Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm

Spread out over 143 square kilometres along the Elbe, the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm is the ultimate in terms of garden design on Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve. Its flowing transitions between nature and cultural landscape make the Garden Realm one of the most important examples of landscape architecture in Europe. Numerous parks, palaces and gardens are embedded into the floodplain landscape. The most famous part of the Garden Realm is Wörlitzer Park. It was planted during the regency of Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau between 1764 and 1800. The park’s landscape has abundant areas of water as it was built on a cut-off side arm of the Elbe. It is considered to be the first German landscape park laid out in the English style. Created during the era of Enlightenment, the park also had an educational mission that included horticulture, agriculture and architecture. The Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage of Humanity list since November 2000.  Not far from Wörlitzer Park you can find Luisium Palace. Located in a park in Dessau-Waldersee it is one of the first classicist palaces in Germany. Prince Franz had it built in 1774 for his wife Luise, who the building was named after. Other parks within the Garden Realm are the palace gardens at Oranienbaum, the Georgium, Mosigkau, Kühnauer Landscape Park in Dessau and Sieglitzer Park between Vockerode and Dessau. The Garden Realm is only a part of the cultural garden heritage in Saxony-Anhalt. In 2000 the Ministry of Economics and Technology joined forces with the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs to bring to life the project “Garden Dreams” Historical Parks in Saxony-Anhalt. Of the nearly 1,000 gardens and parks, 40 of the most important, including all of the parks in the Garden Realm, were selected and incorporated into one network.

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