First mentioned in the 14th century, the building fell into disrepair after the last church service was held in it in 1785. This ruin was intended to be an eye-catcher in Pückler's landscape compositions.
The domed pavilion is part of the former Moor Bath, last renovated in 1913/14. Like the Villa Bellevue, the Villa Pückler and the Tower Villa, it was part of the "Hermannsbad", opened by Pückler and Lucie in 1823. Today it is home to a small exhibition on the history of the baths.
A tree nursery for the cultivation of woody plants had already been established on a plateau in the upper park during Pückler's time. At the end of the Second World War, the facilities were completely destroyed and the area was subsequently left to run wild. The restorations of the original structures, including the dividing hornbeam hedge and the historic fencing, have been going on since 1998.
At this spot, Pückler placed nine stone seats made from boulders in a semicircle around an ancient oak tree, evoking the image of an ancient Germanic Thingstead. The once giant tree's name could also refer to Pückler himself, his beloved grandfather of the same name, or perhaps to the Cheruscan prince. Today, a young tree grows out of the remnants of the dead oak's trunk.
The formerly wooden structure owes its name to a visit in Pückler's time by Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm IV. This elaborate stone building was not erected until 1854 under Prince Frederick of the Netherlands.
Lord’s Hill Viaduct
Much like the Prince's Bridge, this impressive structure spans an ice-age gorge. Prince Friedrich of the Netherlands had the viaduct built from bricks and cinder blocks in 1862.
Pückler had planned a mausoleum on the upper edge of the terrace in the eastern part of the park, in close view of his study in the palace, but it was never realized. The von Arnim family built a memorial chapel and cemetery on this site in 1888, which was then partially destroyed in 1945 and blown up in 1972. The former location is now marked by a simple granite cross.
In 1820, Pückler had a small tavern built in the English cottage style on a hill not far from the English Bridge. The accompanying structures were demolished after 1945. Today, the main building's former location is indicated by a brick outline of the foundations, while a romantic lookout pavilion has already been restored.
In 1901, the Counts of Arnim erected a boulder with a relief of Pückler in honor of the park's creator. The stone, by then moved to Łęknica, served as a political monument in the 1980s. The boulder was returned to its original place high above the Neisse River in 1991. The view from there is one of the most spectacular in Muskauer Park.
The intricate iron structure looks out over the castle and stands at the end of the "Schnuckental" valley. Pückler had laid out this earliest section of the park in 1817 as a wedding gift for his bride Lucie. Since then it has been changed several times, but today's version is based on photographs taken during the Arnim period.
The striking cast-iron bridge leads to the Blue Garden, one of three flower gardens in the grounds of the palace. The ascending path leads to the "Lovers' Point", offering a view all the way to Pückler's Stone, and on to the Manor Garden.
A cast-iron bridge crosses the water where the Hermannsneiße flows into Lake Lucie. You can enjoy a popular postcard view of the New Castle from this vantage point. The current incarnation of the Carp Bridge dates back to the time of Prince Friedrich of the Netherlands.
There was a wooden bridge at this spot even during Pückler's grandfather's lifetime. Destroyed several times by floods, it was not until the time of Prince Friedrich of the Netherlands that a more solid structure was erected. The two-part bridge close to the orangery was blown up in 1945 and then restored between 2000 and 2003.
The original garden house served as a theater in Pückler's time, where the prince himself sometimes performed. The subsequent owners had the building remodeled several times and used it to house guests, among other things. From 1950 to 2009 it was home to the Moor Bath.
Estate Farm Buildings
Several historical farm buildings situated near the castle form a four-sided courtyard. The complex, which includes a coach house, stables and residential buildings, was rebuilt around 1900 in the neo-Renaissance style, integrating previous buildings.
The building was constructed on the foundations of a former brewery in 1844 according to the Gothic-Moorish style. Today, the Orangery also serves as a winter shelter for frost-sensitive potted plants, especially for the bitter oranges that can be found on the castle ramp throughout the summer.
