12. Klosterbergegarten on the Elbe and Gruson Greenhouses
Peter Joseph Lenné designed the first public gardens in German-speaking region when he started laying out the Klosterbergegarten on the River Elbe in 1825. The park has a landscape design with special groupings of trees and a restored pond. The Gesellschaftshaus was built according to plans by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel from Berlin. The park has also been home to the Gruson Greenhouses since 1895. These house an extensive collection of plant species.
In the early 19th century, plans were made to build a public garden on the site of the Berge Abbey that had been completely destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars. The garden became an important site for public urban landscape design.
The original design with open meadows and water areas alternating with wooded spots and gently curving paths was planned by Peter Joseph Lenné (1789-1866). A bust of Lenné was placed in the park in 1989 to mark the bicentenary of his birth.
The rail lines built in the first half of the 19th century between Magdeburg and Leipzig and Berlin broke up the park into several pieces. As the surrounding areas developed, the natural transitions and views were also lost. What had once been 33 hectares was reduced to 11 hectares.
The city's horticultural directors Niemeyer, Schoch, and Lincke worked on adapting the park to its changed situation through the 1930s. After the Second World War, the Gesellschaftshaus and park were used until 1989 by the Pioneers, the main Communist youth organisation. The generosity of the site is once evident and efforts are underway to restore the gardens.
On the edge of the garden, next to the 1828-29 Gesellschaftshaus, stand the Gruson Greenhouses, a gift from entrepreneur Hermann Gruson to the city of Magdeburg dating back to 1895-96. The tropical botanical garden is home to more than 4000 exotic plant species.
The well-signposted Elbe Cycle Route runs along the Elbe and the Klosterbergegarten to Magdeburg's city centre. It is also very suitable for hiking or walking.