Altenburg Palace Gardens

Palace Garden
Blooming magnolia in the Palace Garden
Teahouse in the Palace Garden

On the eastern side of Altenburg Palace sprawls a lovely park that can look back on a long history of artistic landscaping. Duke Johann von Sachsen (1570–1605) had sweeping gardens laid out here in the late 16th century in the Renaissance style.

The plantings included both domestic and imported greenery. In addition to fountains with waterworks and a labyrinth, a kitchen garden was also part of the ensemble.

The park was the setting for opulent celebrations and other ceremonial courtly occasions. Following a period of decline, Duke Friedrich II von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg (1676–1732) decided to redesign the park. A ballroom building was converted into the Palace Garden Theatre. A “new pleasure pavilion” with light-flooded garden room, today known as the Tea House with Orangerie, replaced a prior structure and the greenhouses where bitter oranges had been cultivated. The Orangerie once housed lemon trees as well as coffee plants and laurel trees.

In the late 18th century the grounds were converted into a landscape park, beginning with the laying out of meandering paths and asymmetrical lawns. Groves of trees and shrubbery placed seemingly at random replaced the architecturally arranged parterres. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, buildings were added including the Lindenau Museum, known for its collection of early Italian panel paintings, the Natural History Museum and the Duchess Agnes Memorial Church.

Today, the appeal of the Altenburg Palace Gardens can be attributed primarily to the abundant surviving historic trees in conjunction with delightful examples of the architecture of various epochs.


Schloss- und Spielkartenmuseum
Schloss 2
04600 Altenburg

Phone: +49 (0) 34 47 / 51 27 12
Fax: +49 (0) 34 47 / 51 27 33