Friday, June 15, 2012

The Orangery in Karlsruhe - A Princely Pleasure Garden

I wanted to write this post a while ago about a very unique and beautiful place, the Orangery in Karlsruhe, Germany - a city where I lived for a while. The Orangery with its many greenhouses hosts the famous Botanical Gardens of Karlsruhe. The Botanical Gardens were established in their current location in 1808, during the reign of Karl Friedrich of Baden (1728-1811). The origins of this extraordinary collection of plants date back to Margrave Karl Wilhem of Baden(1679-1738).

Between the two wings of the palace he ordered a " princely pleasure garden" to be laid out with magnificient orangeries, greenhouses and aviaries. At the end of the 18th century, the Margrave had his residence, gardens and palace grounds remodelled in the English style and established the Botanical Gardens on their present site.

The Margraves and Grand Dukes of Baden were plant afiocionados, amassing an impressive collection of exotic greenery. The greenhouses built to display these treasures are today home to a unique and rich plant life.  A number of rare trees from a collection dating back to the 19th century have survived until today in the park grounds.

The combination of rich growth, amazing colours and the rarity of plants is blinding the eyes of the visitor. 

This building with its amazing dome is a part of the State Art Gallery. Here you find the more modern art works from the end of the 19th century up to today. You can see a wide spectrum of works including Cezanne, Gaugin, Kandinsky, Miro and also some contemporary artists.

Visitors from all over the world come to see the flowers and exotic plants. When I visited the garden last year with my aunt the were great numbes of Japanese tourists discovering the beauty of the green houses and the State Gallery.

Today I am showing you only the outside are and the buildings of the gardens. The inside deserves a guided photographic tour on its own!

In 1863 the wooden glasshouses were replaced by grand ornamental cast iron structures putting Karlsruhe at the fore front of garden architecture. And more building were added, designed by the architect Heinrich Huebsch, to accomodate more plants.

Princely it is !

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