Englischer Garten

Englischer Garten in Munich is one of the world’s largest city parks, at 4.17 km2 (1,030 acres) in size.

The park’s name comes from the English gardening style that was used by Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell to build the place.

English gardens were, in fact, the first purpose-built royal park in the European continent to be made available to the public.

Englischer Garten Munich Germany

PHOTO: The gardens are built next to Isar river, and the area is popular for leisure strolls for both locals and tourists alike. In fact, there is a a total of 75 kilometers (46.6 miles) of walking paths within the park to choose from.

Chinesischer turm tower Munich Germany

PHOTO: Tourist attractions in the garden include the pictured 25 meter (82 ft) tall, Chinese style tower, “Chinesischer turm”, a design by Joseph Frey.

Eisbach surfer in Munich Germany

PHOTO: The English gardens also features an artificial river, the Eisbach, which has (next to the Prinzregentstrasse), a surfing spot (pictured), where river surfers have been performing since 1972.

VIDEO: AP newsreport of Eisbach river surfers.

VIDEO: European travel journalist Rick Steves’ tour of the English gardens.

The park was opened in 1789 to Munich residents by Prince-Elector Carl Theodor (in reign 1724-1799), who had inherited the area after the last Wittelsbach ruler of the region, Maximilian III Joseph, died in 1777.

In opening the park, the ruler’s intention was to calm down the the upset residents, after the Prince-Elector had tried to change some of the lands to areas under Austrian control in Netherlands…

…as the Carl Theodor preferred spending his time elsewhere, including his lands in Mannheim, rather than in Munich.

Englischer Garten are among the world’s largest city parks, a bit larger than New York Central Park, but somewhat smaller than Richmond Park in London (UK).

The park was extended throughout the 20th century, first by 30 hectares in 1952, to include a former Joseph Anton von Maffei locomotive factory…

…and in 1958-62 by further 67 hectares, when parts of the nearby Hirschauer Forst (forest) were added to it.

You’ll be able to enjoy of many highlights at the park, including its Japanese tearoom.

The tearoom was a gift from Kyoto Urasenke tea school and its administrator, Soshitsu Sen, in 1972, opened in time for the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The most famous highlight, however, is the Chinesischer turm (“Chinese tower”), added to the gardens from 1789-1790, from plans by architect Joseph Frey.

Inspiration for the Chinese style tower came from The Great Pagoda at Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens) park, in London (UK)

The Munich Chinese tower has five levels, with the base level having a diameter of 19 m, and the highest level 6 m.

Adjacent to the Chinesischer turm, there is the 2nd largest biergarten in Munich, offering seating to 7,000 customers…

…and during Christmas advent, there is also a small-scale Christmas market near the Chinese tower.

Other highlights worth checking out include…

  • river surfers at Eisbach (an artificial river),
  • Monopteros (a small ancient Greek style temple, on top of a hill), and
  • the over 100 idyllic bridges at the English gardens.