Herrenhausen Garden in Hanover

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Großen Garten
Großen Garten

[ source: Wikipedia]

Commissioned by the Electress Sophie, Herrenhausen Garden, located in Hanover, is one of the most famous Baroque gardens in Europe. The garden reflects a strong Dutch Baroque influence, as Sophie spent her childhood in the Netherlands, and Martin Charbonnier, her French landscape designer, was trained in Holland. Herrenhausen is composed of four separate gardens: the Great Garden, the Berggarten, the Welfengarten, and the Georgengarten.

Located at the center of the Herrenhausen Garden complex, the Great Garden dates from 1666, and was designed by Charbonnier. This garden comprises 50 hectares of strongly geometric walkways, lawns, and hedges, decorated with statuary. Unfortunately, the garden was severely damaged in a 1943 bombing raid of Hanover. Recognizing Herrenhausen's international importance, the British royal family had asked that the RAF spare the castle and garden, but these were bombed nonetheless. This area was reconstructed after the war. Today, during the summer months, the Great Garden attracts crowds of visitors to its festivals and activities, such as the Kleinkunst Festival (Festival of Small Arts) and the Festwochen Herrenhausen (Festival Week Herrenhausen). The Garden Theater is used for open air theatrical productions. The orangery hosts art exhibits and classical music performances. During the summer, visitors are attracted to the park after dark because of the illumination of the statues, fountains, and hedges in the Great Garden. The Great Fountain in the center of the garden is an attraction in its own right. It became operational in 1719, and at this time, the fountain was the highest of any European court (35 meters). Furthermore, the so-called hedge theater in the Great Garden is the oldest in Germany and is in still used for productions today. Another, more recent attraction is the art grotto installed in the garden by Niki de Saint Phalle.

The Berggarten was erected in 1666 as a vegetable garden, but it later became a location for the breeding of exotic plants. In 1846, a conservatory was built here, and it eventually sheltered the most exhaustive and valuable collection of palms in Europe. Today, the greenhouse here contains 800 blooming orchids and plants from all over the world. The Berggarten is also the location of a 300-year-old lime tree allee that leads to the mausoleum of the Royal House of Hanover.

Like the other parts of Herrenhausen Garden, the Welfengarten was destroyed in World War II, and it was subsequently rebuilt as the center of the new University of Hannover (Hannover vacation rentals | Hannover travel guide). Lastly, the Georgengarten was laid out in the 19th century according to English landscape garden ideals (wide lawns, curving paths, carefully placed trees). The Georgenpalais is now home to the popular Wilhelm Busch Museum - German Museum of Caricature and Critical Graphic Art.

[ source: wikipedia.org ]

About this Article

Rachel Hildebrandt

This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.

Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Herrenhäuser Straße 4, 30419 Hannover, Germany

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