Squeezed against the border with Poland, sleepy Bad Muskau is a tiny spa-village with one big attraction. Unesco-listed Muskauer Park is the verdant masterpiece of 19th-century celebrity landscape gardener Prince Hermann von Pückler. ‘Prince Pickle’, as the English dubbed him, toiled on the park for nearly 30 years but never completed his ‘painting with plants’, because debt forced him to sell the estate in 1844. He nevertheless set the bar high for landscapers to follow, even compiling a meticulous instruction manual on landscaping techniques.
The park and town suffered enormously when the last major battle of WWII was fought on its grounds in early 1945. In the same year, the park was divided between Germany and Poland when the Neisse River, which bisects Prince von Pückler’s creation, became the new border.