Thuringia was once home to a number of royal seats, which is why there are so many landscaped parks and gardens in the region today. In the early modern era, the region was divided into lots of tiny principalities, with each ruler investing heavily in making his palace gardens beautiful. Weimar is surrounded by no fewer than three parks. In Meiningen, the landscaped park stands out for its symmetrical design, while egapark in Erfurt reflects the city’s horticultural traditions. The botanical gardens in Jena are the second oldest in Germany. Relatively modern equivalents have been created for various garden shows. The site for the Federal Horticultural Show in Gera remains an attractive urban park with large green spaces, while ‘Die neue Mitte’ in Nordhausen combines a garden with the historical town wall. Every year, thousands of people also visit private gardens in Thuringia during the Open Gardens event in May and June.
One of the nicest reasons to visit Bad Langensalza are the lovingly planted gardens and landscape parks. They turn every walk into a special experience. In the Japanese Garden, you can immerse into the harmony of silence or enjoy original Japanese tea in the tea pavilion. The Rose Garden will inspire you with fragrant blossoms of 450 different types and breeds of roses. Exotic plants can be admired in the Botanical Garden, medicinal herbs in the Apothekergarten, or Apothecary Garden, and over 100 different kinds of trees in the Arboretum.
The history of the Castle Park begins as early as the 16th century. The changing periods since then have left their mark. Today, the Castle Park connects the city’s large museums, such as the Residence Castle, the Lindenau Museum and the Mauritanium. The winding paths, the old trees and the numerous historical buildings throughout the park such as the orangery and the tea house, the Agnes Church and the royal stables, make it especially charming.
The Botanical Garden, which was founded as early as 1586 as a small "medicinal garden", is the second oldest institution of its kind in Germany. A visit to the Palm and Victoria House with the famous Amazon water lily is worthwhile at any time of year.
With about 2,500 different plant species from almost all regions of the Earth, the Botanic Garden Experience is a living museum that celebrates plant diversity. It was founded over 80 years ago and continues to serve the cause of species-conservation along with offering relaxation and recreation.
The popular Hofwiesenpark is the largest park in the city of Gera. Vast green meadows, beautiful views of the City Forest and Osterstein Castle, and a cozy Park Café make this a wonderful place to relax.
Opened in 1928, it was the first public garden in Germany to be dedicated exclusively to dahlias, and it served to present the plants of the renowned dahlia breeders in Gera and Bad Köstritz. In the center of the garden stands a sculptured fountain created by Thilo Schoder in 1930, called “The Dahlia”.
The egapark in Erfurt is the most significant garden monument of the 1960s in Germany. The attractions include the largest ornamentally planted flower bed in Europe, the rose garden, the tropical greenhouses, the largest playground in Thuringia, and the historic Cyriaksburg castle with the German Horticultural Museum. In 2021, the Erfurt egapark will be part of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Garden Show).
The spacious English-style garden with a pond, rolling green hills, bridges and artificial ruins is one of the romantic landscape parks created in Germany in the late 18th century that deliberately broke with the aesthetics of baroque garden culture. The walk through the park with the monuments of Ludwig Bechstein, Jean Paul, Johannes Brahms and Max Reger is like a short journey through the cultural history of Meiningen.
This park evolved in the 19th century under the supervision of Otto Ludwig Sckell (1861-1948), who was the Grand Ducal Saxe-Weimar court gardener and garden inspector at the time. In 2017, the Fourth Thuringian State Garden Show took place here, after the area monument had been carefully refurbished. In 2021, the Herressener Promenade will be a satellite venue of the Federal Garden Show (Bundesgartenschau, or BUGA) in Erfurt.
Jena’s Paradies (Paradise) is considered to be the green oasis in the middle of the city center, whose diversity offers something for everyone.
Jena Paradies Park, which has been classified as a cultural monument since 2002, consists of three generously laid out and adjoining green areas: Rasenmühleninsel, Paradies and Oberaue, and lives up to its name. In every conceivable weather, large and small groups of people meet here to spend their leisure time together.
Whether for concerts in the glass house or open-air, games, sports or cozy barbecues: Jenaers, Jenensers and guests romp about in the park located directly on the banks of the Saale river. They all enjoy the luxury of being surrounded by nature’s diversity in the middle of the city center.
The semi-circle shaped baroque area in the former Kitchen Garden of the Reuß Junior Line princes was built in the 18th century and now houses the art collection, which comprises impressive holdings of paintings, prints and sculptures.
The baroque garden, which was laid out between 1692 and 1705 and, like the palace, surrounded by a moat, was probably modelled after Dutch canal gardens. With the arrival of the Enlightenment, the emphasis on being close to nature also gained acceptance in Meiningen, and in 1783/84 the palace park was redesigned into a landscape park. In the 1970s, the park was enriched with several sculptures by renowned artists.
Goethe was involved in the design of the Park on the Ilm River, which was created during the 18th century. It boasts numerous remarkable works of garden architecture, such as the Roman House.
Directly opposite the train and bus stations is the large Westendpark (Westendstraße) with sweeping meadows, perennials, grasses and shrubs. Six small garden chambers interpret the changes of the city in the course of time. The sculptural group portraying Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon and Saint Elisabeth by the artist Klaus Metz shows how closely Schmalkalden's history is interwoven with the Thuringian landgraves and the Reformation. A stairway with sitting steps leads to the south bank of the river Schmalkalde. The Mommelstein cycle path runs along the river that once gave the town its name. Nestled into the blossoming perimeter, the Westendpark motorhome parking facility offers space for eight motorhomes.