Herrenhausen Gardens

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Broderie pattern and bell fountain in the Great Garden

The Herrenhausen Gardens in Hanover consist of the Great Garden , the Berggarten , the Georgengarten and the Welfengarten .

The Great Garden in Herrenhausen is one of the most important baroque gardens in Europe and is the historical centerpiece of the Herrenhausen Gardens. The Berggarten , also located in Herrenhausen, developed from a vegetable and nursery garden to a botanical garden . The rainforest house that was built here in 2000 was converted into an aquarium in 2006. There is a fee to visit both gardens.

The Georgengarten is located east of the Great Garden and, like the Welfengarten, belongs to the Nordstadt district . Both gardens are laid out in the style of English landscape gardens and are freely accessible. They are assigned to the mayor's division of the city ​​administration of Hanover .

Big garden


Site plan 1763
Big garden seen from the air: At the top of the picture the garden theater, in the foreground the maze
Temple avenue
Big fountain

Duke Georg von Calenberg had a kitchen garden with buildings laid out in the village of Höringehusen in 1638 . When Georg's son Johann Friedrich came to power in 1665, he renamed the village Herrenhausen and had a castle built here. He commissioned his gardener to build a pleasure garden that was roughly the size of today's Great Parterre .

The garden has been significantly enlarged and redesigned over time. The greatest changes took place during the reign of Duke Ernst August (1679–1698). The Duke was awaiting his appointment as Elector of Braunschweig-Lüneburg , which took place in 1692, and needed representative facilities for this. The large garden was redesigned under the direction of his wife Sophie von der Pfalz . Sophie had spent her youth in the Netherlands and had the garden designed in the style of the Dutch baroque layout .

Considerable expansion work took place between 1676 and 1680. The Great Cascade was built in 1676 and the grotto a year later . During further construction work in 1707 and 1708 a page house was built in the north-western part of the complex and a temple by Louis Remy de la Fosse in the south-east and in the south-west corner of the Great Garden. These buildings still exist.

The Great Fountain was built in the southern half of the garden around 1700 . The fountain reached a height of around 35 m for the first time in 1721, making it the highest of its time at a European court. The performance could be increased in the following years up to about 70 m. The pumping station, known as water art , is located outside the garden. The functional technical monument regulates the water level of the graft surrounding the Great Garden today.

By 1710 the Great Garden was largely completed. With 50  hectares, it roughly corresponded to the area of ​​the old town of Hanover , in which 10,000 people lived. The Great Garden had quadrupled its size by Sophie's death in 1714. Today it covers an area of ​​around 50 ha.

The Great Garden was forgotten until the middle of the 19th century, as the following rulers of Hanover and Great Britain, who ruled in personal union , stayed in London and did not take care of the garden. While many princes transformed their baroque gardens into landscape gardens in the 18th century , the Great Garden remained unchanged. After the lost war of 1866 and the annexation of the Kingdom of Hanover by Prussia , the social importance of the Great Garden ended and the complex fell into disrepair again.

After the city of Hanover bought the garden in 1936, it was redesigned. In addition to eight special gardens, the Maze , a modeled complex based on a plan from 1674 with an octagonal floor plan and a diameter of 38 meters , emerged as new creations . It is not known whether there was a maze in the Great Garden in the 17th century. The renovation focused on the show value of the garden, the aspect of the kitchen garden was not taken into account.

After the Second World War , the gardens were almost restored by 1966. The grotto and the Great Cascade were undamaged.

One of the last works by artist Niki de Saint Phalle from the 1970s is in the Great Garden . Between 2001 and 2003 her employees redesigned the three-room grotto with glass and mirror mosaics as well as some sculptures. From the octagonal central room, the other two rooms branch off to the left and right, each of which has a small fountain with a statue at the front .


Herrenhausen Palace was expanded at the end of the 17th century . From 1720 to 1723, the court architect Böhm built the orangery in the northeast of the garden . From 1819 to 1821 the court architect Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves renovated the Herrenhausen Palace and two years later the orangery.

