English Garden (Munich)

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Map of the English garden

The English Garden is located in the northeast of Munich on the west bank of the Isar . With its 375 hectare green area, it is one of the largest parks in the world. The name English Garden was adopted from the English landscape gardens that Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell had taken as a model when designing the site.

The Munich English Garden was one of the first large continental European parks that could be entered by anyone. As one of the most spacious inner-city parks in the world, the English Garden is very popular with both Munich residents and tourists with around 3.5 million visitors annually.

In the 1940s a "freight road" was built, the construction of which was justified with war purposes. After the Second World War , the connection to the Isarring , a four-lane main road, was expanded. Since then, this has divided the green area into a south (the original “English Garden”) and a north (the Hirschau ). The southern, two-kilometer-long area towards the city center covers around 130 hectares, the northern, less heavily visited area, around 245 hectares, and extends over three kilometers parallel to the Isar.


Castle truce column from 1728 approx. 100 m southwest of the Monopteros

When in 1777 the Bavarian Elector Maximilian III. died childless, the land fell to the Palatine Elector Karl Theodor . After Karl Theodor's failed attempt to swap the unloved legacy for the Netherlands, he devoted himself to redesigning Munich. Among other things, he had a picture gallery opened in the Hofgarten and made the Hofgarten and gallery accessible to the public.

In February 1789, Karl Theodor ordered that military gardens be laid out in every garrison town of the Bavarian army . The gardens should keep soldiers busy in peacetime and teach them agricultural skills, but they should also be accessible to the general public. The suggestion came from the Massachusetts- born Bavarian Minister of War Benjamin Thompson (Count of Rumford since 1792). The western "Hirschanger area", today's Schönfeldwiese in the south-west of the English Garden, was intended as the location for the Munich Gardens. The implementation of the project started in July.

On August 13, 1789, Karl Theodor ordered the area east of the military gardens to be converted into a public park . Today, this date is generally considered to be the actual founding day of the English Garden in its current form. It was the first of its kind in Europe. The execution was entrusted to the Schwetzingen court gardener Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell , the supervision was kept by Benjamin Thompson.

The Volkspark was initially called Theodors Park , but the name Englischer Garten soon caught on , a programmatic name for the contemporary new garden style that followed the example of nature - in contrast to the geometric, "French" Baroque garden. On April 1, 1792, the park was opened to the then around 40,000 Munich residents.

Thompson left Munich in 1798 and was succeeded by Baron von Werneck. In December 1799, the English Garden was expanded to include areas of the Hirschau, and in January 1800 the area of ​​the now disbanded military gardens was added.

In 1804, Sckell was appointed head of the newly created Bavarian court gardening authority by Maximilian I Joseph , the successor to Karl Theodor. In this function he shaped the image of today's English Garden until his death in 1823.

Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell (left) explains his plans in the English Garden to Elector Karl Theodor (center) and Benjamin Thompson Imperial Count von Rumford (right)
Figure at the earlier entrance to the English Garden, popularly called " harmless " after the first word of a motto on the stone tablet ; designed by Franz Jakob Schwanthaler , 1803

Parts of the park

English garden

English Garden, taken from Koeniginstrasse in September 2018

The southern part of the park is called the “English Garden” in the narrower sense. This roughly corresponds to the park that was laid out in 1789–92. In this part of the park are the most famous buildings (tea house, monopteros, Chinese tower). The border between the north and south of the park is formed by the four-lane Isarring (section of the Middle Ring ), which is used by 110,000 cars every day.

The southern part of the English Garden is part of the Munich Isarauen landscape protection area (LSG-00120.09).


The northern part of the English Garden is also known as Hirschau . This name goes back to the former abundance of game in the Isar floodplains north of the city. The Hirschau originally extended south to around the present-day Hofgarten . The first city map of Munich, drawn by Tobias Volckmer in 1613 , shows deer grazing in this area . After the Hirschau, the lowest gravel terrace on the Isar, which forms its original high water bed, is also named the Hirschauterrasse .

The Hirschau was laid out from 1798 to 1804 as a northern continuation of the English Garden up to the Aumeister . The name Hirschau has been on city maps since 1808, before that, for example in 1712, it was also called Hirschanger . In contrast to the heavily visited southern part of the English Garden, large parts of the Hirschau have the character of a quiet urban forest. From 1814 onwards, this part of the English Garden was characterized by industry, despite its forest character, which was also predominant at the time. This is where the important JA Maffei locomotive factory was located , which was given its own siding to the Schwabing freight yard around 1900 . A hydroelectric power station was also part of the factory, the building of which has been preserved. The locomotive factory was closed around 1935 and later almost completely dismantled. The Ernst-Penzoldt-Weg runs through the English Garden on the route of the siding, which was dismantled by 1950.

