Among the park loving monarchs count Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau definitely was the most colourful character. He enjoyed life, travelled a lot and got bitten by the landscape park bug when in England. He set himself the task of transforming his infertile estate around Bad Muskau into a park. This enormous undertaking costed so much money that he was forced to win the heart of rich women. But though he succeeded in winning their hearts, he never got their money. However, the letters he wrote about these affairs - and that his wife published as a book! - became a bestseller, providing him with the money to finish the park. Well, almost - he went bankrupt when the end of the project was in sight.
With his wife he escaped to his last possession, a derilict mansion in Branitz near Cottbus. Famous architect Gottfried Semper, who was to renovate the house for them, stated that even Pückler's green hands would not be able to turn the sandy plains around the house into something worthwhile. But Semper was wrong, as Pückler, now 61 years old, repeated the miracle of Bad Muskau.
In his new park he is buried. Not his body, but his heart, which had beaten passionately for eighty-six years. He designed the final resting place for it himself: a surrealistic clay pyramid rising from one of the lakes. Photo Paul Smit.