Muskauer Park is the largest and one of the most famous English gardens in Central Europe, stretching along both sides of the German and Polish border. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on 2nd July 2004. The park also stands as one of Poland's official Historic Monuments, as designated 1st May 2004, and tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland.
The 559.9 ha landscaped park sits astride the Neisse River and was created by Prince Hermann von Puckler-Muskau from 1815 to 1844 who developed the park around his residence, Schloss Muskau.
The largest proportion of Muskauer Park is located in Poland (3.5 sq km) with the remaining 2.1 sq km within Germany.
The castle (Schloss) is situated on the German side of the park, the heart of the park called the. ‘Park on Terraces’ is located within Poland. In 2003 a pedestrian bridge spanning the Neisse was rebuilt to connect both parts.
Muskauer Park was designed to blend seamlessly with the surrounding farmed landscape and it pioneered new approaches to landscape design and contributed to the advancement of landscape architecture as a discipline.
Unlike many landscaped parks in Europe, the objective of the Muskauer Park design was to use local plants to enhance the qualities of the existing landscape and to integrate the local town as part of the development using green passages that formed urban parks. It is an example of a cultural landscape in which the site’s natural attributes have been harnessed with the utmost skill and includes a reconstructed castle, bridges, an arboretum, the river Neisse, water features, buildings, forested areas and paths.
Prince Hermann von Puckler-Muskau was the definition of a cad who famously married an older and very rich woman to raise funds for the development of the park, only to formally divorce her a few years later to look for another fortune to finance the garden's maintenance. In the mid-1840s, the prince sold the park to Prince Frederik of the Netherlands to avoid bankruptcy.