The Grüneburgpark is a 29 hectare large park in the Frankfurt district of Westend . The name of the park is derived from the so-called Grüner Burg estate in the 18th century (later renamed Schloss Grüneburg ), as well as from the Rothschild New Palace at the Grünen Burg, which was built on the same property in the 19th century . Both buildings have not been preserved. The Grüneburgpark is the largest park within the Frankfurter Alleenring ; outside of these ring roads, the park in the Frankfurt city area is only surpassed in terms of area by the Niddapark (168 ha) and the Ostpark (32.16 ha). Because of its old stock of trees, some of which go back to the early 19th century, and because of its historical significance for the city of Frankfurt, Grüneburgpark has the status of a garden monument and is also a protected landscape area.
Grüneburgpark is located in the northeast of Frankfurt's Westend-Nord district on a gently sloping terrain from south to north. In the immediate vicinity of what is now the Grüneburgpark site, there are two more green spaces: in the southwest the Frankfurt Palm Garden and in the west the Botanical Garden , which has a side entrance from the Grüneburgpark. In the east, the Westend campus of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University borders the park with the IG Farben building ; in the north, the park is bordered by Miquelallee. On the south-western corner of the park, on Siesmayerstraße, are the urban youth traffic garden with the Frankfurt children's tram , a day care center and a public toilet facility for park visitors.
Tree population and monument protection
The Grüneburgpark is both a garden monument and a landscape protection area. 2,600 trees are mapped in the 29 hectare park, some of which date from the time the park was established. The oldest tree in the park, a single, large summer linden ( Tilia platyphyllos ) in the north-east of the site, is dated to 1822. Other tree species planted in the 19th century, each of which has several large specimens in the park, include the common ash ( Fraxinus excelsior ), the common horse chestnut ( Aesculus hippocastanum ) and the pedunculate oak ( Quercus robur ).
After no garden monument preservation measures had been taken for decades, the Green Space Agency commissioned a landscape architecture office to draw up a renovation plan. This contained the measures to expose solitary trees and to cut out the historical lines of sight . A citizens' initiative was directed against the associated felling of 165 trees . The Frankfurt environment officer Rosemarie Heilig ( Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen ) sided with the citizens' initiative in May 2013 and declared that no trees would be felled.
"[It is] not the task of the 21st century to speak out for the protection of historical monuments, it is about the preservation of the green"
The Hessian State Office for Monument Protection reacted with incomprehension.
18th century: Grüneburg Castle
On the area called Affensteiner Feld , about 1½ kilometers northwest of the historic Frankfurt city center and a good one kilometer west of the Eschersheimer Landstrasse , there was probably an estate since the 14th century . In 1789 the banker Peter Heinrich von Bethmann-Metzler bought the property from the jewelery dealer Matthias Riese. After the grounds and the courtyard buildings were expanded, the former estate was given the name Schloss Grüneburg . In the years that followed, a number of prominent poets of the time met here, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , Bettina von Arnim , Clemens Brentano and Karoline von Günderode . Goethe described the area and its view after a visit there in 1797 to Joachim Bethmann-Metzler with the words:
- "It is very pleasant, a strong half an hour in front of the city, in front of the Eschenheimer Tor, on a gentle hill, from which one overlooks the city and the whole ground in front of it, and behind it the Niddagrund up to the mountains."
19th century: New Palace at the Green Castle
In 1837 the banker Amschel Mayer Rothschild bought the property and the Grüneburg Castle to be made available to his nephew Anselm Salomon and his wife. Between 1844 and 1845, the couple had a castle-like country house built immediately to the west of it - the New Palace at the Green Castle . The information about the architect of the palace is contradictory - both Jakob von Essen and the French architect Honoré Belanger are cited in recent literature as the authors of the designs for the house. Its architectural style, which is considered unusual for Frankfurt, is also assessed differently: A documentation from 1974 classifies the style as " Style Louis XII with neo-baroque style elements", a work from 2009 describes the style as "French Neo-Renaissance".
