Mużaków (Muskauer) Park - Landscape Formation
Spreading over 1700 acres, it is one of the largest landscape parks in Europe. The park stretches on both sides of Nysa Luzycka River, which is part of the natural border between Poland and Germany. The larger part of the park (over 1200 acres) is located on the Polish side, while the German part lies in the community of Bad Muskau (Muzakow).
Prince Hermann Pückler-Muskau, the leading expert and designer of German landscape parks, developed this park in the early 19th century. Inspired by English gardens, he transformed his family residence into an unusual landscape park. It was skilfully arranged using the natural formation of the valley with the residential buildings built on the slopes with high terraces and all surrounded by gardens featuring rich architectural and floral details.
Some of the buildings were designed by the well-known architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Other artists and planners also contributed to the final result of the project. The group included the painter August Schirmer and the English landscape designer John Adey Repton. In order to create the picturesque park scenery an artificial river tributary was excavated.
Thanks to the careful preservation of the original parkland by its subsequent owners, such as Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, the Muskauer Landscape Park retained its original character.
After World War II, the new Polish-German state border divided the Muzakow/Muskauer Landscape Park into two parts. A united effort by both the Polish and German authorities started the regeneration programme in the 1980s. The project has become a leading example of fruitful European cooperation in the conservation of common cultural heritage.