Article in the Berliner Zeitung of 20 April 1836
Pückler was born in Muskau on 30 October 1785 as a Sunday’s child and the first child of Clementine Countess of Callenberg and the 16-year older Ludwig Carl Hans Erdmann Count of Pückler. His parents were unhappily married by contract. During his childhood, Pückler attended various educational institutions and began to study law in Leipzig but broke off his studies one year later to join the Garde du Corps in Dresden as a lieutenant. In 1806, heavily in debt, he fled from his creditors to Vienna and set off on a four-year youth tour to Italy. When his father died in 1811, Hermann Count of Pückler inherited the estate of Muskau, the then largest estate on German territory, and developed his first landscape design plans.
In Muskau Park, on which he worked from 1815 to 1845, he developed an internationally recognised »thumb print« in the design of landscape gardens based on the English model. In 1817, he got married to Lucie, who was nine years his senior, divorced Countess of Pappenheim and daughter of the Prussian State Chancellor Karl August of Hardenberg. She shared his passion for gardens and the plan for the magnificent landscape park on the River Neisse. But the park swallowed up their assets, the debts piled up and the sale of Muskau was looming. As a last resort, Lucie proposed a formal divorce so that Pückler could find himself a wealthy bride in England.
Here Prince Pückler had the late baroque palace, once the mansion of his ancestors, extensively rebuilt and began, now 61 years old, to create once again a landscape park in the flat, sandy and barren landscape of Branitz, which became his masterpiece. Besides Muskau and Branitz, Pückler played a major role in the design of the park of Babelsberg and left his mark as a garden designer in the gardens of Ettersburg, Neuhardenberg, Wilhelmsthal, Altenstein and the Parisian Bois de Bologne.
In 1854, Lucie died at the age of 78. After her death, Pückler left the empty Branitz and travelled around for two years. Upon returning to Branitz, Prince Pückler began to work on the Tumulus and the land pyramid, travelled several times and ran an open, hospitable house.
Hermann Prince of Pückler-Muskau was in contact with important figures from politics, science and society of his time and – also through his lifestyle – lifted Branitz out of its provincial existence. Masterfully he understood how to put himself in the limelight with all levels of society.
He even staged his death through the burial in the Lake Pyramid of Branitz Park with a powerful final chord. Pückler died on 4 February 1871 and was buried in the Tumulus on 9 February.
Attendance of various educational institutions in Uhyst, Halle and Dessau, law studies in
Born on 30 October in Muskau Palace
Takeover of the Muskau estate, first plans for the design of the Muskau landscape, participation in the anti-Napoleonic war of liberation
Vienna, 1807 Start of his youth tour through southern Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. Stay with Goethe in Weimar
Design of the Muskau Park in the style of an English landscape garden
First journey to England
Ennoblement to the princely rank
Marriage with Lucie Countess of Pappenheim, born Baroness of Hardenberg-Reventlow
Second journey to England
Formal divorce from Lucie for financial reasons in order to find a rich wife in England
Publication of Pückler’s book Hints on Landscape Gardening
(Andeutungen über Landschaftsgärtnerei)
Publication of the first two volumes of Pückler’s book Tour of a German Prince (a.k.a. Letters of a Dead Man)
Involvement in the creation of numerous parks in Prussia and Thuringia
Orient journey: via Dresden, Frankfurt on Main, Paris, Toulon, Algeria, Tunisia, Malta, Greece, Crete, Egypt, the Holy Land, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey
Start of works on Branitz Park. It formed the climax and conclusion in the art of the German landscape garden
Sale of the Muskau estate, move to Branitz
Pückler became first honorary citizen of the city of Cottbus
Journey to Paris. Collaboration with the French Emperor Napoleon III. at the Bois de Boulogne
Prince of Pückler-Muskau died on 4 February and was buried on 9 February in the Tumulus