At the same time as the building of the palace, the Frankfurt garden architect Friedrich Grüneberg laid out a park-like garden with pavilions, a pond and an aviary in front of it . In 1850, the orangery was built on the grounds of the Green Castle estate, which had been converted into a farm building . In 1877 the palace became the property of Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild and his wife Hannah Mathilde. The park was enlarged and completed as a landscape park in the style of an English garden by the landscape architect Heinrich Siesmayer , supported by the Rothschild house gardener Johannes Veit . The buildings of the former Bethmann house Schloss Grüneburg , the property was meanwhile also owned by Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild, were demolished at the beginning of the 1880s; From 1883 to 1885 a gatehouse was built on the north and east sides of the park. At the end of the 1880s, the park was expanded again to include the area north of it up to Miquelallee and designed by Heinrich Siesmayer's son, Philipp Siesmayer. On the avenue going north from the palace, Rothschild had an approximately 20 meter high water and observation tower built with a square floor plan.
The facility includes a very well-preserved ice cellar on the property of the northern of the two porter's houses, which was opened and examined in 2010.
20th century: Rothschild expropriation and Grüneburgpark
In the 1920s, the Grüneburg Palace was occupied by a grandson of Wilhelm Carl, Albert von Goldschmidt-Rothschild, and his family. It was also at this time that the city of Frankfurt began attempts to bring private parks into municipal ownership and convert them into public parks. In the 1930s, the National Socialist Frankfurt city administration forced Goldschmidt-Rothschild to agree to a reallocation agreement, according to which he should have received other building plots in exchange. However, due to further reprisals by the city administration, he was unable to take possession of them. In 1935, Baron Albert von Goldschmidt-Rothschild had to transfer the residence of his family of six "to the township", as a letter from the city administration to Mayor Friedrich Krebs from 1935 shows. The Goldschmidt-Rothschild family emigrated to Switzerland in 1938; Albert von Goldschmidt-Rothschild committed in 1940 in suicide .
After nearly 100 years in private ownership by the Rothschilds, Grüneburgpark was converted into a public park with an entrance fee in 1936. Under the direction of the Frankfurt horticultural director Max Bromme , the park was expanded to include a large meadow; the trees were thinned. A café opened in the former Rothschild palace in Grüneburg. The building was badly damaged in air raids in 1944 during World War II . After the end of the war, the park belonged to the military exclusion zone of the US armed forces, whose headquarters in Europe at that time, the IG-Farben building , is in the immediate vicinity of the park. When the exclusion zone was lifted in the 1950s and the park was restored and reopened, the undamaged orangery and the ruins of Palais Grüneburg were demolished in favor of restoration measures and the park was expanded to 29 hectares.
Today the Grüneburgpark is used by Frankfurt citizens as a place to relax and for various leisure activities. Since her return to Frankfurt about 50 years ago, Nadine von Mauthner, the youngest daughter of Albert von Goldschmidt-Rothschild, has been the last woman to be born in Grüneburgpark.
Today's buildings in the park
Only a few stone flower pots have been preserved from the New Palace at the Green Castle . They were set up in the immediate vicinity of its former location. Approximately in the middle of today's park, on the site of the destroyed Palais Grüneburg, there is a five-meter-high memorial stele for the house, erected there in 1968 and designed by the sculptor Hans Steinbrenner . It stands in a flower border that is modeled on the floor plan of the palace. Since 2007, a plaque on the edge of the flower bed has provided information about its history. Only the water tower built in the historicism style on the northern edge of today's park on Miquelallee and the two porter's houses from the late 19th century - one also on the northern edge of the park on Sebastian-Rinz- Street, the other on its eastern edge on August-Siebert-Strasse.
