in the park and decorate it like no other. With the garden’s more than 100 bitter orange trees, the Grosssedlitz collection counts among the largest in the German-speaking area. A limited edition of the homemade bitter-orange marmalade is on sale at the visitor centre in the Upper Orangery.

Details on the Gross Sedlitz Baroque Garden

Further to Station F – Weesenstein Castle, approx. 8km

Weesenstein Castle (F)

The castle park in its baroque appearance and inspired by the French style huddles against the castle setting that is basically of medieval character and that, over the centuries, has grown into an impressive castle complex. Take a relaxing walk in the flower garden and among Sawara cypresses. The Mueglitz River, which divides the park into two parts, will be with you all the time. The 2002 flood devastated the park almost completely. It is first of all thanks to the immediate dedication of the numerous volunteers that its well-known charm could be restored. The castle proudly presents itself, with its museum inviting the visitor to embark on a time travel through the castle’s 800 years of history. The representation rooms that are of cultural and historical importance, richly equipped with original furniture, decorative accessories and, above all, tapestry of historical value, are unrivalled beyond Saxony’s borders.

Details on Weesenstein Castle

Further to Station F - Altzella Monastery Park, approx. 54km

Altzella Monastery Park (F)

Gnarled old trees, intricate paths, fairy-tale meadows – the Altzella Park appears to be from another world. It is not only the medieval monastery ruins, but also the romantic flair of the English garden landscape that fascinates visitors and invites them to stay. Founded in 1162 by Margrave Otto von Meissen, it used to be the most important monastery in the region in medieval times. For that reason, the Cistercian monastery rose to become the Wettin dynasty’s burial place – the four tombslabs of the founding families can still be seen today. After its 400-year heyday, the monks left the monastery in the wake of Reformation and left it to decay. Today, there is not only cowslip, columbine or fumewort nestling around the romantic ruins, but also copper beech have been planted decorating the picturesque setting. The ruins lie sensitively embedded in a landscape park with numerous views within the park and out into the surrounding landscape.

Details on Altzella Monastery Park

Further to Station H – Lichtenwalde Castle and Park, approx. 35km

Lichtenwalde Castle & Park (H)

Within easy reach of Chemnitz, Lichtenwalde Castle with its one of the most beautiful Baroque gardens in Germany invites visitors to have a “rendezvous with the arts”. Immediately next to the castle, there is the entrance to the ten-hectare park that was created in the transitional stage from Baroque to Rococo. Along several axes of sight and of paths, individual garden spaces reveal splendid alleyways, concert gardens and historical trick fountains. What is particularly charming is the sloped setting of the park that is preserved in its original state, which provides surprising views into the Zschopau river valley. All year round, the newly designed “Treasury” museum presents exhibits from distant cultures, some of which are several thousand years old and are of immeasurable cultural and historical value

Details on Lichtenwalde Castle and Park

Further to Station I - The Royal Grounds of Bad Elster, approx. 115 km

Royal Grounds Bad Elster (I)

Laid out in the style of an English landscape park in 1850, the historical spa park with its six individual park areas is an important part of the Royal Grounds Bad Elster. It is counted among the most beautiful parks in Germany. Along with the impressive spa architecture in the style of both Historicism and Art Nouveau, it forms a harmonic ensemble, which had once been laid out by the greatest landscape gardeners of Europe. Every year, thousands of visitors come to Bad Elster, especially when the famous rhododendrons are blossoming.

Details about the Royal Grounds of Bad Elster