'Wörlitz landscape park.'
Wörlitz is Germany's oldest English landscape park, stretching along a former branch of the Elbe and since 2000 on the list of World Heritage Sites. Where many parks want to impress, Wörlitz just is elegant. Even the palace, the first classicistic building of Germany, looks friendly.
The park shows the marks of both Enlightenment, a movement glorifying intellect, and Romanticism, stressing emotions. Goethe, who combined both elements in his own character, wrote: "I was truly moved when we silently floated across the lakes and canals. Here the gods have permitted a king to surround himself with a dream." Initially most German rulers weren't interested in these modernisms at all. But some fifty years later the situation had changed dramatically: every self-respecting monarch had his garden turned into an English landscape park. Photo Paul Smit.