The Altenstein Gardens with the summer residence of the Dukes of Sachsen-Meiningen is one of the largest landscape parks in Central Germany, with a total area of 160 hectares. Hallmark of the ensemble is a skilful fusion of artistic garden design with the commanding rock formations found on the site.
Toward the end of the 19th century, Duke Georg II had the Baroque palace remodelled in the style of an English country manor. Surrounding the palace, an inner park with flowerbeds was laid out. The most famous of these is the flower carpet south of the palace.
Brahms was invited here by Duke Georg II and his wife, Baroness Helene of Heldburg, to perform some of his compositions with musicians from the court at Meiningen for a small circle of guests.