In 1947 the city left the site of the former Bethmannsche Gutshof Grüne Burg and the Rothschild orangery to the Greek community of Apostles Andreas and Saint George of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Region of Germany . This built the Georgioskirche on the foundations of the orangery in the 1950s. The temporary solution from the 1950s was replaced by a new building in the 1990s thanks to a donation from a furrier.
The octagonal classicist Schönhof pavilion was designed by the Frankfurt architect Friedrich Rumpf . It was built in 1820 as a garden house for the Barckhaus family who ran the Schönhof estate in today's Bockenheim district . The pavilion was moved from there to Grüneburgpark in 1964 on the occasion of the construction of the Breitenbach Bridge in Bockenheim and today it houses the Park Café.
There are a total of five children's playgrounds distributed over the grounds of the Grüneburgpark, with play equipment geared towards the needs of children in the age groups up to 3 years, 3–6 years and 6 years and over.
A 4,000 square meter Korean garden with two typical pavilions, ponds and an artificially created stream was built for the Frankfurt Book Fair 2005 by specialists who traveled from South Korea . Korea was the guest country at the 2005 Book Fair. As a gift from South Korea to the city of Frankfurt, the Korean garden will remain on the eastern edge of Grüneburg Park for a long time.
On the night of May 1, 2017, the larger of the two temples, the Morning Dew Pavilion, was destroyed by arson by strangers. The fire service in the second half of the night could not save the building. The Korean garden was closed until traffic safety was restored.
Redevelopment of the park, 2014–2017
In spring 2014, work on its renovation began in Grüneburgpark under the direction of the Frankfurt Green Space Office. The extensive horticultural measures in five successive construction phases made the temporary closure of large parts of the park area necessary. The completion of the work, in the planning of which a local citizens' initiative is included, was initially planned for 2016. After the last of the planned construction phases began in December 2016, the Frankfurt Green Spaces Office described the renovation as "largely completed" at the beginning of June 2017; minor work should be carried out by autumn of the year.
A display case in the south-west corner of the park area provided information about the renovation with the posting of official notices on the planning and implementation of the renovation as well as detailed cartographic representations of the work.
Access and transport links
Grüneburgpark can be reached on foot, by bike and by buses operated by the Frankfurt public transport company VGF . There are few public parking spaces for motorized private transport in the northern half of Siesmayerstraße. Due to the surrounding, busy streets (west, north), residential areas not accessible by public transport (northeast), the university campus in the southeast and the adjacent palm garden in the southwest, the park appears somewhat shielded from the nearest public transport lines. Two VgF bus stops are directly adjacent to Grüneburgpark: the Palmengarten bus stop on the south-west corner of bus line 36 - to which you can change from the Holzhausenstraße subway stop (U1, U2, U3, U8) - and the one at the Grüneburgpark bus stop on the north side of bus line 32. From the west (northern Bockenheim), a pedestrian bridge leads from Diebsgrundweg over the Rosa-Luxemburg-Schnellstraße directly into the park. From the north (Carl-Schurz-Siedlung) a second pedestrian bridge leads from the Miquelanlage at the Deutsche Bundesbank over the Miquelallee.
