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.