{Germany} Gardens of the World

July 9, 2015

Germany

Since summer is in full swing here in Berlin, I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce you to another great outdoor exhibition. The district of Marzahn, in the East of Berlin, is known for its vast housing estates that sprung up in the late 1970s, constructed from great prefabricated concrete slabs in a style known as ‘Plattenbau’. Pretty depressing. But Marzahn is also home to the utterly amazing ‘Gardens of the World’, which were developed over several years – and continue to develop – in the area known as Marzahn Recreational Park, site of the 1987 horticulture show ‘Berliner Gardenshau’. The gardens first opened in 2000, and present landscape gardening from around the world. Each garden was designed and created by landscape artists and architects from the respective countries. Similarly, the necessary original materials – plants, flowers, bricks, stones, statues etc. – were also imported from the respective countries. The entire complex of gardens covers a an area of over 100 acres. We visited there last week so I wanted to share some of the pictures I took with you. It’s a bit off the beaten track, but as you will see, absolutely worth it!

Chinese Garden

The ‘Garden of the Reclaimed Moon’ was the first to open, in October 2000. At over 6.5 acres in size – including around 1 acre worth of pond – it is the largest Chinese garden in Europe. Berlin is twinned with the Chinese city of Beijing, and two landscape architects and 18 gardeners from Beijing spent three years working on the construction of the garden. The name of the garden was chosen by the Chinese, and apparently alludes to the then newly celebrated German Unity.

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Japanese Garden

The ‘Garden of Merging Water’ opened in April 2003 and covers an area of just over half an acre. It was developed in partnership with Tokyo, another of Berlin’s twinned cities. As well as waterscapes, a pavilion and Japanese vegetation, it includes a traditional Japanese Zen garden.

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Oriental Garden

The ‘Garden of the Four Streams’ opened in July 2005 and covers an area of around 1.5 acres. It apparently represents the traditions of several oriental countries, and is designed around a reception hall and enclosed courtyard. This garden, with it’s beautiful architecture, colourful mosaic tiles and numerous water displays, full of brightly coloured flowers in full bloom and the air heavily filled with the scent of jasmine, was definitely my favourite.

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Korean Garden

The ‘Seoul Garden’ was named so because it was gift to Berlin from the city of Seoul. It opened in March 2006 and covers around 1 acre in area. The path through the garden takes you along a series of courtyards and water features, as is lined with a collection of impressive statues.

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Christian Garden

The Christian Garden is the most recent addition, and opened in April 2011. Its design is based on a traditional cloister garden, but with a contemporary twist.

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Other gardens that are part of the complex, but which we didn’t see, include the Karl Foerster Perennial Garden, the Balinese tropical ‘Garden of the Three Harmonies’, and the Italian Renaissance Garden. The later two are currently closed for redevelopment. We did check out the paved Labyrinth though, similar to one at Chartres Cathedral in France, and got lost in the maze with its several feet high yew hedges, modelled on the 17th century Hampton Court Palace one in England, but I didn’t take pictures of either. I did, however, take some on the ‘Fairy Tale Path’, a walkway among rhododendrons, featuring twelve scenes from Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales. Can you tell which ones these are?

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The ‘Gardens of the World’ at Marzahn Recreational Park are open throughout the year, but opening times vary according to the seasons. There is an admission charge – at the time of writing, a full price summer season ticket was 5 Euros, with concessions available – but it is absolutely worth it! There are various cafes selling different types of food, from German sausage with potato salad, to Chinese fried noodles, as well as cake, ice-cream and hot and cold drinks, and there are two great playgrounds for kids to burn off some extra energy, so you can make a whole family day trip out of it. You can find all necessary information on location, opening times, admission prices etc. on the website of the ‘Museumsportal Berlin‘.

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3 Responses to “{Germany} Gardens of the World”

  1. Iris Says:

    Those are all so beautiful. I did the currency conversion to Canadian dollars. It’s a steal to get in.

    Reply

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    […] Gardens of the World, Berlin – I had no idea this place existed. A presentation of landscape gardening from around the world, each garden in itself is bound to make you go ‘Wow!’. The overall impact of it all is just mind boggling. […]

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