Berlin's Gardens of the World

Erin Porter

Deep in the wilds of Marzahn (Berlin neighborhood in the East), Gärten der Welt or Der Erholungspark Marzahn offers a vast green space for all the family. Best in spring and summer, the park spreads out between the many concrete Plattenbau with Chinese, Japanese, Balinese, Italian Renaissance and Korean gardens, a koi pond and labyrinth.

Many people choose the site as the background to their wedding - we saw three brides on our visit. But there is something for every visitor and season in Berlin's Gardens of the World.

History of Gardens of the World

The 21 acre park was inaugurated in 1987 as part of the Berliner Gartenschau (horticultural show). It has been continually updated and expanded with the addition of the "Garden of the Reclaimed Moon" in 2000, Italian Renaissance Garden opened in 2007, Karl-Forster-Perennial Garden in 2008 and the Christian Garden in 2011. There are plans to include an English garden in the future.

The site will be the focus of the plant world in April 2017 for the international garden exhibition IGA Berlin. The 170-day festival will include events in the park and the 100-hectares of woods along the Wuhle river.

Attractions at Gardens of the World

Flower lovers will exult in the rainbow of colors across the grounds. Tulips, roses and lush grass cover the spaces between the stylized gardens. Among the attractions:

  • Chinese Garden - This is Germany's largest Chinese Garden at 2.7 hectares and the first space developed in the park. The garden was designed by Chinese landscape architects and all materials were imported from China. The unifying moon symbolizes the reunification of Berlin with its perfect harmony.
  • Japanese Garden - Along with a pavilion, ponds, Zen garden and ornamental rocks, this enclosed garden has Japanese maple, Japanese flowering dogwoods and Japanese lavender heather.
  • Oriental “Garden of the Four Streams” - Designed to resemble structures of the Middle East and Arab world, the elaborate tile, jetting fountains and shaded atrium offer a cooling space in the heat of summer.
  • Balinese Garden - The alien species of Bali are protected beneath a glasshouse in the Garden of the Three Harmonies. There is also a section of a traditional Balinese housing.
  • Korean Garden - The Seoul Garden was a gift from the Korean city and has 4,000 square metres of courtyards, figures and plants.
  • Christian Garden - A unique golden structure composed of scripture dominates this space.
  • Italian Renaissance Garden - Based on historic design, this elegant space focuses on box tree topiary and stately statues. Follow the paths around the terracotta-potted plants and dream of Tuscany villas.
  • Maze and Labyrinth - Visitors can try to find their way into - and then out of - a maze of lofty yew hedges. Styled on those of the Hampton Court at Chartres Cathedral in France, there is a paved labyrinth alongside. 
  • Karl-Forster-Perennial Garden - A garden of year-round flowering plants follow the ideas of Karl Foerster, a shrub grower and garden philosopher from Potsdam-Bornim of the early 20th century.

Food at Gardens of the World

I have only sampled ice cream from one of the many stands, but it is well known for its authentic tea ceremony and a French dining area.

2017 International Garden Festival

This event is held bi-annually and takes place in Berlin this year. IGA Berlin 2017 takes place from April 13th till October 15th and features projects concerning the future of urban parks and green areas. Gardens of the World, Kienberg, and the Wuhletal provide for a spectacular setting to enjoy intricate gardens, information sessions, water elements, themed games, live music, and even an energy-efficient tropical hall. One of the highlights of this year's event is the new network of cable cars that offer breathtaking views over the park.

Tickets are available on the IGA website and at selected ticket counters in Berlin and Brandenburg. Daily Tickets are 20 euro.

Gardens of the World Visitor Information

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