Herrenhause Garten: the royal gardens of Hannover

The royal gardens of Hannover

Among the main attractions of Hanover the royal gardens of Herrenhause are, with over three hundred years of history behind it, symbol and almost untouched image of the culture and lifestyle of the royal dynasties of Hanover. The complex consists of four gardens with different dimensions and evoked atmospheres in which to get lost: the Großer Garten; the Georgengarten; the Berggarten and the Welfengarten. The first of these, also in terms of size, is not surprisingly called Giardino Grande, it is the Großer Garten, in the heart of the complex, it is particularly interesting to the many visitors who crowd the paths every year, since it has maintained the same structures of the time in which it was built, without having undergone invasive changes. It is one of the most famous and important baroque gardens of the old continent, offering visitors endless walks among the well-kept flower beds, hedges, sculptures and especially water games, in particular the Fontana Grande offers an excellent example with the its jet of water up to seventy meters high, which holds a real European record for the height of the range. The botanical garden of the University is located within the Berggarten, and houses over 2500 plants, particularly famous are the many different types of orchids. Inside the Georgengarten we find the castle of Wallmoden, which houses a museum entirely dedicated Wilhelm Busch, painter, humorist and German poet.

A bit of history

The royal gardens were not all designed in the same period, and the differences in style are clear evidence of this. The first of the gardens to be built was Großer Garten, referred to at the time as Grand Jardin de la Leine. The commission was commissioned by the Duchess Sofia of the Palatine Hill, daughter of the Bohemian Winter King, Frederick V, and Elizabeth Stuart. The duchess had gone to France, near the Palace of Versailles and was fascinated by it, in particular she was struck by the sumptuous gardens, a manifestation of the regal power and refinement of that culture. Not wanting to be less ordered the work for what is one of the most beautiful baroque gardens in Europe in 1666, and then undergo further expansion works between 1680 and 1710. To approach the French taste was called for the construction of the garden the master gardener Martin Charbonnier, a pupil of André Le Nôtre, the creator of the French garden and a friend of the Sun King Louis XIV. The Berggarten was created by Henry Perronet, in the same years in which the Großer Garten was extended, in fact the works began in 1677. Later than almost a century, on the other hand, the Georgengarten, after 1769, differs in the English style park.

Curiosity and events

Among the most interesting attractions of the gardens of Hannover, there is the cave of Niki de Saint Phalle, much more recent in style and artistic manners. Niki de Saint Phalle was in fact an eclectic French artist who worked mainly in the sixties and seventies of which are found in these caves the psychedelic shades, the games of mirrors and colored glass, which have made the cave one of the favorite destinations tourists from all over the world. Approaching the present and recurring events of the Herrenhause Garden, we must remember the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, or the exhibition of musical performances, concerts, theater and artistic installations held in May. While from May to September the gardens host the international pyrotechnic competition, with some of the performers of the best shows in the world. The mixture of music and drawings in the sky of pyrotechnics, in the magnificent setting of the gardens, will be a sight difficult to forget. Another event of great tourist attraction is the festival in the Großer Garten, where on summer evenings artists of various kinds, from pantomimes to musicians to acrobats, animate the avenues of the baroque garden. Usually it is the theater in the garden to host the main events of the summer season, while in winter the Orangery and the Galerie are the stages for classical music concerts and variety shows. Another curiosity about the Herrenhause Garden in Hannover concerns an important recognition received in 2015, these have in fact been awarded at the European level in the award dedicated to gardens, as the winners in the category “best renovation of a park or historic garden”, further proof of a perfect blend of a fascinating present and a glorious past.

Where, how, when

Opening time
Large parterre and bell fountain © Hassan Mahramzadeh
Great Parterre and Bell Fountain
Throughout the year, the gardens of Herrenhausen (including Großer Garten, Berggarten and the conservatories) open at 9:00 am, the Georgengarten is accessible at any time of the day.
The Schloss Herrenhausen museum opens from 27 March to 31 October every day from 11:00 to 18:00.
Last admission one hour before closing time.

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