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.
Opening hours: 01st April till 31st October 2023, daily from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
“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.
Permanent exhibition in the castle tower
“The little town of Muskau”
The permanent exhibition in the castle tower focuses on the birthplace of the famous park creator and traces the history of the town from its foundation in 1268 to the present day. Until the expropriation of the last lords of the manor, the Counts of Arnim, in July 1945, the development of Muskau, as the town was still called until 1961, was closely linked to the lordship of the manor. With the reorganization of the world after 1945 by the Allied victorious powers and the resulting division of the town, reconstruction took place in the newly founded GDR, which belonged to the socialist community of states. Another upheaval and new beginning is the new political turn in 1989.
Historical film footage, photos and exhibits, as well as audio stations, bear witness to the changes in urban development, industry, crafts, trade and club life, and create a vivid picture of the everyday life of Bad Muskau’s inhabitants.
The exhibition was created through the initiative and work of the association Freundeskreis Historica Bad Muskau and other volunteers.
In the southwest tower of Muskau Castle, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the vast park landscape and its surroundings. From a height of 35 metres, visitors can view Pückler’s Garden Empire from a different perspective. One ticket gives guests access to both the Castle Tower and the respective special exhibition on the 2nd floor.
Opening hours: 01st April 2023 till 31st October 2023, daily from 10:00 am to 06:00 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)
Risen from Ruins
Muskau Castle Ruins – 50 Years of Imagination Place for Chimeras, Reveries and Visions
Photo exhibition on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of reconstruction
from 01st April till 11th June 2023 daily from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
In 1945, the New Palace burned down to the outer walls. In the following GDR decades, attempts were made to preserve the ensemble with its buildings within the framework of the available, modest resources with sometimes respectful commitment on the western side of the park. Plans as well as studies were also drafted with the aim of restoring the palace with new functions of use, without, however, there having been a point in time when the material prerequisites and the political will for a realization had really existed. The title of the exhibition “Risen from Ruins …” thus only became a program from 1992 – after the transfer of ownership from the town of Bad Muskau to the Free State of Saxony.
The re-emergence of the historical character and the revitalization of the formerly representative, private residential building as a “democratic castle”, which was actually no longer considered possible after almost 50 years of being in ruins, ended – in terms of its external appearance – 10 years ago. A small anniversary, which sets the occasion to recall the long half century of existence as a picturesque ruin, which in many cases evoked dreams, visions and chimeras, as well as the miracle of reconstruction.
Opening hours: 01st April till 31st October 2023, daily from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
Since 2012, pineapples have been once again growing in the castle nursery in Muskau Park. Pückler’s grandfather, Hermann Graf von Callenberg, was the first to grow pineapples in Bad Muskau. Park designer Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871) later took up this challenge. The exhibition ” Pineapple! The Queen of Fruits in Muskau Park” in the castle nursery illuminates the cultural history of exotic fruits in this unique location and in general. The greenhouses and the kitchen garden with its trellis fruit wall were reconstructed according to historical models. The various planting methods of the beds with vegetables and herbs also reflect the traditions of Pückler’s kitchen garden outdoors.
The restoration of the domed building in the Spa Park was completed in 2015. Even the ferrous sulfate spring had been reconstructed. During the peak season, the building is open on selected Sundays and holidays. It has an exhibition on the history of the Hermann’s Bath. The exhibition illustrates how Prince Pückler, Prince Frederick of the Netherlands and Count Arnim’s tried to transform Muskau into a flourishing bath destination.
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. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee guided tours for groups which are not booked in advance.
Regulations and fees (valid as of 01.01.2019):
Open guided tours
Meeting place at Muskauer Park Tourist Centre (New Castle) from April till October.
On saturdays, sundays and public holidays at 02:00 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 tours, especially for spa and hotel guests in Bad Muskau: year-round on Saturdays starting at 02:00 pm at the Kulturhotel Fürst-Pückler-Park (Market).
Guided tours for cyclists are available on request. We recommend to reserve rental bikes in advance if required.
This tour will show visitors 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.
Contact: +49 (0)35771 63 – 100 | email@example.com
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 age of 6 till 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: +49 (0)35771 63 100 | 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.
Contact: Phone +49 (0)35771 63 – 100 | Fax +49 (0)35771 63 – 109 | email@example.com
Opening hours: 01st April 2023 till 31st October 2023, daily from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
Paths are a walker’s silent guides… Pückler-Muskau, Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1834
Entrance fees (valid since 01st January 2019):
|“Pückler!” Exhibition||Castle Tower +
|Combined admission “Pückler!”
