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2. Estate Park and Bismarck Museum Schönhausen (Elbe)

In Otto von Bismarck’s (1815-1898) birthplace, the expansive estate park is located beside the Bismarck Museum. It was created in 1711 as a Baroque pleasure garden with geometric shapes and numerous sandstone figures. In the 19th century, it was added to by a scenic park area. To this day, the two areas are connected by a statue of Hercules. Parts of the park are likely to be renovated by 2019.

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The Hercules statue probably has no good memories of the former Chancellor of the German Empire Prince Otto von Bismarck. It is said that after an unsuccessful hunt the backside of the Hercules statue had to endure as a target. Today, one can still go on a search for traces.

In the process, one fact becomes evident: the estate park can look back at the exciting history of an original Baroque garden from the 18th and a designed landscape park from the 19th century. As was customary in parks in the Baroque period, geometrically structured sub-areas determined the face of the Baroque garden. Paths running at right angles to each other, a sophisticated moat system for the water industry, ponds and the trees, hedges and groves cut in a manner so typical of a Baroque plantation still lure visitors into going for a walk there today. In addition to the Hercules, the restored garden sculptures around the pond – which enliven the complex despite having a body made of stone – are an eyecatcher.

During Otto von Bismarck’s lifetime, the botanical plenty of the park was already so developed that there was less and less emphasis on the Baroque charm. Thanks to the numerous maintenance and planting measures that have been performed in the last few years or that are still being performed, distinct Baroque traces are clearly visible again today.

Even though the former manor house in the estate park no longer exists today, the road and visual axes in the area of the upper terrace remain of clear beauty. Newly planted lime trees and horse chestnut trees complement this area. Looking towards the north, there are fruit trees on a flourishing meadow again as a symbol of the earlier and future use in the estate park. The impressive three-rowed lime tree boulevard is being renewed in terms of its population.

At the Hercules statue, a park bridge will form the connection to the landscape garden from the 19th century. Full-grown grove groups, pin oaks, ornamental shrubs and meadows characterise this section of the park.

Due to extensive renovation measures in the park, only part of the terraces is currently approved for visitors.


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