At the Oberföhring weir , pedestrians can cross the Isar and get to Oberföhring . The Aumeister and Hirschau beer gardens are located at the north and south end of the Hirschau .

The northern part of the English Garden, together with the Upper Isarau, which continues to the north, forms the Hirschau and Obere Isarau landscape protection area (LSG-00599.01).



At the southern end of the English Garden, the Schwabinger Bach and the Eisbach enter the park, unite and then flow again separately. The Oberstjägermeisterbach branches off from the Eisbach , so that a large part of the English Garden is traversed by three approximately parallel brooks.

Several small streams serve as cross connections between these streams and the Isar . The Entenbach in the southern part of the English Garden flows from the Oberstjägermeisterbach to the Schwabinger Bach, the Obere Wehrbach in the Hirschau from the Schwabinger Bach to the Oberstjägermeisterbach. Part of the water from the Oberstjägermeisterbach flows back into the Isar via the Lower Wehrbach. The Reitbach branches off from the Oberstjägermeisterbach and flows back into it after about 200 meters, so that an island remains between the two brooks that serves as a bird protection island.

The Eisbach flows into the Isar between the John F. Kennedy Bridge and the Oberföhring weir. The Schwabinger Bach divides at the northern end of the Hirschau: One arm flows as Garchinger Mühlbach into the Obere Isarau , the other arm flows together with the Oberstjägermeisterbach. From this confluence, the Schwabinger Eisbach flows back into the Isar and the Schwabinger Altbach continues into the Obere Isarau.

Kleinhesseloher See

Immediately south of the Isarring , which separates the Hirschau from the southern part of the English Garden, lies the 8.64 hectare Kleinhesseloher See , which was laid out in 1803 and through which the Oberstjägermeisterbach flows.

Summer at the Schwabinger Bach


Rumford House

The Rumfordhaus , also called Rumfordschlössl or, more rarely, Rumfordsaal ( 48 ° 9 ′ 14 ″  N , 11 ° 35 ′ 30 ″  E ), is a classical building in the southwest of the garden and was named after the Count of Rumford, Sir Benjamin Thompson .

In 1791 (one year before the English Garden was opened to the citizens of Munich) the Rumfordhaus was built according to a design by Baptist Lechner . It was first used as an officers' mess and was later used for courtly purposes. The hall of mirrors was the place for glamorous dinners for up to 150 guests.

The dilapidated building was renovated after the Second World War. In 1966 it was taken over by the Munich City District Youth Association and set up a recreational home for children and young people. Since 1972 there has been a preschool and an open youth club. From 1986, among other things, a focus was placed on environmental education for school classes. Today it is known as the nature and culture meeting place .

Chinese tower

The 25 meter high wooden structure in the style of a pagoda was built by Johann Baptist Lechner in 1789/90 based on a design by Joseph Frey.

The model for the Chinese Tower was the twice as high “Great Pagoda” in the royal palace gardens of Kew Gardens in London, which in turn was based on a majolica pagoda in the gardens of a Chinese emperor (Xiangshan Park, Beijing).

The Chinese Tower burned down several times, the last time in July 1944 after bombing. However, it has always been faithfully rebuilt, most recently in 1952.

Munich's second largest beer garden with 7,000 seats is located at the Chinese Tower . A small Christmas market is held here during Advent . The Kocherlball has been held here every year since 1989 .

Near the Chinese Tower is a popular children's carousel in the style of the Biedermeier period, which is open when the weather is nice. Here carriages, wagons and sleighs and 20 carved wood animals turn on an inner and an outer circle to the music of a barrel organ or a polyphone ; Painted and sawed out there are, among other things, children's book characters, professions, Munich originals and Bavarian costumes.

To the south of the tower are the “economic buildings”, which were initially designed as a model farm at the end of the 18th century. Today the administration of the English Garden is housed in the buildings.


Friedrich Ludwig Sckell had already proposed a pantheon in 1807 . It should serve to honor Bavarian personalities and be located in a wooded area designed in the manner of a sacred grove . His nephew, Carl August Sckell , took the esthetic idea and carried her to the King Ludwig I. before.

