Palace Garden (Palastgarten)

A crown jewel of garden architecture lies in the heart of the city: the Palace Garden. Baroque garden artistry is framed by exquisite examples from art and history: an enchanting park in which one can experience both the past in stone and the present in blossoms. A section of the garden corresponds to the style based on ancient Greco-Roman gardens. Along with classical literature and the fine arts, garden artistry crossed the Alps in the 16th century and also found a new home in Germany. The singularity of Italian gardening artistry is the stark stylistic development and the wealth of artistic thought contained within which makes each new creation an individual work of art. At first glance, a spiralling fountain forms the moving image of a somewhat outsized tulip blossom. The beech hedges were developed according to a historical design. Their light-and-shadow effect gives structure to the open space as well as enclosing the baroque section of the garden. The many arches fashion a friendly invitation to freely enter the small paradise of flowers.

The miniature garden offers a surprise: surrounded by tall, severely cut hedges, this symmetrical little garden exhibits allegorical statues of the senses in its four corners, intended to stimulate thoughts and smiles. The Palace Garden's eastern neighbour, the Landesmuseum with its wealth of principally Roman sculpture and artefacts, was extended in 1985 in a modern glass addition, containing a café. This new arm stretches across the medieval city wall, as if to take part in the magic of the flowered splendour and the flair of the splashing fountains in the long reflecting pool. Along either side of the pool, benches invite the visitor to rest near the mighty magnolia trees, which produce their bright red seeds only in very sunny years. This area of the garden is intimate and inviting, finding its harmonious finale in the rising baroque façade of the corner projection of the palace. Behind a yew hedge, planted with further growth in mind, there naturally remains plenty of room for children: a playground and a small soccer pitch as well as a special mother-child area. The landscape garden section beyond the geometrical garden opens up an area of contrasting character. A large meadow bordered by trees is a popular meeting point.

The most prominent attraction is a five-jet fountain. The weeping willow and the ruins of the Imperial Baths at the end of this ensemble make for a uniquely picturesque detail within the gardens.