Herrngarten, Darmstadt

Herrngarten is the largest and oldest park in Darmstadt, Germany. It was created in the 16th century by merging three big gardens with several smaller gardens. Its location right in the heart of the city makes it easy to reach and access. 

Here are the Top 8 Activities you can do at Herrngarten: 

1. Take a walk along the pond, relax on any benches, and enjoy nature’s beauty

Herrngarten is a lovely garden with plenty of green space. It is an ideal place for a walk, a casual cycle ride or even an afternoon nap!

2. Visit the monuments in the park

Herrngarten is a historical garden. To learn about the history of the garden, scroll down further. The tomb of Landgravine Caroline, the Goethe Monument, and the memorial stone of Princess Elizabeth are some monuments that adorn the garden.

3. Enjoy a meal at Cafe Leyli

Located inside the park, this restaurant serves good food and provides a lovely view of the park. So, while in the garden, pay a visit for a cup of coffee or a mug of beer or plan lunch to enjoy some Persian delights. More information can be found on their website: https://www.restaurantleyli.de/

4. Enjoy a musical concert at the Pavillion

Summer months are pretty busy, and many people visit the garden to enjoy the sun. Almost every weekend, there are bands performing at the Pavillion, adding to the joy and merriment that summer brings. 

5. Have an active sporty day at the garden

Herrngarten also features an open-air gym, basketball court, football ground and outdoor table tennis. So, get together with your buddies and get sporting!

6. Take your child to the Outdoor play area (Spielplatz in German)

If you have small kids, get them to the outdoor play area inside the garden. It is an excellent place to find other kids for company and have fun together.

7. Plan a picnic with grilling

In the summer months, you will find plenty of families and groups of friends having a picnic in the garden. So pack your picnic basket, get your picnic grill and maybe carry a ball or frisbee along with a portable music system- and you have all the stuff to have the most enjoyable time.

8. Take part in events at the park

Sport und Spielfest Darmstadt

In summer, many events like the Sport & Spielfest, Herrngarten Jam etc., take place in the garden. Entry to these events is free and is open to everyone. So, participate in these fests and make your weekend even more fun.

But Herrngarten is not just a garden. It is a piece from the history of Darmstadt. A closer look can take you back a couple of centuries and bring you face-to-face with the history of this beautiful garden. Historical structures of the various phases of its development have been preserved today. These serve as a testament and a reminder of the era gone by.

The Story of Herrngarten:

Germany has a century-old tradition of having princely gardens along with palaces. Herrngarten started as one of those gardens attached to the palace ( Schloss in German) reserved exclusively for the royals. 

Here are some of the important milestones in the history of Herrngarten:

  • In the 16th century, a kitchen garden at the renaissance palace was developed under the first Landgrave ( Langgraf in German) of Darmstadt, George I. This garden also served the purpose of a leisure garden.
  • In the 17th and early 18th centuries, when the landgraves did not have the money for a new palace with stately pleasure gardens, they extended the existing garden and surrounded it by a wall separate from the palace.
  • From 1766 onwards, the Landgravine-Caroline had the Herrngarten redesigned into an ‘English Style garden .’ The garden’s appearance as we see it today is based on her ideas. According to her wish, her grave was laid in the park and preserved till today. After her death, Frederick II of Prussia gave her an Urn made of marble, still on her burial mound.
  • Around 1801 Caroline’s son, Grand Duke (Großherzog) Ludwig I, opened the palace gardens to the public. He also arranged to extend the grounds and create a more extensive landscape.
  • From 1895 to 1934, the park’s design underwent a big change. The new buildings for the Technical Hochschule reduced the garden to 12 hectares.
  • Since 2000, the park has been the property of the city of Darmstadt. It is a public park with no park access fee. 

Details about the layout of the park can be found here:

What is the best time of the year to visit Herrngarten?

Although the garden looks lovely during autumn and winter, Spring and Summer are the best times to visit the garden. On a beautiful summer day, you would find the park filled with people of all ages, doing things they like and generally having a good time. Events like the Sport & Spiel Fest, concerts, etc., are organized during summer.

Music groups organize these concerts on the weekends. These typically last for about an hour and are open to all with no entry fee. Information on dates and timings can be found at: https://www.darmstadt.de/veranstaltungskalender.

Herrngarten is indeed a beautiful garden in the heart of the city. Whether you want to walk, jog, cycle, or laze around reading a book under a tree, whether you want a family picnic combined with some casual sport or a cafe/restaurant experience with a beautiful garden view, Herrngarten is the place for you.

It is directly connected to Prinz Georg Garten.

To know more about places and experiences in Darmstadt, click here.

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