Exhibition and Castle Tower +
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 – 4 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.|
- The access to Muskau Park is free.
Plan your route with Google Maps Directions to Bad Muskau:
- from Berlin and Cottbus on the A 15 via the B 115
- from Dresden and Bautzen on the A 4 via the B 156
- from Görlitz via the B 115
Visitor parking for a fee for cars and tour buses is located at Neißedamm. Visitors should follow the signs to Muskau Park (or Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau).
Muskau Park can be reached by bicycle using several nationwide bike paths that lead through the landscape garden along the Neisse River. A bike shop that rents bikes is located in the Estate Farm Buildings.
- Oder-Neisse Cycle Path: 630 km from the source of the river Neisse to the Szczecin Lagoon
- Fürst-Pückler-Weg (Fürst-Pückler Path): 500 km on the tracks of Pückler
- Froschradweg (Frog cycle path): 260 km through the Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft
Further information is available from the Marketing-Gesellschaft Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien GmbH
Contact: +49(0)3591 48 770 │ www.radwandern-oberlausitz.de
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 80). 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 Omnisbusverkehr Oberlausitz
Contact: +49 (0)3588 25 91 730 (Information: Mon – Fri, 07:00 am – 05:00 pm) │ www.ov-oberlausitz.de
Gesellschaft zur Betreibung der Waldeisenbahn mbH Weißwasser
Contact: +49 (0)3576 20 74 72 │ 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
Park Rules at Muskau Park
Muskau Park is a work of garden art with universal significance and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Pedestrians have absolute priority throughout the park.
- Access with motorised vehicles of all kinds is only permitted with a special permit and at walking speed.
- Biking in the park is only allowed on the designated paths, and not in the flower gardens.
- Dogs must be kept on a leash.
- Rubbish generated during a park visit must be disposed of in the waste bins available in the central park area. Waste in the peripheral areas of the park must be taken with you and disposed of in another suitable place. Polluting, leaving waste in the park outside the waste bins and illegal waste disposal are prohibited.
- Commercial activities of any kind require permission (e.g. photography and filming for commercial purposes are not permitted).
- Without special permission open fires, barbecues and fireworks are strictly prohibited.
- If you enter the park in the dark and/or in bad weather, particularly in high wind, storms or gales (wind force 8 or above), you do so at your own risk. Limited Winter Maintenance.
Violations of the parking regulations will be punished.
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.
… if the park is a compact, idealized nature, then the garden is a more spacious dwelling. Pückler-Muskau, Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1834
Muskau Park is easy to explore by bike. With a few exceptions, cycling is not only permitted but also recommended. After all, this spacious landscape garden stretches over an area of around 830 hectares on both sides of the Neisse. If you don’t have your own bike with you, you can rent a suitable one for a spontaneous ride at the Estate Farm Buildings.
Contact: +49 (0)172 38 64 778
Opening hours: 01st April till 31st October – daily from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
Pückler encouraged his visitors to explore Muskau Park in a horse-drawn carriage. Given a network of roads with a total length of around 50 kilometres, a leisurely tour in a carriage with 2 horsepower seems entirely appropriate. Follow the Prince’s advice and climb aboard for a relaxing and unforgettable experience in the World Heritage Site. The carriage rides start at the Estate Farm Buildings (exit towards the New Castle).
Carriage ride provides on the German side
For public carriage rides or hired carriage rides and coach rides (not available for the Polish side of the park).
Reit- und Fahrtouristik N&N
Contact: +49 (0)3576 21 86 718 | +49 (0)177 31 61 633 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.reit-fahrtouristik-gablenz.de
Reiterhof zum Tannengrund
Contact: +49 (0)35771 63 950 | +49 (0)151 52 13 14 20 | email@example.com | www.reiterhof-lisk.de
Pückler spared neither cost nor effort to realize his ideas. In Muskau he created an artificial stream in the park and directed it through like a branch of a natural river. The Hermann’s Neisse is the design trick of a master,but it is not suitable for a boat trip. Nevertheless, those who would like to see the garden artist’s work from the water can climb into an inflatable boat at the old weir not far from the Orangery. From there a two-and-a-half-hour tour on the Neisse River leads to Żarki Wielkie (Groß Särchen), where the boaters can be picked up by buses. The water excursions can be booked directly with
Contact: +49 (0)700 018 188 88 (3 cent/min) | www.neisse-tours.de
The Muskau Forest Railway runs from Weißwasser to the park city along the Neisse. In 1895, the narrow-gauge line originally went into operation for the “Gräflich von Arnimsche Kleinbahn” to connect the estate-owned factories. After the tracks were dismantled in the late 1970s, the line to Bad Muskau was reopened in 1995. In May 2017, the extended route was turned over to the tourist railway and has since been running to the rear of the former bathhouse. On specific days, the forest railway heads for Muskau Park with a steam locomotive at the head. Otherwise, the line is usually run by diesel locomotives. The exact times can be found on the timetable.