First mentioned in 1245, then rebuilt in the 17th century as a baroque three-winged complex and embellished in the 1860s with elements of the neo-Renaissance style, the building was destroyed by fire at the end of the Second World War. It was gradually rebuilt using federal and state funds between 1996 and 2013.
Kitchen Garden and Castle Nursery
The painstakingly restored complex comprises several greenhouses and a kitchen garden with a talus wall for growing trellised fruit. Much as in Pückler's day, today pineapple fruits once again grow in the palace nursery.
The road to the English House passed across this construction until it was blown up in 1945. The English Bridge was rebuilt between 2009 and 2011. This once again closed the border-crossing circular route through the park.
The inlet-dotted body of water is a man-made lake that Pückler excavated in the north of the park to complement Lake Lucie. Winding paths along the shore guide you to romantic spots and over the bridge with a view of the Oak Lake Waterfall.
The former gatehouse to the outer castle was presumably established as an administrative building in the first half of the 16th century, before being remodeled several times. Destroyed in April 1945, it was successfully reconstructed in an older baroque form between 1965 and 1984.
“Pückler! Pückler? Catch Him If You Can!”
Who was Pückler? Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1785–1871) is known as a writer, traveller and most notably as a landscape gardener. He gained attention as a ladies’ man, dandy and bon vivant and made many a headline. His adventures were the stuff of legends which the prince was all too happy to spread himself: “For me it’s not: what will people say about this? “Oh, what will people say about this?”
This is why the permanent exhibition in the New Castle was given the telling title Pückler? Catch Him If You Can!” “Pückler!” The multimedia show provides a fun way to meet the “Green Prince”: on a coach ride, in the theatre, in films and through exciting exhibits. The show reveals the Prince’s various sides and combines them in an entertaining way to create an overall picture of his dazzling personality. Nevertheless, it is hard to fully understand the self-promoter who loved to play with identities.
Opening hours: 1 April 2020 to 31 October 2020, daily 10 am-6 pm
Changing exhibitions are shown in the west wing of the New Castle in Bad Muskau. Tickets for special exhibitions also give visitors the opportunity to climb the castle tower and enjoy a view of the extensive park landscape from above.
Opening hours: 1 April to 31 October, daily 10 am-6 pm (limited opening hours from November to March)
Please register your group’s interest in a guided tour in advance at the Tourist Centre. Groups must be at least 15 persons. In the event that fewer persons participate, the price for the minimum group size mentioned will still apply. Ideally, groups should not have more than 30 participants. Larger groups will be split at no additional cost. For tours in the Polish part of the park, please remember to carry a valid proof of identity or passport. We unfortunately cannot guarantee guided tours for groups that do not book in advance.
Regulations and fees (valid as of 01.01.2019):
Open guided tours
Meeting place at the Muskauer Park Tourist Centre (New Castle) April to October, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays at 2 pm Duration: approx. 1.5–2 hrs. Price: €6.00 respectively €3.00 reduced price* per person, family ticket** 13.50 € * Students, trainees, persons with severe disabilities are entitled to reduced rates; ** Family ticket for 2 adults (parents/grandparents etc.) + one or more children Park tour, special for spa and hotel guests in Bad Muskau: year-round on Saturdays, 2 pm, starting at the Kulturhotel Fürst-Pückler-Park (Market) Guided tours for cyclists are available on request. We recommend that you reserve rental bikes in advance if required.
This tour takes visitors to selected parts of the park, like the German side of the Castle Park with its historical buildings, the Castle Park on the German and Polish side or the area around the bath and Mountain Park. Duration: approx. 1.5–2.0 hrs. Price: €6.00 respectively €3.00 reduced* per person
The short tour can be extended to cover parts of the landscape garden such as the Mountain Park and the Castle Park. Tours that only go through the Polish part of the park are also available. Duration: approx. 3.5–4.0 hrs. Price: €11.00 respectively €5.50 reduced price* per person * Students, trainees, persons with severe disabilities are entitled to reduced rates;
- Teachers/chaperones of school classes, tour guides/bus drivers and people accompanying persons with severe disabilities with B designation – are exempt from tour fees.