During the Second World War, the castle, which was largely made of clad timber framework, was destroyed in an air raid; only the outside staircase was preserved and in the subsequent reconstruction of the garden it was moved to the south-western edge of the ground floor .

In 2009, a 99-year leasehold contract was signed between the city of Hanover and the Volkswagen Foundation . On this basis, the foundation rebuilt Herrenhausen Palace and reconstructed the classicist facade . The building was completed in January 2013 and serves as a scientific conference center. In the side wings, the city is building a museum that provides information about the history of the Herrenhausen Gardens.


International fireworks competition

The International Fireworks Competition takes place in the Great Garden every year. On five dates between May and September, pyrotechnicians from all over the world compete against each other. Since 2007, each participating nation has initially had to complete a compulsory program of specified musical accompaniment. Then the nations can present themselves in an individual freestyle. The fireworks are preceded by a diverse supporting program that offers a mixture of cabaret, music and garden theater.

The small festival in the large garden has established itself as an international cabaret festival .

In the summer months, the Landesbühne Hannover uses the garden theater in the Great Garden for musicals and theater performances . The orangery and gallery building are also used for specialist and art exhibitions and concerts.

In May, the Herrenhausen Art Festival takes place annually with international artists and a cross-genre program. The artistic formats are mainly developed specifically for the venues in the Herrenhausen Gardens.

Mountain garden

The Berggarten is north of the Great Garden on the other side of Herrenhausen Street. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Germany.

The garden was laid out in 1666 by Duke Johann Friedrich as a kitchen garden for growing vegetables. Electress Sophie converted the mountain garden into a garden for exotic plants, for which a greenhouse was built in 1686 . In 1750 the kitchen garden in Linden took over the supply of the farm with fruit and vegetables, the mountain garden has been a botanical garden since then. In the show houses and themed gardens of the Berggarten there are currently 11,000 different plants from different climates, including the largest orchid collection in Europe.

Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves built a garden master's house between 1817 and 1820 , which became a library pavilion in 1952 . From 1842 to 1847 work on a mausoleum according to plans by Laves , where King Ernst August and his wife Friederike found their final resting place.

For Expo 2000 which was Regenwaldhaus built. It housed an artificial tropical landscape in which butterflies, frogs and smaller bird species from tropical regions lived. Due to high costs, it was closed in 2006 and then in a Sealife rebuilt -Aquarium, the rainforest was obtained. The deep sea basin holds 300,000 liters of water. A large ocean basin with sharks and turtles is four meters deep and can be observed by visitors through an eight meter long acrylic glass tunnel.


Around 1700, mansions of the Electorate of Hanover were built in the floodplain of the Leine (also known as Leinemasch) . In 1726, the two-kilometer-long, four-row Herrenhäuser Allee , which connected Herrenhausen Palace with Hanover, was laid out. In 1768 Count Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn bought the gardens belonging to the noble country estates and combined them to form the "Wallmodengarten". The Wallmodenschloss was built between 1781 and 1796 and from then on housed the count's art collection. In 1826 two garden houses were built in the vicinity based on plans by Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves .

From 1828 to 1843 the park was converted into an English landscape park. The watercourses of the former gardens were enlarged into ponds. The park was rebuilt by George IV. Of Hanover in Georgengarten renamed. Three bridges were built according to plans by Laves: the Fahrbrücke in 1837 , the Augustenbrücke in 1840 and the still preserved Friederikenbrücke , which connects the Great Garden with the Georgengarten across the Graft . The Wallmodenschloss, which has meanwhile been renamed the Georgenpalais , now houses the Wilhelm Busch Museum .

The city of Hanover bought the Georgengarten in 1921. In the middle of it, the Leibniz Temple was erected in 1935 in honor of the scholar Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz . The Monopteros was built from 1787 to 1790 on what was then Paradeplatz (later Waterlooplatz ).


