Szczytnicki Park in Wroclaw

 

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As far back as the 18th century, Szczytnicki Forest was a popular leisure destination among the people of Wroclaw. In 1783, Prince Friedrich Ludwig Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen bought the park from the city authorities and converted it into the so-called Prince’s Garden, which was one of the first English-style parks established in continental Europe.

The park’s major attraction, apart from new species of trees and shrubs, were its plaster cast copies of ancient sculptures. In 1806 and 1807, when the city was besieged by Napoleon’s army, and in subsequent years, the park became run down for lack of care. It kept changing hands until 1854, when the municipal authorities bought the park for sixteen thousand thaler. However, the park continued to turn wild until 1862, when it was redesigned in keeping with the English style by Lennes. The lanes, paths, and clusters of greenery which spread over 100 hectares were intended to form a natural landscape. Currently, besides the indigenous trees the park boasts around 320 species brought from the Balkans, Japan, China, the Caucasus, and North America. In the second half of the nineteenth century, various sections of the park began to take on a unique character, with all parts of the mosaic nonetheless forming a harmonious whole. A number of attractive spots emerged within the park as a result. One of these was the area around the oak tree nowadays known as J. Stanka’s Oak. Another was the birch wood, later named Goppert Park or Strolling Park. Yet the most remarkable is the Japanese Garden, designed and planted with the assistance of the Japanese specialist Mankichi Arai in the years 1909–1912. It is a glorious place with a unique appeal, especially during the spring and summer seasons.



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