The Schwansee park in Hohenschwangau
Below Maximilian II's summer residence of Hohenschwangau Castle, lies the Schwansee park. Picturesquely framed by Calvary mountain and Schwarzenberg, the park today is a recreational area for visitors and locals. Whoever is interested in gardening, here is an architectural gem, were one can enjoy the Royal Castle Park of Hohenschwangau, which is unparalleled.
Crown Prince Maximilian, (later to become King Max II), finally completed the Hohenschwangau Castle. He acquired the estate grounds of Rohrachfilz, below the castle, to create a park. The first plans were the creation of the park by landscape architect, Carl August Sckell. Already in 1837, his uncle Ludwig Sckell, designed the English Garden in Munich. After the death of C.A. Sckell, the castle park in his English style was finished by Peter Joseph.
Anyone who walks today along the paths through the park, follows historic tracks, but all roads were planned and designed over 160 years ago. On the beautifully landscaped paths, strolled the ladies and gentlemen from the court. More than 60 kilometers of trails were created in the Schwansee park, including the adjacent Alpseekessel, somestimes up to 7 levels with superimposed paths.
Many of the ways, which were created then were meant to bring the ladies and gentlemen closer to nature, but all the good ideas disappeared over time. Nature is sacred, the parks will be again an image of the landscape as God created it. And also the Schwansee park has been created. With the system of solitary trees, lines of sight and bushes - in order to lengthen the size was a bit feigned.
How much foresight was needed back then to introduce yourself to the system of plantations, and how the result would look in many years time, was only clear to Peter Joseph. Above the swan lake the Tee terrase that was created for top society people, is no longer accessible today.
After the death of Maximilian II, the park lost its importance. It was ony maintained, but no longer in use. Today, the park with its bio-diversity, and also its size of over 60 hectares, lies -in a prominent position on the borders of Bavaria. However, its development was due to Duke Albrecht.
The Wittelsbacher were staying in the early eighties to fish on Schwansee and they vainly sought his beloved gentians in the meadows. Following this experience and the insight of changing its use, Duke Albrecht adopted a ban on the fertilizing of the park. Since then several projects have been launched in order to return the park back to its natural beauty. With changes in the mowing of grass and the prohibition of fertilization, the park meadows resettled with rare plants through time. Orchids and the lovely gentians of the Duke, nearly 60 species which are on the red lists are also growing again.