- Groups with more than 15 people can receive a discount of 5% on the total price when the tour guide/teacher pays in cash in one payment transaction or when paying by voucher/invoice.
In the imaginatively decorated vaulted cellar, they can sit down at a long table and eat royal cake. The afternoon programme includes a walk in the park and treasure hunt as well as climbing the tower or taking a ride in the coaches from the permanent exhibition. “Zu Gast in Pücklers grünem Reich” (Be a guest in Pückler’s green kingdom) is a joint offer from the Friends of Historica Bad Muskau e. V. and the “Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau” Foundation. In addition to the birthday child, up to 10 guests between the ages of 6 and 10 can participate, accompanied by two adults. The Muskau Park Tourist Centre in the New Castle accepts registrations up to four weeks before the desired date: Contact: Tel +49 (0)35771-63100 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Muskau Park Tourist Centre
Anyone looking for some ideas for their trip to the World Heritage Site or holidays in the surrounding area is in good hands at the Muskau Park Tourist Centre. Visitors to the west wing of the New Castle will find both detailed information and extensive printed material. Guided tours can also be booked directly at the tourist centre, which is also the starting point for the tours. Opening hours: 2 November–15 December 2019 Saturdays + Sundays 11 am–4 pm Special opening hours 22.12 and 27.12-29.12.2019 11 am-4 pm January 2020 – closed February 2020 Saturdays + Sundays 11 am–4 pm March 2020 Wednesdays-Sunday 11 am–4 pm 1 April 2020 to 31. October 2020, daily 10 am–6 pm Contact: Tel +49 (0)35771-63100 Fax +49 (0)035771-63109 E mail email@example.com
Garden Nursery with the exhibition “Pineapple! The Queen of Fruits in Muskau Park”- all visitors €3.00 per person (no reduced prices or discounts)
Guided park tours longer than 3.0-4.0 hours – available on request
Pre-school children – free (admission only when accompanied by an adult)
|*||Discounts for schoolchildren, students, apprentices, persons with severe disabilities|
|**||2 Adults (parents / grandparents etc.) + one or more children|
|Groups with 15 or more people can receive a discount of 5% on the total price when the tour guide/teacher pays in cash in one payment transaction or when paying by voucher/invoice (this does not apply to tickets for the Castle Nursery).|
|Teachers/chaperones of school classes, tour guides/bus drivers and people accompanying persons with severe disabilities with B designation -free admission.|
- Admission to Muskau Park is free.
First, travellers go to Weißwasser with the Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH (ODEG) trains. From there they board the regional bus service to Bad Muskau (bus line 250). The bus stop “Kirchplatz” in the village is only a few steps from Muskau Park. From April to October visitors can also take the forest railway from Weißwasser to Bad Muskau. Regional transport association ZVON Contact: +49 (0)800-98664636 (Information: Mon–Fri, 7 am–6 pm) │ www.zvon.de Gesellschaft zur Betreibung der Waldeisenbahn mbH Weißwasser Contact: +49 (0)3576-207472 │ www.waldeisenbahn.de
The rooms of the permanent and special exhibitions in the New Castle, as well as the Pineapple Exhibition, are wheelchair-accessible. It is possible to circumvent the castle stairs with a wheelchair lift. Press the call button if you need any help. In the building itself, an elevator takes guests to the first and second floors. There is a wheelchair-accessible toilet on the ground floor. The castle tower is not wheelchair-accessible. At the entrance to the Castle Nursery, there is also a call button that wheelchair users, visitors with prams or walkers should press if they would like to visit the pineapple exhibition and the kitchen gardens. The paths in the central park are mostly covered with sand. Wheelchair access to the Blue Garden is limited because some of the paths have raised steps. The eastern side of the landscape garden in particular has a lot of steps.
