Thursday, 15 August 2013

Bad Muskau

Continuing on from the mad bridge in the rhododendron gardens of Kromlau as we headed towards the Oder-Neiße bike trail, we found ourselves in the park and gardens around the New and Old Schlosses at Bad Muskau.

Das Neue Schloss
This was an unexpected pleasure; we had read about the famous Fürst Pückler Park (it is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage areas), but nothing prepared us for how large and beautiful it is. Of course, we might be pre-disposed to appreciate its charms as the parks designer, Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau, was very much influenced by English ideas of architecture and landscape design. We also know him from his park on the outskirts of Cottbus - the one with the earth pyramids - and we also love his ice cream! (or rather the three-layered vanilla/chocolate/strawberry ice cream made by Royal Prussian court cook, Jungius Louis Ferdinand which Prince Pückler made famous by writing about in his cookbook).

Anyway, shame we couldn't spend more time here, but here are a few photos to remind us to return when we have more time.

Altes Schloss

Two-thirds of the park are actually in Poland, and it wasn't until 27 December 2007 when Poland implemented the Shengen Agreement that you could pass this border-post without needing to show your papers!

The Polish Border

The landscaped park looks enticing to explore, with delightful little features like this waterfall at every turn.

It is disturbing to recall that the three bridges over the river Neiße here, and the Old and New Castles, were all demolished in the Battle of Berlin at the close of World War II. But edifying too to see how the park and castles have been restored to their former glory, and that the park has got its UNESCO World Heritage status because of the co-operation between Germany and Poland in making this area open to the public with visitors from both countries mingling together to enjoy it.

One to return to, but we had the rest of our 50km bike-ride to complete!

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