Cultural landscape

The “Embellished Landscape of Tharandt” in the age of sensibility

In 1792, the Tharandt surgeon Mr. Butter decided to tap into two springs, which he believed to have healing properties, in order to establish a spa centre. In the same year, Baron von Lindemann inherited the Heilsberg estate in the Weißeritz valley near Tharandt. He planned to expand the associated park into a landscape park. Following this idea, over 20 kilometres of hiking trails were created within a few years. Benches and shelters were erected at remarkable viewpoints and lines of sight to the old castle ruins and the mountain church were opened up. A lively spa business began.
The idea of transforming nature into “beautified lor embellished andscapes” was followed in particular by wealthy aristocrats during the early Romantic period (e.g. Prince Friedrich Franz, who had the “Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz” designed from 1769, or Christina, Countess von Brühl, who had the “Seifersdorf Valley” designed from 1793). The desired natural landscape to be re-designed was a valley that was as unspoilt as possible, with a rushing river flowing through it, surrounded by wooded, rocky slopes. Artificial grottoes and castle ruins completed the panorama. The paths were laid out in such a way that hikers were offered the most spectacular views possible of scenic objects along specially designed sightlines.

The “Tharandt embellished landscape” still occupies a special position compared to other landscape parks today:
Whereas in most landscape parks artificial ruins were erected in order to adhere to the taste of the time, a medieval castle ruin already stood above the small town of Tharandt. While other landscape parks were created outside of towns, the town of Tharandt itself was part of the “Embellished Landscape”, including its immediate surroundings.
However, the most significant difference between the “Beautified Landscapes” created up to that point and Tharandt was that, for the first time, the lower nobility, educated middle classes and citizens of the town had become the creators and maintainers of a “Beautified Landscape” and not – as previously – the high nobility.

Dr. Christoph Richter


Kulturlandschaft | Kulturní krajina

More Information

Zur Geschichte der Johannishöhe | Johannishöhe – včera a dnes | Johannishöhe – past and present

Naturlandschaft | Přírodní krajina | Natural landscape

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