- Access to all exhibitions
- Wheelchair lift by the castle stairs
Tours by bike, carriage, boat or train
Muskau Park is like a work of art. Its creator, Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, liked to call it “nature painting” himself. The “Green Prince’s” landscapes are well thought out. It is therefore worthwhile to take a guided tour and have Pückler’s philosophy, stylistic elements and design colours expertly explained to you. The Muskau Park Tourist Centre regularly offers guided tours of the landscape garden. Those planning a larger group visit can easily book a tour in advance.
Muskau Park Tourist Centre
The shop in the New Castle is full of more than just helpful brochures. Visitors can also find maps for hiking and other activists, postcards and a selection of high-quality literature, including publications from the “Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau” Foundation. Stationery, ceramics, scented soaps and various accessories with a garden theme complete the product range.
1 April to 31 October, daily 10 am–6 pm (limited opening hours from November to March)
For centuries, stoneware from Muskau was a speciality of local craftsmen, traded and exported at high prices. Visitors can get an impression of this tradition today in the Estate Farm Buildings with master potter Gordon Gran. There he sells his handmade ceramics, which are known and loved beyond the region. The store is also used by the craftsman as a workshop. Visitors can see the pottery being made.
1 April to 31 October, Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am–5 pm
Visitors looking for a souvenir can find one in the former coach house of the Muskau Estate Farm Buildings. There the Galerie UNIKAT offers a wide range of souvenirs. The products range from hand-painted ceramics and glasses to textile prints, spirits, liqueurs and spreads.
1 April to 31 October, daily 10 am–5 pm
Accommodations in Muskau Park
Spending the night in a World Heritage Site has a very special appeal. In the evening, when the last rays of sunshine stream through the trees or the mist rises from the meadows early in the morning, the park has a special charm. Visitors who want to experience the landscape garden for more than just a day and in complete peace and quiet can choose from four holiday apartments in the castle’s outlying estate.
Geopark Muskau Arch (UNESCO Global Geopark)
The Muskau Arch is considered one of the most beautiful pronounced push moraines in Central Europe. In 2015 the cultural and old mining region officially became a UNESCO Global Geopark. It has the shape of a large horseshoe and transcends borders from Brandenburg via Saxony to Poland. The river Neisse flows through the middle of it and cuts up to 30 metres deep into the land. Raw materials mining left behind a large number of attractive lakes in the area, some of which shimmer with magnificent colours. About 340,000 years ago, when thick blocks of ice moved south from Scandinavia, a glacier in what is now Lusatia drove the bedrock to a depth of 300 metres. Layers that were originally horizontal were then folded and erected. Lignite, clay and glass sand were pulled up from the depths. Dry sandy plateaus alternate with humid and swampy depressions. www.muskauer-faltenbogen.de
Europäischer Parkverbund Lausitz (European Park Association Lusatia)
The European Park Association Lusatia was founded in 2010 for the Pückler parks in Bad Muskau and Branitz as well as the Brühlsche Schlosspark in Brody/Pförten and the East German Rose Garden in Forst (Lusatia). Its aim is to preserve historical heritage and develop it regionally through joint projects. Their work includes publications and exhibitions, for example about the hostility between Frederick the Great and Count Brühl. The Park Association is considered an exemplary German-Polish cooperation project. It aims to expand progressively to bring the common European history of Saxony, Brandenburg and Lower Silesia to life. The network should therefore grow around the Rhododendron Park in Kromlau (link), the park in Altdöbern, the park in Neschwitz and the facilities in Zatonie (Günthersdorf) and Zagan (Sagan).
