Muskauer Park / Park Muzakowski is a mid 19th century landscape park. It covers 3.5 square kilometres of land in Poland and 2.1 in Germany. The park extends on both sides of the Lusatian Neisse river, which constitutes the border between the countries.
The founder of the park was Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871), the author of the influential Hints on Landscape Gardening
. He was the owner of Bad Muskau since 1811. After prolonged studies in England, in 1815 he founded the Park. As time went by, he established an international school of landscape management in Bad Muskau and outlined the construction of an extensive landscape park with the focus on 'improving' nature.
Visit May 2009
Prince Pückler himself once stated that his inherited estate was located in a half-desert, amidst forests and only surrounded by wolves, wild boar, farmers and stupid men. This region nowadays still has very much a frontier feel: rural, empty, with dark impenetrable forest. Place names are spelled in both German and Polish. During the Cold War this must have been a true eerie place. The ICOMOS evaluation stated that because of the isolated location ‘over-visiting seems unlikely’.
A brand new permanent exhibition on the life and ideas of the dandy and extravagant Prince is on show in the New Castle, the focal point of the park. This man was a very serious traveller: he had visited more sites that have become WHS than many of us now. He visited England often and ‘did’ an extensive Grand Tour around Europe and the Middle East. He travelled for a year in Egypt (even bought a slave girl there), arrived in Algiers (after missing the boat to the USA), was received by the Bey of Tunis and attended the wedding of Napoleon in Paris. He saw Blenheim, Schönbrunn, Naples, Athens, Damascus, the Pyramids. And all was used as inspiration for his work, but not without staying critical and developing his own vision.
Muskauer Park is Puckler’s major work as garden designer (Babelsberg in Potsdam is another). About 40% of the park is located in Germany, and the rest in Poland. Bridges across the Neisse River connect both sides of the park. One can freely wander from the German side into the Polish side. The park is very large, too large to all explore on foot. It’s not dotted with ornaments – its strongest points definitely are the ‘natural’ open views. Very fine for walking and cycling. And don’t miss the museum in the New Castle where renovations just have finished.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
|Klaus Freisinger (Austria):|
Since a trip to the beautiful city of Dresden (which is definitely WH-worthy, despite the stupid bridge) didn't add anything to my WH count, I went by train and bus to the scenic small town of Bad Muskau. The Muskauer Park, created by the nobleman Fürst Pückler in the 19th century on both sides of the Neisse River, today straddles the German-Polish border, and that's really the most interesting aspect of it. Since both countries are now in the Schengen zone, there are no passport controls anymore, and it is fun to rent a bike at the visitor center in the palace, cross over into Poland, and go back again. The trouble about the whole park is that there are no signs whatsoever, so you better get a decent map first. The town and the park make for a pleasant day trip, and the scenery is very pretty, but the World Heritage value of the site is to me somewhat doubtful.
| Date posted: June 2010|
|Christer Sundberg (Sweden):|
Right by the German/Polish border and the river Neisse is the small town of Bad Muskau, a sleepy little spa town with 4000 souls that goes back to the 13th century. Bad Muskau’s claim to fame is the Fürst Pückler Park, also named Muskauer Park, the biggest and one of the most famous English-style parks in Germany and Poland, once founded by Prince Herman von Pückler-Muskau in the beginning of the 19th century.
The park was covers 3.5 sqm in Poland and 2.1 in Germany and extends on both sides of the river so if you want to visit the entire park you better have your passport ready when the local border guard turns up behind the bushes at one of the bridges.
The centre of the park is the two castles - the New and the Old - together with stables, orangeries, sanatoriums and a “kurhouse” with healthy mud-baths and even a private railroad. Prince Pückler vision was to design a park as a “painting with plants”, using local plants to enhance the qualities of the landscape and his dream have certainly come true. So if you feel for a “walk in the park”, Bad Muskau is the place to head for.
I can recommend to stay at Am Wasserturm, a nice little B&B just on the outskirts of Bad Muskau - brilliant food and a nice atmosphere and its own water tower on the back yard.
This park may be an important place for modern park design,but when I've researched it before the registration in the WHL,I couldn't get informed at all exept location.
On my trip to the park I got the train through night to Zary from Katovice in Poland and transfered to the bus to the town on which the park located.
All buildings seem to be restored,but not impressive.Almost main architecture are in the German side.Its important thing isn't architecture,but gardens,which I recommend it all seasons.One of the best excursion site from Dresden if you're looking for some interest place.
| Date posted: February 2006|
|Paul Tanner (UK):|
On a trip to the area of “former GDR” a few years ago we were trying to cover all its Michelin 2 and 3 “*” sites (!) and, right on the Polish border, we came to the little spa town of Bad Muscau. Here, in the early 19th century ,a Prince Puckler had created a huge park (Michelin **). This park has had a chequered history – first bankrupting the prince, then being taken over by Prince Freidrich of the Netherlands who altered its style somewhat, then being destroyed in 1945 and split across 2 countries. When we were there in 2002 it was undergoing the latter stages of reconstruction.
It was with some surprise then that we noted its elevation as a joint German/Polish nomination to WHS status in 2004 (In 2002 we still didn’t use the Tentative List to inform our travels).
Apparently to Garden Historians the Park has huge significance. Indeed anyone interested in this aspect of “world culture” should note that there are 2 other WHS inscribed gardens within a few hours drive of Muskau – at Dessau-Wörlitz (late 18th century) and at Potsdam (Is this a bit of WHS “overkill” or is there something genuinely to be gained from having a continuity of styles inscribed?).
Even though (or perhaps because) the gardens were considerably influenced by English garden design theories I can’t say we were over-impressed. We only saw a part of the German side (less than half the area but perhaps containing the main buildings?) and the large landscape concepts need a lot of walking to appreciate. We personally preferred the gardens at Dessau-Wörlitz even though we saw them in very bad weather. The buildings (photo) were also still in need of renovation. Nevertheless the inscription represents an interesting strand of human culture. Worth a visit.
| Date posted: June 2005|
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