The Rococo Garden in Veitshöchheim has something to offer every guest, whether you come here as a historian, a gardener or simply to have a stroll.
The gardens were designed around the small palace, which served the Prince Bishops of the 18th century as a refuge from the rigours of court life in Würzburg. Rejecting the upcoming fashion for English Landscape Gardens, the Bishop built himself a green playground of strict, baroque orderliness – transverse and longitudinal pathways define the symmetrical layout. Smaller, hedge-lined paths divide the area into compartments. More than 300 sandstone sculptures add to the scenery. There are large groupings, prominently placed to impress from afar, viewed along the tree-lined avenues, but most are in hidden niches to delight the intrepid garden explorer.
Those who make it to the furthest corner, reach the “Schneckenhaus” (= snail house), a mystical grotto topped with a shell-encrusted belvedere. Small ornamental pavilions provide a little shelter but some of the hedged compartments are completely shaded by a leafy roof, created by carefully pollarded linden trees.
Fruit trees are grown within many of the compartments. Old varieties of apples and pears have been newly planted, and are being trained in the original forms – not just as espaliers against the wall, but as free-standing “pyramid” and “basket” styles. The garden was originally used as a huge kitchen garden, too, and now a small area has been planted with a representative variety of vegetables and herbs.
This hidden jewel bears witness to the extravagance of the late Baroque era and, in fruit and vegetable culture, to the incredible gardening talents of the 18th century. In a 1-hour garden tour I shall show you what the Prince Bishop created and, more importantly, explain what it all means. I have a plethora of information from which I select the most interesting – short stories, curious facts and of course, the peculiarities of the garden itself - to take us back in time. I use my knowledge and experience to open your eyes to features and aspects which you may otherwise not even notice. I put sense into the nonsense!