Englischer Garten (The English Garden)
The English Garden, Munich’s central park, is one of the world’s largest urban parks with a rough area of 3.7km2 or 910 acres. Not only being bigger than the slightly more famous Central Park in New York, Munich’s English Garden is charmingly landscaped right throughout and provides a great many entertainment options & tourist attractions that visitors to Munich absolutely should not miss.
Originally serving as the royal hunting grounds adjoining the nearby Munich Residenz, home to the Bavarian Wittelsbach royal dynasty, the Munich English Garden is a short walk from the center of the Munich old-town. The park’s history of hunting came to an end in 1780 under Elector Charles Theodore, an unhappy and unpopular ruler who sought to placate the people of Munich with various public improvements, the dedication of the royal hunting grounds as an agricultural facility for off-duty soldiers and as a recreation place for the citizenry being one of them.
To oversee the project of the conversion of the hunting grounds into a public park was the royal gardener Friedrich Ludwig Sckell who had studied landscape architecture in England. It was through his guidance that through its various phases of development the English Garden gained its style and thereafter its name. If upon exploring the English Garden in Munich you start to feel the park being reminiscent of the wild English countryside, then Friedrich Ludwig Sckell’s influence explains why. The deliberately untamed look of the English Garden is what the local Münchner (a person who lives in Munich) speaks most fondly of when describing the park to others.
Giving home to three beer gardens including the world famous Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm with seating for 7000 guests, there is no shortage of refreshment opportunities in the park. Even if you were to walk the park’s entire 78km length of walkways you would certainly never go thirsty, despite some corners of the park being easy to lose oneself in.
A particular highlight of the English Garden is watching the famous Munich surfers. Due to the particulars of the engineering involved, one particular canal inlet into the park projects water with such a ferocious velocity that actual surfing is possible on the wave produced. An incredibly difficult and dangerous stunt, but one that has provoked a cult following amongst the young & adventurous of Munich, as well as being something not to be missed during your visit to the English Garden.