2. Estate Park and Bismarck Museum Schönhausen (Elbe)

At Schönhausen, Otto von Bismarck’s (1815-1898) birthplace, the expansive estate park is located beside the Bismarck Museum. It was created in 1711 as a Baroque pleasure garden with geometric shapes and numerous sandstone figures. A scenic park area was added in the 19th century. Up till this day these two areas are connected by a statue of Hercules.

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The Hercules statue probably has no good memories of the former Chancellor of the German Empire Prince Otto von Bismarck. It is said that after an unsuccessful hunt the backside of the Hercules statue had to endure as a target. You can still go on a search for traces today.

Including that it becomes evident: the estate park looks back at an exciting history as an original 18th century Baroque Garden and a designed Landscape Park from the 19th century. The customary geometrically structured sub-areas define the face of the Baroque Garden. Paths running at right angles to each other, a sophisticated moat system for the water industry, ponds and the trees, hedges and groves cut in a manner so typical of a Baroque plantation still lure visitors into going for a walk there today. In addition to the Hercules the restored garden sculptures around the pond – which enliven the complex despite having a body made of stone – are an eyecatcher.

During Otto von Bismarck’s lifetime, the botanical plenty of the park was already so developed that there was less and less emphasis on the Baroque charm. Thanks to the numerous maintenance and planting measures that have been performed in the last few years, distinct Baroque traces are clearly visible again today.

Even though the former manor house in the estate park no longer exists today, the paths and visual axes in the area of the upper terrace remain of clear beauty. Newly planted lime trees and horse chestnut trees complement this area. Looking towards the north, there are fruit trees on a flourishing meadow again as a symbol of the earlier and future use in the estate park. The impressive three-row avenue of lime trees was renewed in its stand.

At the Hercules statue a park bridge forms the connection to the landscape garden from the 19th century. Full-grown grove groups, pin oaks, ornamental shrubs and meadows characterise this section of the park.

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