- Frank Blecken: Historical parks in Frankfurt am Main - Grüneburgpark. In: Tom Koenigs (Ed.): City Parks - Urban Nature in Frankfurt am Main, p. 98 f. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt / New York 1993. ISBN 3-593-34901-9
- Sonja Thelen: Green Frankfurt. A guide to more than 70 parks and facilities in the city . B3 Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007. ISBN 978-3-938783-19-1
- Barbara Vogt: Siesmayer's Gardens . Publisher: KulturRegion FrankfurtRheinMain gGmbH. Societäts-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2009. ISBN 978-3-7973-1151-1
- Rüdiger Mertens: The Villa Grüneburg, the so-called Grüneburgschlösschen, in: Frankfurter Parkgeschichten (Archive for Frankfurt's History and Art, Volume 74), Frankfurt am Main 2014, pp. 49–56. ISBN 978-3-95542-048-2
- Grüneburgpark at par.frankfurt.de , the former website of the City of Frankfurt am Main
- Brief information about Grüneburgpark on the website frankfurt-interaktiv.de (accessed on October 2, 2009)
- Article about the history of Grüneburgpark in the senior magazine Frankfurt from January 2006. PDF file, 252 kB
- Article on the memorial stele in Grüneburgpark on the website juedisches-frankfurt.de (accessed on March 3, 2012)
- Photo of the south facade of Grüneburg Castle from 1940 on the website frankfurt-nordend.de (accessed on October 3, 2009)
- Sonja Thelen: Green Frankfurt, p. 55
- Information board of the Grüneburgpark citizens' initiative at the south-western park entrance; Status: August 2017
- Botanical labeling of selected, particularly old trees in the park by plaques on the tree trunks
- Grüneburgpark: No tree felling to maintain the historical shape of Frankfurt - Green City Councilor Heilig considers monument protection to be out of date, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , edition of May 24, 2013, p. 45
- Sonja Thelen: Green Frankfurt, p. 54
- Blecken: Historical parks in Frankfurt am Main in: Stadt-Parks, p. 99
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quoted from Frank Blecken: Historische Parks in Frankfurt am Main in: Stadt-Parks, p. 99
- Vogt: Siesmayers gardens , p. 74
- Klaus Merten, Christoph Mohr: Das Frankfurter Westend , p. 14. A documentation by the Kuratorium Kulturelles Frankfurt with a focus on architecture and numerous historical images (maps and photos). Prestel Verlag Munich, 1974. ISBN 3-7913-0036-9
- Vogt: Siesmayers gardens , pp. 75-77
- Eiskeller im Grüneburgpark FFM 197. In: Archeology in Frankfurt 2009–2011
- Vogt: Siesmayers gardens , p. 78
- Vogt: Siesmayers gardens , p. 79
- Inscription on the stele - originally carved into the wood in capital letters : “Here in Grüneburgpark was the“ New Palais ”. Built in 1845 for Amschel Mayer Frh. [Freiherr] von Rothschild ++ 1944 destroyed in the air war ++ Until 1837 Bethmannsche Hofgut Grüneburg ++ Layout of the English Park 1897–1901 by Heinrich and Philipp Siesmayer. City park since 1938. "
- Article about the memorial stele in Grüneburgpark on juedisches-frankfurt.de
- Vogt: Siesmayers gardens , p. 76
- Grüneburgpark at par.frankfurt.de , the former site of the city of Frankfurt am Main
- Fire in Frankfurt: Korean pavilion in Frankfurt torched . Article in the Frankfurter Rundschau from May 1, 2017, with a photo of the fire ruin (accessed on May 20, 2017)
- Magistrate of the City of Frankfurt am Main, Office for Green Space: Public notice at the Korean Garden; Status: May 2017
- Inga Janovic: Parallels to the fire in the Korean garden Fire in the Chinese garden: the work of a serial offender? . Article in the Frankfurter Neue Presse from June 2, 2017
- Grüneburgpark at par.frankfurt.de , the former website of the city of Frankfurt am Main (article about the construction work in the park, accessed on May 24, 2014)
- City of Frankfurt am Main, Green Space Office: Grüneburgpark construction sections, cartographic representation of the planned renovation steps (PDF file, 1.7 MB, accessed on Feb. 26, 2020)
- Magistrate of the City of Frankfurt am Main, Office for Green Space: Public notice in Grüneburgpark for its renovation, as of June 3, 2017
- Barbara Metzler: New face for the Grüneburgpark ( memento from August 16, 2017 in the Internet Archive ). Article from April 8, 2014 on the website of the daily newspaper Frankfurter Neue Presse (accessed on May 24, 2014)
- Sonja Thelen: Green Frankfurt, p. 53