Friedenstein Palace in Gotha is surrounded by a park made up of several different self-contained areas. Special attractions are the Orangerie Garden and the English Garden. The Orangerie Garden was laid out beginning in 1747 under Duke Ernst II von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg by the architect Gottfried Heinrich Krohne. Two imposing orangerie buildings flank a parterre that tapers toward the east. At the end of the 18th century the orangerie was one of the largest in Germany, with some 3,000 potted plants. Today, the “Laurel House” on the southern side is once again being used to protect plants in winter.
The lake inside the park, with its extremely irregular outline and cleverly placed island, can never be seen in its entirety from any vantage point. Together with the Temple to Mercury located to the east and the “belt walk”, the main path through the gardens, it forms one of the key elements shaping the look of the park.
A further section of the gardens featuring a Neogothic teahouse was added in the late 18th century between the palace and the Orangerie Garden. In the 19th century the isolated gardens were united to form a cohesive park.