There is an English garden on the edge of city center Gütersloh. This city park, Stadtpark, or Volkspark (peoples park), is made up of 38.3 acres, seven and a half of which are a botanical garden. The entire park is very popular with the citizens of Gütersloh given its lushness and walkability. It has sometimes been referred to as Gütersloh’s green living room.
The Park is Created
This English Garden was created during the years 1909 to 1914, and included a botanical garden. Parks like this were developed in Germany at the end of the 19th century, especially in industrialized cities. The rapid industrial and population growth at the time resulted in a deterioration in living conditions. Parks were created as places for respite, relaxation, recreation and physical exercise.
A popular area is the lake at the south edge of the park. It includes an island in the middle, known as the love park. In the winter, it becomes an ice-skating rink.
The Park is Restored
Old plans and photographs were used in 1992 to restore the park to its original design and expand the grounds. Toward the end of the restoration period, 1997-1998, themed plots were added in the botanical garden including sun, medicinal, fountain, and semi-natural gardens. I found the medicinal garden fascinating with 50 different herbs and plants that can be used in healing. I also walked down the perfume tunnel, along which a series of various plants offered subtle smells.
The following YouTube video is labeled the Botanical Garden, but in reality, it is much more the Stadtpark or English garden.
Sitting amidst the botanical garden is the Palmenhaus Café. It looks like a greenhouse without plants; instead, you can relax and enjoy a meal or a beverage while looking out at the various gardens.
When I visited the park, I approached it along its western side and saw this large, half-timbered building. In the center was a display showing that it was a bridal salon. I thought, “How strange.” I crossed a bridge and went on. On my way back, I saw a clever painting of a waterwheel on the side of the building which sat alongside the waterway I had crossed earlier. As I got closer, I realized it was the real deal. Then I could see the small waterfall cascading toward the wheel.
I did some research on Meiers Mühle (Mill) and found that it is the oldest mill in Gütersloh. I learned that about 800 AD there was a large farm with mill which the farmers used to grind their crops. That farm became the beginnings of Gütersloh. Some of that land must have also become today’s Stadtpark and Botanical Garden.
Fact: The Stadtpark receives about 170,000 visitors every year
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