In 1831 the decision to build a round temple, a monopteros , was made, and work began a year later. First, a 15-meter-high brick foundation was created on the originally flat site. Carl August Sckell designed the hill that was raised over the course of several years. The 16 meter high round temple in the classical Greek style was built from Kelheim limestone based on a design by Leo von Klenze . The building was completed in 1836 and the hill was partially planted. The Monopteros was restored several times, first in 1898, then, to repair the war damage from 1944, in 1952/1953, 1980–1982 and again from late 2014 to autumn 2016. The slope of the hill facing the city center was also planted, whereby the Temple today has lost its function as an eye-catcher . The hill of the Monopteros developed in the 1960s as a meeting place for alternatives, small artists, hippies and " bums " and contributed to making the English Garden known beyond the borders of Munich as a symbol, first of the counterculture and later also of cosmopolitanism .

Stone bench

Stone bench (1838)

The resting bench has the shape of a semicircle. It was made in Kelheim limestone in 1838 based on a design by Leo von Klenze. It stands on the site of a wooden monopteros (Temple of Apollo), which was built by Johann Baptist Lechner in 1789–1790 (not preserved). The complete inscription reads: "Here where you wallet there was otherwise only forest and swamp".

Japanese tea house

On the occasion of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich and the city ​​partnership with the Japanese city of Sapporo , the venue of the Winter Games , which has existed since then , at the southern end of the English Garden, right behind the House of Art, on a small island built in 1969 in the Schwabinger Bach, which expanded there into a small lake create a Japanese tea house and garden.

The traditional Japanese tea ceremony takes place regularly in the tea house. Every year on the third Sunday in July a "Japan Festival" is held. In 2008 the building received a new roof made of wood.


The English Garden was intended as a representative green area for the bourgeoisie from the start. The guests from Munich and abroad sought amusement and relaxation in graceful ways. They walked and strolled through forests and over the gentle hilly landscape along the streams. Friedrich Ludwig Sckell formulated the “characteristics of the Volksgarten” in 1807: “Here the people want to be seen, liked and admired, so all the stalls have to gather there and move in long, colorful rows, and the happy youngsters hop among them.” came paths that were marked out for carriages and riding horses.

These uses remained until in the summer of 1967 so-called " bums " from all over Germany discovered Munich and the English Garden in the immediate vicinity of Schwabing and Maxvorstadt and, contrary to the park regulations, not only the one designated sunbathing area, but all the lawns in the park and in particular used the hill below the Monopteros for storage, celebrations and overnight stays. Until then, the meadows had been used to mow hay. In 1972, the park administration reacted by changing the maintenance and clearing of the meadows, which from now on, apart from a few meadows in the northern part of the park, were regularly cut as lawns. A flock of sheep is kept in the Hirschau to prevent the large meadows from being forested.


During the 1972 Olympic Games, archery competitions were held on the Werneckwiese south of Lake Kleinhesseloher . In 1972 the marathon ran through the park , just like almost all road running events in Munich since then have run through the English Garden.

In 1982, the city administration and the park authority recognized the increasing use of the park by naked sunbathers since the 1970s. Two areas were for nudism reported to use; in the southern part the Schönfeldwiese lying to the left of the Schwabinger Bach and in the northern part the Schwabinger Bucht, also left of the Schwabinger Bach on a loop. Officially approved nudism caused a sensation among contemporaries and tourists and contributed to making the English Garden known around the world as a symbolic place of Munich's cosmopolitanism.

Since 1990, the Munich Summer Theater has shown a classic comedy in the amphitheater of the English Garden every July with free admission .

Tunnel for the middle ring

Isarring tunnel (draft)

The English Garden has been divided into two parts by the Isarring (part of the Middle Ring ) since 1966 . Since 2010 an initiative has been working to reunite the parts of the southern English garden and Hirschau in order to restore the English garden to its original shape in one section. For this purpose, the middle ring in the isarring area is to be relocated in a 380 meter long tunnel with six lanes. The designers of the design, the Schwabing architect couple Hermann Grub and Petra Lejeune , received an award from the Federal Environment Ministry for their project in 2017.

In autumn 2015, the city of Munich made the implementation of the project, which cost around 125 million euros, dependent on the participation of the Free State of Bavaria and private donors. In July 2016, the Free State promised to contribute 35 million euros to the costs, the city to take over 80 million euros and the federal government 2.7 million. On June 28, 2017, the Munich city council unanimously approved the construction of the tunnel. However, the planning department does not expect construction to start until 2023. Then a total construction time of around four and a half years can be expected. The initiators Grub and Lejeune consider these time limits to be set too long.

