Muskau Park – A magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Boyfriend and I visited my family in Dresden in July last year. We usually fly over in December for Christmas so spending time there in the summer was a welcome change.
We took a trip to Bad Muskau and explored its absolutely gorgeous Fürst-Pückler-Park (Muskau Park), which is the largest and one of the most famous English gardens of Germany and Poland.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, this unique park stretches over 5.6 km2 (2.21 sq mi) in two countries – Germany and Poland. About 2/3 of the park are in Poland and I strongly recommend venturing a bit further from the main tourist area and exploring these parts. There are no border checks as Poland participates in the Schengen Area.
Its name comes from the founder, Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, who had studied in England for a prolonged time and returned in 1815 to lay out the park and establish an international school of landscape management in Bad Muskau.
The Neue Schloss (New Castle), a magnificent neo-renaissance building, was burned down in 1945 and has since been lovingly restored. Prince von Pückler-Muskau also remodelled the Baroque “Old Castle” – actually a former castle gate – and constructed a Gothic Revival chapel, an English cottage, several bridges, and the beautiful orangery.
He designed the park with elaborate groves, flowers and strategically placed buildings so no matter which angle you are looking from you have a scenic panoramic view.
There’s even an ice cream named after the Prince – Pückler Eis. You can try this delicious cold treat in the Cafe Fürst Pückler located in the courtyard of the estate farm.
Bad Muskau is a spa town in the Oberlausitz (Upper Lusatia) region, close the border of Poland. The majority of this region belongs to the state Sachsen (Saxony), some small parts fall under Brandenburg and Poland.
It’s a beautiful part of the country with historic towns, impressive castles and home to the Sorbs (Wends), a Slavic ethnic minority with their own unique language and traditions.
After World War II Bad Muskau was divided along the Neiße River between East Germany and the Republic of Poland.
GOOD TO KNOW
The easiest way to get there is by car. It takes about 1 1/2 hours from Dresden, Saxony’s capital, and makes for a lovely day trip. You can also stay in the 4* spa hotel Kulturhotel Fürst Pückler Park which is ideally located near the entrance to Muskau Park.
You can explore Fürst-Pückler-Park by foot, boat, carriage or bicycle. I strongly recommend renting a bike as the distances are vast and you will be able to cover a lot more ground this way. There’s no entry fee for the park itself, but if you choose to visit the exhibition or castle there is a small fee, see here.
Bikes can be hired within the park grounds near the estate farm buildings. You can either turn up on the day but booking in advance is recommended in peak season (Company: Fahrrad-Nowak, Tel: +49 172 3864778).
The boat trip takes 2 1/2 hours going down the River Neiße to Żarki Wielkie and returning by bus. This trip can be organised through Neiße Tours.
I recommend visiting in peak or shoulder season between April and October to make use of the bike rental and boat trips. You can visit during the winter but make sure you go on a weekend or public holiday, otherwise the cafe facilities are not open.
Need more information?
There’s one English website where you can find out more information.
You can also ask me if you have any questions or want to plan your trip there! 🙂