The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz

A uniquely beautiful landscape in the middle of Germany

As many as 100 intellectual figures created literary monuments in the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz in the past two centuries, and millions have since enjoyed what an enlightened prince gave to mankind: 142 square kilometres of the Garden of Eden around the former royal residence of the princes of Anhalt-Dessau.

Inspired by the experience of his educational journeys through Europe (the ‘Grand Tour’, as he called it), Prince Franz (1740-1817), together with his many gardeners and his friend and architect Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff (1736-1800), converted his princedom into a garden kingdom over a period of 40 years, a realm which is unique by European standards. It was therefore no surprise, when the garden was ennobled by UNESCO with the title of World Cultural Heritage in 2000. However, this is not the only sight which makes the Garden Kingdom an absolute must for every visitor to Dessau.

Visitors who view and absorb the sights of its unique symbiosis of art and nature, architecture and education are transported into an appreciative realm of their own. Castles in delightful parks, walking, hiking and cycling trails through meadows and forests, watchtowers on dikes and pavilions, where you can enjoy princely holidays today; in and around Dessau-Roßlau, you will find a holiday the like of which others seek in far-off worlds.

The Georgium, Luisium, the Kühnauer Park, the new burial ground and the Mosigkau castle and park are situated in the municipal area of Dessau-Roßlau alone – and these five world heritage sites characterise the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Kingdom in very individual ways.

However, the fascination of the Garden Kingdom is not created by the parks and the castles with their museums alone; the countless small architectural jewels spread over the entire area of the town also create visual contacts and landscapes embedded in the primitive floodplain country of the Rivers Elbe and Mulde.

From Dessau to Wörlitz

This 20-km route from Dessau to Wörlitz is probably the most beautiful cycling and hiking experience in the region. All its beautiful facets will unfold for you with every kilometre you travel – and a special highlight awaits you at the end of the route. The Wörlitz grounds house the most famous park of the Garden Kingdom and a picturesque landscape of sheer enlightenment. The park was open to the public from the outset and was part of the educational program of the enlightened prince. Landscape, gardens, buildings and fine art result in an almost-unbelievable, overall work of art.

Starting out from the four arms of the Wörlitz Lake, an old arm of the Elbe, a watery kingdom was created by means of canals, which integrates the two wall holes formed during dike breaks in the park landscape. The first environmental altar is located here…

Castle and Oranienbaum Park

When the former village of Nischwitz became Oranienbaum, an entire work of art consisting of the town, the castle and the park was created. Distinctive features here are the English-Chinese garden and the large Orangery.