Gartenschaupark Rietberg

Gartenschaupark Rietberg (Rietberg Garden Show Park), which developed out of the Regional Garden Show of 2008, captivates with its variety of extensive lake landscapes, areas of undisturbed vegetation, splendid herbaceous borders, range of play and leisure activities for the whole family, large sandy beach, high ropes course, 18-metre look-out tower and “art in the park”.

Areas of undisturbed vegetation along the Ems river form new links between the various sections of the park and the town, providing an excellent view of the flora and fauna and forming a paradise for bird watchers. The long boardwalks now enable visitors to experience the extensive wetlands while the Baroque processional route with the Johanneskapelle (Chapel of St. John) provides an area of tranquillity and contemplation.

The historical town centre of Rietberg with its half-timbered houses and gardens can be reached from shady promenades along the banks of the Ems river and the restored city moat. The re-created monastery garden and its landscape of pools are at their best above all when the rhododendrons are in flower.

Gartenschaupark Rietberg (Rietberg Garden Show Park) is a 3.5 kilometre stretch of land in the south of the town. It starts at the Johanneskapelle (Chapel of St. John) and passes through the “Rietberger Fischteiche” nature reserve (“Rietberg Fish Ponds”) before reaching the historical town centre and continuing along the “Rietberger Emsniederung” nature reserve (“Rietberg Ems Lowlands”) to the town district of Neuenkirchen. The undisturbed areas of vegetation along the Ems river have created new links for cycling and walking.

The park can be divided into three themed areas: “Living Cultural History”, “Culture meets Nature” and “Rietberg-Neuenkirchen New Park”.

The concept followed two basic principles:

On the one hand, the Regional Garden Show of 2008 was to be embedded into the landscape of the upper Ems and its park-like terrain, which is shaped by the Ems river, its tributaries and the nature reserves.

On the other hand, the Regional Garden Show was to be linked to Rietberg’s historical town centre with its completely intact mediaeval structure and half-timbered houses. The intertwining of the historical old town and the Regional Garden Show was a particular feature of the Regional Garden Show as was the creation of new links between the different parts of the town.


“Living Cultural History”

The Baroque processional route runs from the inner town (south gate) as far as the Johanneskapelle(Chapel of St. John), a late-Baroque architectural gem dating from 1748. Wooden walkways wind their way run through the wetlands and semi-natural cultural landscape. This is a tranquil and contemplative place surrounded by a cultural landscape.

Starting from the Johanneskapelle (Chapel of St. John) a walking and cycling path leads along the edge of the “Rietberger Fischteiche” nature reserve (“Rietberg Fish Ponds”) to the Ems river, taking the visitor past the barefoot path and senses trail. Dense reed beds, some of them as much as 2 metres in height, grow throughout the nature reserve around what was formerly Eden Castle, (Rietberg Estate). Botanical rarities such as mudwort and needle spikerush can be found along the shore and on the muddy soil. In some places, the surface of the water is covered with yellow and white water lilies. This area, which is not open to the public, was linked to the old town by a walking and cycling path along the Ems river as part of the Regional Garden Show. A 5-metre wooden look-out tower offers an excellent view of the flora and fauna of the “Rietberger Fischteiche” nature reserve.

This quiet, near-natural area adjoins both the historical town centre of Rietberg and the family-friendly, intensively landscaped grounds of the Gartenschaupark  (subject to an entrance fee).


“Culture meets Nature”

The historical town centre of Rietberg is surrounded by a network of moats, which were reinstated and made accessible for the Regional Garden Show, forming a continuous body of flowing water along the historical route of the embankments. This has also improved flood protection.

Shady promenades along the Ems river, the Markengraben and the Westwall and Südwall embankments provide access to the old town centre and to the green spaces of the “Bürgergärtchen” and “Drostengarten” as well as to the restored monastery garden and pools.


The central area (“Bereich Mitte“) of the Gartenschaupark adjoins the historical town centre and was designed especially for families with children: it has flowerbeds which are regularly replanted, play areas, an area of grass for relaxation, a high ropes course and a lake with a beach. The park restaurant can be reached by crossing a bridge. A quiet loop path runs around the reed-grown lower lake, which also provides flood protection in the case of extreme rainfall.


At the edge of the upper lake, an 18-metre look-out tower offers a sweeping view of the lake landscape and the adjoining cultural landscape of the “Rietberger Emsniederung” (Rietberg Ems Lowlands). The tower can be accessed by visitors with limited mobility and by wheelchair users. Raised wooden walkways at the edge of the designated bird sanctuary and nature reserve lead over the wetlands, which are significant breeding, resting, stopping-off and overwintering grounds for birds. Among the birds which bird lovers can see here are the common snipe and Eurasian curlew.

The apiary and its profusely flowering herbaceous shrubs are above all popular with visitors in summer, inviting them to linger and relax.


“Rietberg-Neuenkirchen New Park”

The New Park is surrounded by a strip of trees and shrubs which mostly consists of native trees such as the common oak and hornbeam. Exotic plants have been added at some points, e.g. Liquisambar styraciflua „Worpleton“, Nyssa sylvatica, Acer rubrunn and Magnolia kobus while small trees such as Cornus floridaprovide a touch of colour or blossom. The avenues are interwoven with water ditches. The park communicates with the Rietberg cultural landscape through “landscape windows”. A loop path winds its way through the park, connecting the two spreading herbaceous borders in the north and the south. Particularly in the main flowering season in summer, the herbaceous flowerbeds are a highlight for lovers of perennials, who can also find out about newly-created flowers here. Benches amidst the sea of blossoms invite visitors to linger and relax. Valuable advice on raised beds rounds off the information on “home gardening”. In summer the water features at the entrance provide a welcome opportunity to cool down.


Entrance park section “Centre” / “Historic Town Centre”: Torfweg, 33397 Rietberg
Entrance park section “Rietberg-Neuenkirchen” / “North”: Markenstraße and Stennerlandstraße

Gartenschaupark Rietberg GmbH
Rathausstraße 36, 33397 Rietberg
Tel.: 05244-986-292
Email: info@gartenschaupark-rietberg.de
Website: www.gartenschaupark-rietberg.de

Owner: City of Rietberg

Opening times:
Summer season (Easter until start of autumn school holidays):
Daily 06.00 – 21.00

Winter season (End of autumn school holiday until Easter)
Daily 6.00 – dawn

Additional information can be found on: www.gartenschaupark-rietberg.de

Admission Price:
Adults and unaccompanied children: 4.00 Euro
Family 1 (2 adults and own children): 8.00 Euro
Family 2 (1 adult and own children): 4.00 Euro
Children in groups: 1.00 Euro per child
Groups of 10 and more persons: 3.00 Euro per person

Additional information can be found on: www.gartenschaupark-rietberg.de

Guided tours & packages: www.gartenschaupark-rietberg.de

Events, programme, exhibitions:
See announcements on: www.gartenschaupark-rietberg.de

Customer Services:

  • Tea Room/Restaurant: yes
  • Toilets: at main entrance, restaurant and many other locations
  • Parking: Free parking close to both entrance areas
  • Map and other information: Gartenschaupark flyer and map, (1,2 MB) as PDF
  • Maps on site/visitor information: yes
  • Seats and benches: yes
  • Average visitor duration: 2-3 hours
  • Accessibility – in the park: All main paths are fully accessible. The accessibility has been certified as „DIN-Geprüft barrierefrei“
  • Children’s programme: Green Class Room / Grünes Klassenzimmer www.rietberg.de/index… 
  • Dogs and bicycles: Visitors are not allowed to bring bicycles, dogs and other animals into those areas where an entrance fee is charged for
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