Surrounded by tree-covered hills, the Escheberg estate lies on the southern slope of the mountain from which it derives its name. The estate’s special landscape setting and its remote location northwest of the small town of Zierenberg make the charming and romantic spot seem like an enchanted place. In the 19th century, it became known as a meeting place for Romantic artists, who were invited to it by its owners, the von der Malsburg family.
A large landscape garden was laid out around the farm and manor house from 1790 onwards. Visitors can take an interesting walk around the gently sloping grounds with their two ponds and varied stock of trees and bushes by following a path around the garden, parts of which have been open to the public for many years. The park’s particular charm comes from the alternating views it provides of the garden and the surrounding countryside as well as its considerable wealth of old and young trees and shrubs. Herbaceous borders complete the picture in some places. Turk’s cap lilies are a special feature of the park. They blossom in pink in summer and are rather unusual for the region. The immediate surroundings of the park were once connected to it by paths and viewing points.
Surrounded by tree-covered hills, the Escheberg estate lies on the southern slope of the mountain from which it derives its name. Substantial gardens had already been created to the north and south of the four-winged farm building and the manor house to its south before the landscape park was laid out. The estate had already been in the possession of the von der Malsburg family since 1322. As far as is known today, the axial orientation of the gardens was laid out relative to the group of buildings formed by manor house and farm. Nothing remains of the northern part, which was crowned by a pavilion on the steep upward slope.
The various areas of the landscape park are located to the south and west of the manor house. Originally erected around 1530 on medieval cellars, the house was rebuilt and extended several times, finally taking on its present appearance with its mansard roof and ridge turrets around 1800. It also houses a chapel. The house was the location of the “Escheberger Musenhof” for several years in the 19th century. Artists often came to stay here for extended periods at the invitation of the brothers Ernst Friedrich and Karl Otto von der Malsburg, the latter being a schoolmate and fellow student of the Grimm brothers. Escheberg is linked in this context to the composition of “Der Mai ist gekommen”, the well-known song by Emanuel Geibel.
A greenhouse was erected to the east of the house around 1790. Today, it forms the main architectural focus of the park as most of the house is hidden behind greenery. The building, commonly known as the orangery, has three two-storey tracts, whereby the larger, central tract stands out due to its shallow dome. The wings between the tracts are lower structures which were completely covered in glass until the 1930s. A semicircular sloping flowerbed planted with well-tended arrangements of herbaceous perennials and flowers can be found in front of the building. This area affords visitors a first view across the garden and down to the large pond below. The path leads towards a second smaller pond, passing by a fountain which is safeguarded by a grille and surrounded by flowers. Groups of trees and solitary trees provide interesting variety along the path, the gaps between them offering glimpses of the different areas of the garden. An impressive trio of cypresses at the fountain is succeeded by an elm, laburnums, copper beeches, Norway maples, yews and ash trees. The stock of trees and shrubs has been continually replenished up to recent times with exotic species often being added, including Judas trees, bird cherries and Japanese flowering cherries.
An avenue of large-leaved linden trees on the northern shore of the upper pond leads to the former animal enclosure, the “Wildcamp” (“Game Camp”), which today serves as pastureland for cattle. To the side of the rows of trees is a densely-planted zone of trees and shrubs where Turk’s cap lilies flower in summer. Two larch trees here mark a cenotaph – a small empty grave with a cover like an old sarcophagus lid. This small structure, which is reminiscent of similar architectural pieces in the Wilhelmshöhe park in Kassel, is the last remaining item of several small objects typical of the period which were originally located in the park.
The rectangular pond with its small tree-covered island is a special design feature of the park. Narrow paths wind their way between carefully positioned basalt steles to a viewing and resting point further up the slope. The water flows out of the pond and into a basin, running down a small cascade which is likewise bordered by basalt stones. From here, it flows underneath the ground and into the large pond. The path continues along the bank of the pond, which is planted spaciously with weeping willows, birches and other trees and groups of trees. Looking across the area of water, it is possible to see groups of trees on the opposite shore and the ground rising from them as far as the edge of the woods. After the pond, visitors come to the “tea pavilion”, an open octagonal wooden structure surrounded by ornamental shrubs and a herbaceous border. The park, pond and “orangery” can be seen again from this spot at the eastern edge of the park.
The “Geibel Temple”, a wooden pavilion on a hill above the estate, offers a view from higher ground. The pavilion is dedicated to the composer of the May song. Visitors can look southwards across the garden, water and golf course and let their gaze wander further across woods and fields to the two Gudenberge hills beyond.
Owner: Family von der Malsburg
Opening times: open all year
- Tea Room / Restaurant: no
- WC: no
- Parking: on the road
- Benches: yes
- Average visitor duration: 30 minutes
- Accessibility: The main paths are suitable for visitors with limited mobility.
- Dogs are to be kept on a short leash. Use your poop scoop.