Monday, October 17, 2011

Muskau Park

The Muskau Park (GermanMuskauer Park, officially: Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad MuskauPolishPark Mużakowski), is the largest and one of the most famous English gardens of Germany and Poland.
Situated in the historic Upper Lusatia region, it covers 3.5 square kilometers (1.4 sq mi) of land in Poland and 2.1 km2(0.81 sq mi) in Germany. The park extends on both sides of the Lusatian Neisse river, which constitutes the border between the countries. 
The 17.9 km(6.9 sq mi) buffer zone around the park encompassed the German town Bad Muskau (Upper SorbianMužakow) in the West and Polish Łęknica (Wjeska, former Lugknitz) in the East. While Muskau Castle is situated west of the river, the heart of the park are the partially wooded raised areas on the east bank called The Park on Terraces.   In 2003 a pedestrian bridge spanning the Neisse was rebuilt to connect both parts.

On July 2, 2004, UNESCO added the park to its World Heritage List, as an exemplary example of cross-border cultural collaboration between Poland and Germany. It was added to the list on two criteria: for breaking new ground in terms of development towards the ideal man-made landscape, and for its influence on the development of landscape architecture as a discipline.
During the Battle of Berlin, the original castles and bridges were largely destroyed. The Arnims were dispossessed by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany and since the implementation of the Oder-Neisse line in 1945, the park has been divided by the state border between Poland and Germany, with two thirds of it on the Polish side. Not before the 1960s the Communist authorities slowly accepted the legacy of the "Junker" Prince Pückler. The Old Castle was rebuilt by the East German administration in 1965-72, while the New Castle and the bridges are still being restored.

After the Revolutions of 1989 the German and Polish administration joined forces on the redevelopment of the park ensemble. Since Poland entered into the Schengen Area in 2007, visitors may freely explore both parts of the park without cross-border controls.

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