Oranienbaum Palace in Saxony-Anhalt

December 6th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

Oranienbaum Palace © Michael Sander/cc-by-sa-3.0

Oranienbaum Palace © Michael Sander/cc-by-sa-3.0

Oranienbaum Palace is located in the town of Oranienbaum-Wörlitz in Saxony-Anhalt. It belongs to the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm. The castle, which is located in the district Oranienbaum, is located east of Dessau-Roßlau, only a few kilometers from the Wörlitzer Park. Oranienbaum Castle is one of four castles named after the House of Orange in Germany. They were built for four sisters, German rulers, who were born to the House of Orange. Besides Oranienbaum there are Oranienstein Palace near Diez and Oranienburg Palace in Oranienburg. The fourth, Oranienhof Palace near Bad Kreuznach, does not exist anymore. The former Dutch Queen Beatrix is patron of the restoration of the castle Oranienbaum. In 2004 and 2012 Beatrix visited Oranienbaum and visited the castle.

From 1681 to about 1685, the castle was initially built in a first phase as a summer residence for the Princess consort Henriette Catharina, wife of Prince Johann Georg II of Anhalt-Dessau and born Princess of Orange-Nassau. The building was commissioned by the Dutch builder Cornelis Ryckwaert, who worked in Brandenburg. Initially, only a palace with cavalier pavilions was built and a 28-acre Baroque garden in Dutch style created. At the same time, Ryckwaert also had the city of Oranienbaum built on a geometric plan. After the death of the prince in 1693 Oranienbaum was rebuilt as a widow’s seat for Princess consort Henriette Catharina to today’s three-winged castle (1698 to about 1702). The rooms were u. a. equipped with precious leather wallpaper. In the basement, the still existing, designed with Dutch Delft tiles, summer dining room has been established.

Oranienbaum © Volker Henze Oranienbaum Palace © Martin8721 Orangery © ArishG/cc-by-sa-3.0 Chinese Tea House © Heinz Fräßdorf/cc-by-sa-4.0 Oranienbaum Palace © Michael Sander/cc-by-sa-3.0 Informationboard © ArishG/cc-by-sa-3.0 Pagode © Jwaller/cc-by-sa-3.0
Chinese Tea House © Heinz Fräßdorf/cc-by-sa-4.0
After the death of Henriette Catharina in 1708, Oranienbaum Palace was only occasionally used for hunting by the princes of Anhalt-Dessau. Only Prince Leopold Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau again showed more interest in Oranienbaum Palace. He had the castle and park remodeled after 1780. Numerous rooms received new equipment in the Chinese style. The former baroque island garden was rebuilt from 1793 to 1797 according to the ideas of the English horticulturist Sir William Chambers to the only in Germany largely preserved English-Chinese garden with a five-story pagoda, a garden house (teahouse) accessible from the waterside and several arched bridges. In the southern part of the garden, in 1811, the 175-meter-long Orangery, one of the largest in Europe, was built. Since then, it has been used without interruption to house a large collection of citrus and other rare shrubs.

After the Second World War, the GDR moved a branch office of the State Archives Magdeburg to Oranienbaum Castle in 1953. This field office was upgraded in 1993 to the independent Landesarchiv Oranienbaum. At the beginning of the 21st century, the archive moved to Dessau. The castle was then opened to visitors in 2003. A completion of the restoration work on and in the castle is currently not foreseeable. However, the rooms, which are open to the public, already convey an impression of the former splendor of the castle’s equipment. The ensemble of city, castle and park Oranienbaum, which was built on a geometric ground plan, is today a rare example of a predominantly Dutch baroque complex in Germany. The castle can be visited for an entrance fee. The castle park is freely accessible, the restored pagoda and the tea house are accessible after registration. A café and a coach exhibition are housed in the Orangery. Next to the orangery there is a large garden with citrus trees.

Read more on anhalt-dessau-wittenberg.de – Oranienbaum, gartenreich.com – Schloss Oranienbaum and Wikipedia Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.

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