Need a Pückler (Neapolitan) ice cream? The café in the Estate Farm Buildings has the tricoloured ice cream on its menu. You can linger under shady chestnut trees in the Estate Farm Buildings’ courtyard and try this lovingly handmade speciality. Guests can take a seat outside or in the cosy lounge can choose from a tempting selection of drinks, cakes, ice cream and small plates.
Hermann Vorwerg (renter)
02953 Bad Muskau
Contact: Phone +49 (0)35771 644 88 | Fax +49 (0)35771 571 99 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.cafe-vorwerg-badmuskau.de
Monday & Tuesday closed
Wednesday till Sunday 11:00 am to 06:00 pm
The villa with the striking tower was one of the lodging houses built at the end of the 19th century. It was built in parallel to the expansion of Hermann’s bath. Today, as then, the Turmvilla is a cosy house in which you can stay the night and dine. The Hotel with the Bistro is located on the southwestern edge of the Spa Park.
Turmvilla Bad Muskau
02953 Bad Muskau
Currently there is no restaurant or accommodation available.
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.
Contact: Phone +49 (0)35771 63 – 100 | Fax +49 (0)35771 63 – 109| email@example.com
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.
Contact: +49 (0)175 80 70 356 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.toepferei-gran.de
Opening hours: 01st April till 31st October 2023, Tuesday till Sunday from 11:00 am to 05:00 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.
Contact: +49 (0)35771 688 48 | email@example.com | www.galerieunikat.de
Opening hours: 01 Aprilst till 31st October 2023, daily from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm
Accommodations in Muskau Park
Spending the night in the World Heritage Site has a very special charm. When the last rays of sunlight shine through the treetops in the evening or the mist rises from the meadows early in the morning, the park unfolds a special magic. For visitors who want to experience the landscape garden for more than just a day and in complete peace and quiet, there are four vacation apartments available in the castle antebellum.
MUSKAUER BREWERY AND DUTCH COURT
The industrial building from the middle of the 19th century, which has been empty for years, originally functioned as an effective park entrance. Visible to everyone, the imposing brick building stands directly at the junction between the old town of Bad Muskau and the landscape artwork. Built in 1844/1845, the complex of brewery and “Niederländischer Hof” is considered an outstanding work by Ludwig Persius, a student of the Prussian chief architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The most important building in terms of art history from the time of Prince Pückler-Muskau is also part of the original building stock of the two-state landscape garden on the Neisse. In 2018, the redevelopment of the entire site began. In the future, some of the buildings are to be returned to their original use as a brewery with a restaurant and converted into rental apartments.
Geopark Muskau Arch (UNESCO Global Geopark)
The Muskau Folded 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).
The Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve)
Southwest of Bad Muskau begins the largest contiguous pond landscape in Germany. 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
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
Glassmaking city Weißwasser
Weißwasser grew up with fragile goods. From the end of the 19th century, the town developed into a stronghold of the glass industry. 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
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 path, one of five supra-regional cycling 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
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
Erratic block park Nochten
Around 7000 geological heavyweights constitute the landscape garden in the Boxberg district of Nochten, which is unique in Europe: the Lusatian Erratic block 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.findlingspark-nochten.de
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
UNESCO 5 – Great Heritage
Nowhere else in the world you will find five UNESCO awards in four different categories in such a small area: In constant flux, Lusatia is unique with its cultural and natural heritage that even transcends national borders. UNESCO awards different distinctions to highlight the special nature of a place, a building, a region or tradition.
Lusatia can boast itselfs with five UNESCO awards in these four different categories:
- UNESCO World Heritage Site – Muskauer Park/ Park Mużakowski,
- UNESCO Global Geopark – UNESCO Global Geopark Muskau Folded Arch/ Łuk Mużakowa,
- UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – Spreewald & The Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft,
- Intangible Cultural Heritage – The Sorbs and Lusatian Blueprinting.