Muskau Park is actually one of Poland and Germany’s largest and most famous outdoor parks. Muskau Park covers over 3.5 square kilometers in Poland and another 2.1 kilometers in Germany. Visitors from all over the world come to see the park. In fact, the center of the park is one of its biggest draws. The heart of Muskau Park is referred to as The Park on Terraces and consists of partially wooded areas on the east bank of the Lusatian Neisse. The rest of the park features breathtaking views and artificial watercourses.
Muskau Park was founded and originally designed by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau between 1815 and 1845. In 1845, he was forced to sell the park to a Dutch prince, who in turn employed Eduard Petzold to finish the park’s development. Pückler-Muskau’s grand plans have been expanded and complemented over the years by others. Ever since its development, Muskau Park has been applauded for its landscape design and beauty.
Part of the original design of Muskau Park included a remodeled Old Castle, the introduction of the New Castle, a Gothic chapel, an English cottage, and several bridges. The original intention was that the New Castle would be the heart, or center of the park with many footpaths surrounding it and leading to it. The castle would sit in the center with the paths extending in all directions from it.
Many know the overall design of Muskau Park as a “painting with plants”. While many parks and landscape designs try to recreate paradise or perfection, the design of this park implements local plants to complement the natural qualities of the existing landscape and area. Muskau Park was also designed to blend into the surrounding farmed landscape almost seamlessly.
Many years later, the serene park was devastated during the Battle of Berlin. The bridges and both castles were destroyed. The park, once joining the two countries of Germany and Poland, was divided in 1945. In the late 1960s, the Old Castle was restored, however continuing efforts to rebuild the bridges and New Castle are underway. The plans hope to restore the park to its former glory and connect the two cities once again.
While many critics praise Muskau Park to be advanced in regards to its landscape architecture, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently added the park to the World Heritage List because the park is a collaborative effort between the two cultures of Poland and Germany. If any visit to the areas of Poland or Germany in which the park is located, it is highly suggested that some time be spent at this beautiful park on either the Polish or German side.