In Branitz near Cottbus, where there used to be a barren sandy desert, the eccentric 60-year-old Hermann Prince of Pückler-Muskau once again laid out an English landscape park, which he himself described as his masterpiece. The park was created from 1846 onwards, after Pückler had to sell his estate in Muskau.
With its finely curved earth modellings, elegantly guided lake and water courses and designed wood compositions, Branitz Park is considered the pinnacle of the development of landscape gardening art and is a landmark of international standing. Along with Peter Joseph Lenné and Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell, Prince Pückler is one of the most famous German garden architects of the 19th century.
Branitz Park extends over 620 hectares as a landscape architectural composition, which is designed according to the zoning principle. Accordingly, the intensity of the landscape design gradually increases from the outer park areas via the inner park and the pleasure ground to the centre of the complex, the Palace.
Unique are the two earth pyramids, which are a reminder of Pückler’s journey to the Orient in the years 1834 to 1840. Unlike in Egypt, however, Pückler did not build the pyramids from stone, but had them heaped up from earth and planted with greenery. They are among the highlights of romantic garden art in Germany.
The larger of the two pyramids, the Tumulus, is placed in the Pyramid Lake and is completely overgrown with Virginia creeper. It has been the burial site of Hermann Prince of Pückler-Muskau since 1871. His wife and partner Lucie Princess of Pückler (1776-1854) was transferred there in 1884. The closest you can get to the Lake Pyramid is on a gondola ride.
By arranging the trees and shrubs in groups and artistically designing the relief and the pathways, Pückler created a picture gallery that presents the walker in the park a series of three-dimensional garden pictures.
Further highlights of the inner park are the Historical Nursery with the Pineapple House, the neo-Gothic Park Smithy, the classicistic Cottbus Gatehouse and the Visitor Centre with the permanent exhibition Masters of the Landscape. Prince Pückler and Carl Blechen.