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Muskau Park

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puckner_1The Muskau Park (Park Mużakowski), is the largest and one of the most famous English gardens of Germany and Poland.

Situated in the historic Upper Lusatia region, it covers 3.5 square kilometers (1.4 sq mi) of land in Poland and 2.1 km2 (0.81 sq mi) in Germany. The park extends on both sides of the Lusatian Neisse river, which constitutes the border between the countries. The 17.9 km2 (6.9 sq mi) buffer zone around the park encompassed the German town Bad Muskau (Upper Sorbian: Mužakow) in the West and Polish Łęknica (Wjeska, former Lugknitz) in the East. While Muskau Castle is situated west of the river, the heart of the park are the partially wooded raised areas on the east bank called The Park on Terraces. In 2003 a pedestrian bridge spanning the Neisse was rebuilt to connect both parts.

On July 2, 2004, UNESCO added the park to its World Heritage List, as an exemplary example of cross-border cultural collaboration between Poland and Germany. It was added to the list on two criteria: for breaking new ground in terms of development towards the ideal man-made landscape, and for its influence on the development of landscape architecture as a discipline.

What to do?

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Since 2008 visitors can enter the "New Castle", with number of halls and constant exhibition dedicated to the Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau.

Visitors can take a guided tour around the park, or jump into the boat to admire park from the water... or, as Prince Pückler recommended to his guests you can travel around the park with horse and carriage.

Park can also be visited by bikes, which you can rent in the castle farm.

For those who want to stay a bit longer, park offers number of apartments.
Park is also famous from traditional stoneware, typical blue sky and vivid yellow-brown handmade ceramics are well known in the region.

There is also Café shop serving Pückler homemade ice creams, in traditional brown, yellow and red colours.

History

pucknerA fortress on the Neisse river at Muskau was first mentioned as early as in the 13th under the rule of Margrave Henry III of Meissen. The founder of the adjacent park was Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871), the author of the influential Hints on Landscape Gardening and owner of the state country of Muskau since 1811. After prolonged studies in England, in 1815 during the time when the northeastern part of Upper Lusatia fell to Prussia, he laid out 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 which would envelop the town "in a way not done before on such a grand scale".

The works involved remodelling the Baroque "Old Castle" - actually a former castle gate - and the construction of a Gothic chapel, an English cottage, several bridges, and an orangery designed by Friedrich Ludwig Persius. Pückler reconstructed the medieval fortress as the "New Castle", the compositional centre of the park, with a network of paths radiating from it and a pleasure ground influenced by the ideas of Humphry Repton, whose son John Adey worked at Muskau from 1822 on. The extensions went on until 1845, when Pückler due to his enormous debts was constrained to sell the patrimony. The next year it was acquired by Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, who employed Eduard Petzold, Pückler's disciple and a well-known landscape gardener, to complete his design. Upon his death in 1881, he was followed by his daughter Princess Marie, who sold the estates to the Arnim noble family.

During the Battle of Berlin, both castles were levelled and all four bridges across the Neisse were razed. The Arnims were dispossessed by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany and since the implementation of the Oder-Neisse line in 1945, the park has been divided by the state border between Poland and Germany, with two thirds of it on the Polish side. Not before the 1960s the Communist authorities slowly accepted the legacy of the "Junker" Prince Pückler. The Old Castle was rebuilt by the East German administration in 1965-72, while the New Castle and the bridges are still being restored.

After the Revolutions of 1989 the German and Polish administration joined forces on the redevelopment of the park ensemble. Since Poland entered into the Schengen Area in 2007, visitors may freely explore both parts of the park without cross-border controls.

How to get there?

From Wroclaw (196km)


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From Zielona Gora (83km)


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Source: Wikipedia
Text available under Creative Commons Licence
What to do? Copyright © TraveltoPoland.pl. All rights reserverd.
Top Photo © detlef menzel - Fotolia.com; Mid Photo © Sebastian Wolter - Fotolia.com; Bottom Photo © Udo Kruse - Fotolia.com


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