The Welfenschloss today: seat of the University of Hanover

In 1717, north of Herrenhäuser Allee, Monbrillant Castle was built as the residence of Count von Platen and demolished again in 1857. One of the two pedestrian bridges created by Laves is still preserved from this period .

Between 1857 and 1866 the Welfenschloss was built on the same site , which is surrounded by the Welfengarten and Prinzengarten. Before the completion of the building, Prussia annexed the Kingdom of Hanover after the war of 1866 , so that the palace was never used as intended. After a long vacancy, the palace became the seat of the Technical University in 1879, from which today's Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University of Hanover emerged .

The Welfengarten was affected by the Second World War and then rebuilt in a modified form as the campus of the Technical University. In 1961 Ernst August von Hanover sold the castle property to the city of Hanover.

Garden library

The Herrenhausen Royal Garden Library once belonged to the gardens . It was acquired by the public sector in 2007. It is an important source of the history of Herrenhausen and the court gardeners who worked there; the collection includes books, manuscripts, drawings and herbaria. Organizationally, it belongs to the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library - Lower Saxony State Library .


  • Udo von Alvensleben and Hans Reuther : Herrenhausen. The summer residence of the Guelphs. Feesche, Hanover 1966.
  • Nik Barlo Jr., Hanae Komachi, Henning Queren: Herrenhausen Gardens . Hinstorff Verlag, Rostock 2006. Illustrated book (144 pages). ISBN 3-356-01153-7
  • The royal gardens. Glory and splendor of a residence . Edited by Kurt Morawietz. Steinbock-Verlag, Hanover 1963
  • Eugen Horti: The manor garden and its statues. Meaning, symbolism . Leibniz library , Bad Münder 1985. ISBN 3-925237-00-3
  • Friedrich Lindau : Hanover - the courtly area Herrenhausen. How the city deals with the monuments of its feudal era . With a foreword by Wolfgang Schächen . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich (among others) 2003. ISBN 3-422-06424-9
  • Waldemar R. Röhrbein : The rescue of the Herrenhausen Gardens. In: Waldemar R. Röhrbein (Ed.): Preserve your home, shape your home. Contributions to the 100th anniversary of the Heimatbund Lower Saxony. Hannover 2001. pp. 95-99
  • Horst Bredekamp : Leibniz and the revolution in garden art . Berlin 2012
  • Julian Strauss, Andreas Urban , Annika Wellmann-Stühring (eds.), Sid Auffarth , Thomas Schwark (collaborators): Palaces and gardens in Herrenhausen. From baroque to modern. For the exhibition of the Historisches Museum Hannover in the Museum Schloss Herrenhausen - May 2013 to March 2014 (= Writings of the Historisches Museum Hannover , vol. 41), Hannover: Historisches Museum, 2013, ISBN 978-3-910073-42-5 ; contents

Web links

Commons : Herrenhausen Gardens  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Water art . In: Klaus Mlynek, Waldemar R. Röhrbein (Hrsg.): Stadtlexikon Hannover . Schlütersche Verlagsgesellschaft, Hanover 2009, ISBN 978-3-89993-662-9 , p. 656 .
  2. Water art. Imposing water feature. In: hannover.de . State capital Hanover, accessed on February 5, 2019 . .
  3. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library (Ed.): Royal Garden Library Herrenhausen. A precious collection, its history and its objects, with contributions by Heike Palm, Susanne Schilling, Lidia Ludwig, Hubert Rettich, Matthias Wehry, Gerhard Wagenitz, Michael Schwahn. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library, Hanover 2016, ISBN 978-3-943922-16-5 .
  4. Herrenhausen Royal Garden Library. In: cgl.uni-hannover.de . Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover , July 9, 2015, accessed on February 5, 2019 .

Coordinates: 52 ° 23 ′ 30 ″  N , 9 ° 41 ′ 54 ″  E