Discover one of the most beautiful baroque style gardens in Europe
The art of European horticulture over three centuries
The City of Hannover owes the brightest jewel in its crown to an out-of-the-ordinary woman: the world-famous baroque gardens of Herrenhausen were created by Sophia, Princess Palatine of the Rhine, who was Electress of Hannover from 1692 to 1714. The baroque Great Garden (Grosser Garten) and the adjacent George Garden (Georgengarten), a landscape garden in the English style, together form a grand display of the art of European horticulture over a period of three centuries on an area measuring almost two kilometres from end to end. Opposite them is the Hill Garden (Berggarten), which has developed into a botanical display garden of international standing; between 500 and 800 orchids in resplendent bloom can be admired there at any time of the year.
The Great Garden – a festive hall out of doors
Just as the ladies and gentlemen of the court once used to do, today’s visitors too stroll pleasurably between the richly ornamented beds, which on summer evenings are festively illuminated. Springing water babbles in hidden corners, while the Great Fountain rises to an impressive height of 70 meters In summer the gardens become a dream backcloth for the concerts and performances of musicals and drama that make up the Herrenhausen Festival Weeks; at the annual International Firework Competition the pyrotechnics paint fantastic pictures in the air; and at the “Little Festival in the Great Garden” dancers, mime artists and musicians turn the gardens with all their ramifications into an enormous open-air stage.
Niki’s magic world
In Herrenhausen is to be found the final love token given to the people of Hannover by the world-famous artist Niki de Saint Phalle: LA GROTTE. She created this unique work in a 325-year-old grotto in the baroque Great Garden; it is a place of enchantment that exerts a magic attraction on Niki’s fans from all over the world. Mosaics composed of mirrors, pebbles and colored glass come together to give visitors an absorbing sensuous experience; constantly changing light conditions disseminate a mystic atmosphere that captivates children and adults alike.