Muskau Park participates in the network “Schlösserland Sachsen” as a cooperation partner. This name refers to a supra-regional marketing initiative for Saxon palaces, castles, gardens and monasteries, which was initiated in 2005 by the Tourismus Marketing Gesellschaft Sachsen and the State Palaces, Castles and Gardens of Saxony, non-profit (SBG gGmbH). The advertising campaign is also funded by the Free State of Saxony. More than 50 state-owned and non-governmental buildings belong to the group. www.schloesserland-sachsen.de
The Lusatian League
Bautzen, Kamenz, Löbau, Görlitz, Zittau and Lauban (today Luban in Poland) achieved economic and cultural prosperity through a strong alliance: the Lusatian League. It was signed in 1346 and lasted for almost half a century. The cities joined forces to defend themselves against predatory attacks by the land-owning nobility. Löbau served as the seat of the Convention, where delegates of the six Allies met regularly. Magnificent town halls and bourgeois houses, medieval alleyways, richly decorated churches and well-fortified ramparts still define the historic towns today. You can discover many traces of its eventful history here. www.oberlausitz.com/ferien/kulturell/sechsstaedtebund.htm
The Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve)
The largest interconnected pond landscape in Germany lies southwest of Bad Muskau. For this reason, the water-rich area between Kamenz and Niesky is also called “the land of a thousand ponds”. The waters have been used since the 13 th century mainly for the cultivation of carp. Around 30,000 hectares of the region have been under special protection since 1994: as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. It is the only one in the Free State of Saxony. More than 5,200 plant and animal species are at home in the region, some of which are endangered. Among these are white-tailed eagles, Eurasian otters, cranes, woodlarks and marsh harriers. A visit to the House of Thousand Ponds (Haus der Tausend Teiche) in Wartha, the centre of the Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft Biosphere Reserve, is highly recommended. A multi-media exhibition is dedicated to pond management and focuses on carp farming in the changing seasons. The nature trail through the Guttau ponds begins close to the visitor and information centre. www.biosphaerenreservat-oberlausitz.de
Spreewald (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve)
Spreewald is a good hour’s drive northwest of Bad Muskau. One of the special features of the region is its intricate network of rivers and streams with a total length of 1,500 kilometres. The Spreewald’s distinctive river branches were formed during the last ice age. The charming floodplain landscape provides a protected habitat for around 5,000 animal and plant species, including rare animals such as the European fire-bellied toad, white-tailed eagle, green hawker and Eurasian otter. The old alder trees and the large wet meadows and moors are home to numerous plant species such as sundews, marsh rosemary, cranberry and cotton grass. Roughly 47,500 hectares of the Spreewald have been placed under special protection by UNESCO. A wide range of information about the biosphere reserve is available in three visitor centres: The Haus für Mensch und Natur in Lübbenau (House for People and Nature in Lübbenau), in the Alten Mühle in Schlepzig (Old Mill in Schlepzig) and the Schlossberghof Burg (Schlossberg Castle Courtyard). www.spreewald-biosphaerenreservat.de
Upper Lusatia by bike
Muskau Park is located directly on the Oder-Neisse Cycle Route, one of five nationwide cycle routes that run through Upper Lusatia. These include the Spreeradweg or the Froschradweg, which leads to Berlin. Cyclists also cross the border to Brandenburg on the Lower Lusatia Mining Tour (Niederlausitzer Bergbautour) or the Seenlandroute (Lakeland Route). There are also a number of themed routes, such as the Seeadler-Rundweg or the route with Sorbian sights. The Krabat-Rundweg trail in the city-triangle between Hoyerswerda, Kamenz and Bautzen follows the path of one of the most famous Sorbian folk tale figures. www.oberlausitz.com/ferien/aktiv/radwandern.htm
