The Gartenreich (Garden Realm) Dessau-Wörlitz is one of the finest garden ensembles in Germany. Its parks reflect the vision of Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau (1740–1817). A highly educated man, Leopold travelled to Holland, Italy, France and Switzerland for inspiration on how to apply the philosophy of the Enlightenment to the design of a landscape that would harmoniously combine nature, architecture and art.
Each of the six English-style gardens comes with its own palace and other buildings, in styles ranging from neoclassical to baroque to neo-Gothic. They were added to Unesco's World Heritage list in 2000 and are also protected under the Biosphärenreservat Mittelelbe (www.mittelelbe.com).
All parks are free and can be roamed during daylight hours (most aren’t fenced off), but the palaces charge admission and have their own opening hours.