Herrenhäuser Gardens

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Home Page > Travelogues > Germany > Niedersachsen > Hannover > Herrenhäuser Gardens

Subchapters in this travelogue:  [ Herrenhäuser Gardens ] Innenstadt S&E ] Historical Altstadt ]

Germany

State of Niedersachsen

Herrenhäuser Gardens

Germany

State of Niedersachsen

Because Germany had so many palaces and gardens, it was difficult to pick a favorite.  But one of the better ones was the Herrenhäuser Gardens in northwest Hannover.  Located only a few streetcar stops from the downtown, Herrenhäuser (loosely meaning 'gentlemen's houses') was a wonder, and most of it was open free to the public.  It was comprised of three different gardens, the beautifully sculpted and colorful Grosser Garten, the marvelous hilltopped Berggarten, and the lake-riverwalk called Georgengarten.  We only visited the first two, but that was plenty enough to keep us occupied for a half-day.  Even though we visited in late winter, we still loved it.  Here are the highlights.

Grosses Partere and Galerie

Kaskade
The first five shots were taken from the Grosser Garten.  This was of the Galerie, the main palace building, with the Grosses Partere ('largest part') in front.  This section was very definitely Baroque -- tiny sculpted hedges in wild curlicue patterns, with glorious white Romanesque statues dispersed. The designers of the garden knew what they were doing, and provided a couple of platforms for viewing.  The first photograph was taken from the Probenbühne, a three-meter high wall whose sole purpose was to be an observation deck from the side.  Right before the palace was the Kaskade, shown here from the back, that was like bleachers from a high school football field.  It gave a clear view of the garden from the front.
Irrgarten One of the Many Sondergartens
Those who enjoyed Baroque also seemed to love mazes.  Here's a high view of the Irrgarten, at the park's northwest.  Though it was see-through this time of year, when the branches were filled in, this maze could be quite a challenge.  (Must try it sometime during the summer...!)   Beyond the Grosses Partere was a row of four huge reflecting pools, beyond which was a set of twelve "Sondergartens".  The gardens were square and hidden by thick hedges.  Each followed a theme, one Rococo, one Baroque, one Neo-Classic, one Renaissance, one northern German rosegarden... you get the idea.  Believe this was the Renaissance one.
Gartentheater Berggarten
The most awe-inspiring part of the garden was the Gartentheater.  In this shot, we were standing in the center of the seating area facing the long stage, bordered by these classic golden Roman figurines.  A very impressive scene. The Berggarten was across the main road from the Galerie.  Unlike the Grosses Garten, the Berggarten had a nominal entrance fee.  But this garten had a large number of exotic greenhouses with cacti and tropical plants to care for, not to mention whole fields of colorful flowers like these.
Paradies Mausoleum
The Berggarten had plots of land set aside for particular flowers -- irises, violets, and others -- which looked like nurseries.  But this field was different.  It was tucked away in the center of the garden, and was called simply "Paradise".  The lush carpet of magenta running among the bushes was fantastic, not just in its beauty but in its size!  This was just a part of it.   The only large structure in the Berggarten was the mausoleum, shown here from the side to capture the field of blue flowers surrounding it.  Also nearby the mausoleum were decorative hedges, ponds, and other small flower gardens.

The Berggarten also had an event hall, the Regeinwaldhaus, that was carrying an exhibition on Brazil the day we went and seemed to have a pretty full calendar.  Meanwhile, the Georgengarten was mostly lakes and walking paths with a small old palace in the far southeast.

Herrenhäuser was clearly the pride of Hannover.  Almost all the postcards of the city showcased this magnificent garden.  It rated as a must see for anyone coming to the capital of Lower Saxony.

Subchapters in this travelogue:  [ Herrenhäuser Gardens ] Innenstadt S&E ] Historical Altstadt ]

Trips taken 27-28 March 2004 -- Page last updated 19 October 2006 -- (C) 2004 Tom Galvin

   
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