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Muskau Park

Posted April 21st, 2012 at 01:00 AM by Stephy

Muskauer Park (german) or Park Mużakowski (polish) is a World Heritage Site shared between Germany and Poland.

This 559.9-hectare landscaped park is the largest and most famous English garden in Europe. It lies astride the Neisse River on either sides of the border of the two countries.

Muskauer Park was designed by Prince Hermann von Puckler-Muskau (1785-1871) between 1815 and 1844. The prince had lived and studied in England. He laid out the park during the time when the region was part of Prussia.

As time went by, he established an international school of landscape management in Bad Muskau and outlined the construction of an extensive landscape park which would envelop the town in a way not done before on such a grand scale.

Its defining features include its spacious layout, broad vistas, varying intensities of landscape design and artificial watercourses. On a stroll through the park, visitors experience a constantly alternating, three-dimensional scene that has been hewn out of the natural landscape.

During the Battle of Berlin, both castles were levelled and all four bridges across the Neisse were razed. The Arnims were dispossessed by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany and since the implementation of the Oder-Neisse line in 1945, the park has been divided by the state border between Poland and Germany.

After the Revolutions of 1989 the German and Polish administration joined forces on the redevelopment of the park ensemble and conservation of Prussian history. Since Poland entered into the Schengen Area in 2007, visitors may freely explore both parts of the park without cross-border controls.

On July 2, 2004, UNESCO added the park to its World Heritage List, as an exemplary example of cross-border cultural collaboration between Poland and Germany. It was added to the list on two criteria: for breaking new ground in terms of development towards the ideal man-made landscape, and for its influence on the development of landscape architecture as a discipline.
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