Public transport through the Englischer Garten


The southern part is crossed by a road at the height of the Chinese Tower, which is closed to private motorized traffic. This is used by bus lines that connect Schwabing, the English Garden and the districts on the right of the Isar. There are also numerous public transport stops for the underground lines U3 and U6 , tram lines 16 , 18 and 23 as well as several (metro) bus lines in the vicinity of the Englischer Garten .

Tram crossing project

First try

A planned tram route that should cross the garden was rejected by the government of Upper Bavaria, among other things because of the predominance of monument conservation issues. A lawsuit directed against this by Stadtwerke München was dismissed on March 30, 2006 by the Bavarian Administrative Court.

Second try

In mid-July 2017, Prime Minister Horst Seehofer agreed to Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter that the Bavarian State Government would no longer block the tram through the park. The considerations are to realize the route in the English Garden area without overhead lines and to equip the wagons with energy storage devices to bridge the gap. The Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft wants to set up a project advisory board to advise on questions of monument preservation. The preservation of monuments continues to oppose the project and does not feel sufficiently involved.


Winter linden in the northern part, around 200 years old
  • Length of the path network in the English Garden: 78 km
  • of which bridle paths: 12 km
  • Length of the streams: 8.5 km
  • Bridges and footbridges: over 100
  • breeding bird species: over 50


The maintenance of the park is supervised by the Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens and Lakes .

In the facility regulations, the palace and lake administration claims to make photography for commercial purposes dependent on prior approval, for which fees apply.

See also

Aumeister beer garden in the English Garden


  • Adrian von Buttlar : The English Garden in Munich . In: The landscape garden. Garden art of classicism and romanticism . DuMont, Cologne 1989, ISBN 3-7701-2088-4 , pp. 197–205 (expanded new edition).
  • Theodor Dombart: The English Garden in Munich. History of its creation and its expansion into a city park . Hornung, Munich 1972, ISBN 3-87364-023-6 .
  • Pankraz Freiherr von Freyberg : The English Garden in Munich. Extended and updated new edition of the commemorative publication “200 Years of the English Garden in Munich” . Ed .: Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens and Lakes; Ernst von Siemens Art Fund. Knürr, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-928432-29-X .
  • Klaus Gallas : Munich. From the Guelph foundation of Henry the Lion to the present: art, culture, history (=  DuMont documents: DuMont art travel guide ). DuMont, Cologne 1979, ISBN 3-7701-1094-3 .
  • Harri Günther (photographer), Volkmar Herre : The English Garden in Munich . In: Adrian von Buttlar (Hrsg.): Gardens of the Goethe time . Edition Leipzig, Leipzig 1993, ISBN 3-361-00343-1 , p. 199-207 .
  • Michael Höhne: Tourism and experiencing nature: an empirical study in Hawai'i and in the English Garden . Springer, Wiesbaden 2015, ISBN 978-3-658-08422-6 ( dissertation from the University of Munich 2015, 267 pages).
  • Angelika Papillion-Piller: The English Garden in Munich as "Volksgarten". The goals of its initiators and the reactions of the population up to 1830 . Munich 2000, OCLC 634805283 ( Master's thesis of the LMU Munich , Institute for Folklore / European Ethnology).
  • Mathias Pfeil : Tram through the English Garden? . In: Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation (ed.): Monument Preservation Information 169 (2018), pp. 6–9.
  • Stefan Rhotert, Waldemar Palten, Elmar D. Schmid: English Garden Munich . Official guide (=  publications of the Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens and Lakes ). 2nd, modified edition. Munich 1989, DNB  891686762 .
  • Eva Schneider, Rita Mühlbauer: Tree paths: paths to special trees. Munich, English Garden South . Ecology & Education, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-933114-06-3 .
  • Margret Wanetschek: Green spaces in the urban planning of Munich. 1790-1860 . Ed .: Klaus Bäumler, Franz Schiermeier. Schiermeier, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-9809147-4-7 .


