You love flowers, trees and going on walks? Here are some castle parks with flowering beds and cleverly staged landscapes. Best of all: the green works of art are also eco-oases for many plant and animal species
Flowery: Schlossgarten Rain
Rain is a lovely town on the Lech, near where it flows into the Danube. It is located on the Romantic Road. The late Gothic castle in the north of the old town was completed in 1421 under Duke Ludwig the Bearded of Bavaria-Ingolstadt. Behind the castle, there is a small, pretty garden that merges into the large city park.
It was redesigned for the 2009 State Garden Show and is part of the “Rainer Grüngürtel” – flowering parks. They enclose the entire old town. Rain also calls itself the “flower city”. From the city park, it’s just a short hop to the large Dehner flower park with its show garden and nature garden. The floodplain landscape on the nearby Lech also spoils you with lots of greenery.
rain.de (only in German)
Schwanseepark: Gentian and Orchids
Hohenschwangau Castle in the Allgäu is a little overshadowed by the fairytale castle Neuschwanstein, but for friends of extensive park walks it is the first address. Since the Wittelsbach Duke Albrecht issued a fertiliser ban in the mid-1980s, gentians, orchids and more than 50 endangered species are once again growing in the meadows of the Swan Lake Park, which covers more than 60 hectares and is criss-crossed by numerous hiking trails.
This is not a “styled” show garden, but an unspoilt piece of nature that hardly shows its planned layout.
Schlosspark Unterwittelsbach: Where Sisi Played
With its mighty oaks and beeches, the park surrounding the Unterwittelsbach moated castle in the Swabian town of Aichach shows its most beautiful side in autumn. Duke Max of Bavaria went hunting there. Sometimes his daughter Elisabeth, who later became famous as the Austrian Empress Sisi, was also present.
A four-kilometre walk follows their footsteps through the park, accompanied by informative panels and “listening points” where local speakers bring the story to life.
Schlosspark Rosenau: Sighs of the Queen
A beautiful landscape garden surrounds Rosenau Castle to the north-east of the city of Coburg. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg was born there in 1819 and visited his homeland some 25 years later with his wife Queen Victoria. And the British monarch sighed: “If I were not what I am, I would have my true home here!” Her sentimental mood is said to have led to the idea of releasing black swans into the park's small lake. To this day, a pair of “mourning swans” swims there.
Park Schönbusch: English Style
One of the oldest and most beautiful parks in the style of English landscape gardens is Schönbusch Park near Aschaffenburg, which was designed by garden artist Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell from 1775. Artificial lakes and watercourses, colourful flowerbeds, a labyrinth and the picturesque “Red Bridge” make the walk a very special pleasure.
For the sake of the idyllic rural effect, the grounds around the classicist summer palace were even supplemented by a village in the forest, where Scottish Highland cattle graze all year round.
Hofgarten Eremitage: Great Garden Cinema
In 1735, Margrave Friedrich gave the Old Hermitage Palace in Bayreuth, which had been built 20 years earlier, to his wife Wilhelmine, who immediately set about redesigning the gardens. She had romantic arcades, artificial ruins, the “Temple of the Sun” and an orangery built.
The impressive grotto and water features, which operate regularly from May to October, also date back to Wilhelmine’s time. This makes it one big garden cinema, which you can also watch from dainty benches.
Schloss Neuburg am Inn: Precious Grotto
Flowering perennials and lush rose bushes have adorned the compact “paradise garden” dating back to the 17th century about 15 kilometres from Passau. Bright purple lavender borders frame the paths to the baroque shell grotto.
Countless shells are assembled there into ornaments and blossoms that not only sparkle in the sunlight but are also reflected by curved mirrors, just like the visitors. It’s fun for children too!
passauer-land.de (only in German)
Schlosspark Falkenstein: Past the Frog's Mouth
The history of Falkenstein Castle, the landmark of the Bavarian Forest, dates back to the 11th century. At its feet lies one of the largest nature and rock parks in Bavaria. Not a meticulously styled garden, but the realm of mighty giant trees and curiously shaped rocks like the green mossy “frog’s mouth”. You can hike through the park on shady paths on four beautiful tours – a relief on hot days.
Schlosspark Linderhof: On the Trail of King Ludwig II
With an area of 58 hectares, the park of the neo-Rococo Linderhof Castle in the Ammergau Alps offers ample opportunity for strolling. Gently curving paths lead through cleverly staged landscapes, overlooked by an impressive mountain backdrop.
King Ludwig II had every detail, every visual axis designed for maximum effect. Playful buildings such as the Moorish Kiosk or the Hunding Hut invite you to take a break. The famous Venus Grotto is closed for renovation until 2024.
Schlosspark Schönau: Magnolias at the Moated Castle
The medieval moated castle north of Rottal-Inn has been privately owned by the same family since 1670, but the garden is open to the public. It was none other than the Royal Bavarian Court Garden Director Carl von Effner who began designing the park in 1867, following the example of the English Garden in Munich.
The magnolias already blossom in spring, and other exotic species such as sugar maple or Japanese larches have also been planted around the quiet park pond.
gemeinde-schoenau.de (only in German)
Landschaftsgarten Gasteiger: A Hidden Gem
On the busy cycle path along the western shore of the Ammersee, it is worth stopping at Holzhausen for a short stroll through a hidden gem. The Künstlerhaus Gasteiger is a magnificent Art Nouveau villa in an enchanted landscape park full of colourful flowerbeds.
Anna-Sophie, the wife of the sculptor Mathias Gasteiger, had the park laid out at the beginning of the 20th century and used it as inspiration for her flower paintings.
Hofgarten Schleißheim: A Symphony of Colourfulness
A classical, strictly geometrically structured Baroque garden full of ornamental beds, sculptures and an impressive cascade, which has hardly been changed up to the present day, awaits those interested in culture north of Munich.
Canals structure the terrain, and water fountains shoot up in many places. In summer, a total of 56,000 flowers in the vibrant colours of red, yellow and blue form the central flower parterre – a symphony of colour guaranteed to put you in a good mood.