Starting in 1844, the landowner Friedrich Hermann Rötschke (1805 – 1893) had his property in Kromlau redesigned. Native and foreign trees were planted there, including weeping beech, 30-metre tall tulip trees, magnolias, catalpas, false cypresses and Platanus trees. Thousands of rhododendrons and free-range azaleas grew in the bog valleys. In spring, they create a magnificent sea of colourful blossoms that is unrivalled in Germany in terms of size and beauty. The charming park spans about 200 hectares in a district of the municipality of Gablenz. A special eye-catcher is the Rakotzbrücke, also called the “Devil’s Bridge”. It was built between 1863 and 1882 from basalt and field stones. The impressive arched bridge is 35 metres long and spans Lake Rakotz. When reflected by the water surface, it forms a full circle and is thus probably the most famous photo motif of Kromlau Park. The buildings from the middle of the 19 th century include the Old Palace and the Cavalier’s House. www.kromlau-online.de/index.php/der-park
Glassmakers town Weißwasser
Weißwasser grew up with fragile goods. The town developed into a stronghold of the glass industry from the end of the 19th century onwards. The glassmaker’s fountain located directly in front of the main station is reminiscent of the tradition. If you want to understand the city’s special industrial history, a visit to the glass museum is worthwhile. Guests will be given an insight into the work of the famous product designer Wilhelm Wagenfeld and others. The Bauhaus student was artistic director of the Vereinigte Lausitzer Glaswerke (Union of Lautzner Glass workers) in Weißwasser. The zoo and the bath at Jahnteich, the Muskau Forest Railway or the ice skating area are other points of interest for those visiting the city, where two companies still continue the glass industry tradition. www.glasmuseum-weisswasser.de
The rustic “scrap” timber houses on the outskirts of Rietschen look cosy and comfortable. Most of the buildings in the small settlement are from villages that had to be moved to make way for lignite mining. The 300-year-old buildings were carefully removed and rebuilt in Rietschen at the Erlichtteich pond, in accordance with the original. The Erlichthof first opened as a museum in 1994. The exhibition in various buildings of the farmstead illustrates the daily life of the heather farmers. The settlement has a total of more than 20 “scrap” timber houses, which include a nature and tourist information centre, wolf barn, stone oven bakery, weaving house, ceramic barn and farm shop. The charming ensemble shows off a unique construction method. Three years before felling, the bark of the trees selected for house building was cut off. This allowed resin to accumulate in the trunk, naturally preserving the wood. The trunks were later roughly shod with a Schrotaxt, a “scrap axe”. The houses are named “scrap” after this axe. The heather farmers laid the square-cut beams on top of each other without dowelling and sealed them with a layer of fern, moss and felt. www.erlichthofsiedlung.de
Nochten Erratic Park
Around 7000 geological heavyweights constitute the landscape garden in the Boxberg district of Nochten, which is unique in Europe: the Lusatian Erratic Park. The Nochten opencast lignite mine and the Boxberg power plant frame the approximately 20-hectare site. Simultaneously, the connection to mining is evident, as the stones that give the park its name were uncovered when the mine’s operation. The glacial erratics came to Lausitz during the ice age. These huge masses pushed their way in from Scandinavia across the country and flattened entire mountain ranges. Some of the boulders resisted the momentum and were left as erratic blocks in Eastern Saxony where they came to light again during coal mining. In Nochten they were included in the design of the park, which was opened in 2003. There is a circular path leading through heather, stone and pond gardens, natural heather and moorland. The pond, of which only one end can be seen when standing on the bank, was designed based on examples of Asian garden art. The geological nature trail offers a foray through “Little Scandinavia”. The manifold flora has been laid out in such a way that something blooms in almost every season. www.lausitzer-findlingspark-nochten.com
Lusatian Lake District
In the past few years, numerous former lignite mines between Berlin and Dresden have been transformed into lakes. Closed opencast mines were flooded to create the largest man-made water landscape in Europe. More than 20 artificial lakes are part of this spectacular water world. In the future, 10 of these lakes will be connected by navigable canals. The first of these waterways, the Barbara Canal, was opened in 2003 between Lake Geierswald and Lake Partwitz. The Lusatian Lake District is near the Muskau Park, the closest of the lakes is Lake Bärwald. The northern bank of Pückler’s landscape garden is only about 25 kilometres away. Thanks to its 23-kilometre-long circular route, a harbour and beautiful beaches, Saxony’s largest body of water has already become a magnet for water sports enthusiasts, cyclists and skaters. www.lausitzerseenland.de