  • The garden of the people. 200 years of the English Garden in Munich. Documentary, BR Germany, 1989, 42:44 min., Script and director: Dieter Wieland , production: Bayerischer Rundfunk , series: topography , synopsis from ARD , video from BR, online video from ARD.
  • Park whispers. About life in the English garden. Documentary, Germany, 2004, 28:42 min., Script and direction: Susanne Fiedler, production: Bayerischer Rundfunk , summary from BR, ( memento from February 19, 2016 in the Internet Archive ).
  • Munich's green lungs. Documentary, Germany, 2014, 44:11 min., Script and director: Markus Schmidbauer, production: Wild on Screen, Bayerischer Rundfunk , editing: natur exclusiv , first broadcast: January 31, 2015 on Bavarian television , summary by BR.
  • Europe's most beautiful parks. Munich: The English Garden. Documentary, Germany, 2016, 42:48 min., Script and director: Christian Schidlowski, production: a & o buero, ZDF , arte , series: Europe's most beautiful parks , first broadcast: February 22, 2017 on arte, summary by ARD .
  • Magical Gardens - English Garden. Documentary, France, 2017, 25:51 min., Written and directed by Emmanuel Descombes, Production: Bo Travail !, arte France, Series: Magical Gardens , first broadcast: March 21, 2018 on arte, synopsis by ARD .

Web links

Commons : Englischer Garten (Munich)  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The English Garden - the green heart of Munich. In: englischer-garten-muenchen.info , accessed on July 14, 2018.
  2. ^ Justina Schreiber: Karl Theodor and Count Rumford - The Elector and his do-gooder. In: Bayern 2 , April 1, 2017, with audio file, 52:50 min.
  3. "Maffei Gleis" Schwabing. ( Memento of the original from October 12, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kocaurek.de archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: kocaurek.de , 2014, accessed on February 22, 2017.
  4. Rumfordschlössl. In: muenchen.de .
  5. Rumfordschlössl nature and culture meeting place for children. In: Kreisjugendring (KJR), accessed on February 22, 2017.
  6. Opened in 1913 by the Schwabing master painter and decorative painter August Julier, who built it there instead of a simpler carousel from around 1850/60; Owned by the Julier family until 1977, transferred to Bayer in 1977. Management of the state palaces, gardens and lakes sold, restoration 1979 to 1981. More details in “Karussells in München” by Florian Dering in the Bavarian Yearbook for Folklore 1983/84, Institute for Folklore Munich.
  7. ^ Alfred Dürr: English Garden: Monopteros is being renovated. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , October 1, 2014.
  8. ^ The memorandum of Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell of March 6, 1807. In: Pankraz von Freyberg (Ed.): 200 years of the English Garden in Munich . Official Festschrift, published by the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance 1989, ISBN 3-928432-29-X , pp. 93–113, 97.
  9. Waldemar Palten: Problems of park maintenance. In: Pankraz von Freyberg (ed.): 200 years of the English Garden in Munich . Official Festschrift, published by the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance in 1989, ISBN 3-928432-29-X , pp. 274–285, 280.
  10. Birgit Kuhn: Flock of sheep in the English garden. In: muenchen-querbeet.de , July 1, 2016, accessed on July 14, 2018.
  11. Karl Stankiewitz : Munich: Nacked paradise from tradition . In: Abendzeitung , June 26, 2019
  12. ^ Nudist and nude bathing in Munich. In: muenchen.de .
  13. New momentum for the project from the Free State of Bavaria. In: Ein Englischer Garten Foundation , August 16, 2016.
  14. Sascha Karowski: Park is allowed to grow together. Tunnel at the Englischer Garten: This is how the city council decision went. In: tz , June 28, 2017.
  15. ^ National Urban Development Project. Tunneling under the English Garden receives its first award. In: Münchner Wochenanzeiger , July 3, 2017.
  16. Heiner Effern and Dominik Hutter: Free State wants to contribute 30 to 40 million euros to the park tunnel. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , July 19, 2016.
  17. ^ Alfred Dürr and Heiner Effern: Tunnel in Munich. The English Garden is reunited. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 28, 2017.
  18. dpa / hib: Munich tunnels its city park. In: Die Welt , June 29, 2017.
  19. City council decides to plan a tunnel through the English Garden. The tunnel is intended to bring both parts of the English Garden together. In: muenchen.de , June 28, 2017, accessed on March 22, 2018.
  20. laf: Tunnel solution for the English Garden. In: Hello Munich , May 8, 2017.
  21. Pfeil, p. 7.
  22. Press release: No "approval" for trams through the Englischer Garten - complete reasons for the judgment are available. ( Memento from February 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive ). In: Bavarian Administrative Court , June 8, 2006.
  23. Andreas Schubert: Tram is coming through the English Garden . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , July 14, 2017
  24. Pfeil, p. 9.
  25. English Garden - Munich. In: Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens and Lakes .
  26. English garden - plant regulations. In: Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens and Lakes , as of June 2011, (PDF; 201 kB).

Coordinates: 48 ° 9 ′ 10 ″  N , 11 ° 35 ′ 31 ″  E