Worlitz Tourist Attractions

Situation and characteristics
Wörlitz, 20km/12.5mi east of Dessau, is famed for its park, the first landscaped park in the English style to be laid out in Germany in the 18th C.

Wörlitz Park

Wörlitz Park, in the picturesque village of Wörlitz, was laid out between 1765 and 1810 to the design of Prince Franz of Anhalt-Dessau and his architect F. W. von Erdmannsdorff. It contains a great variety of features - deciduous and coniferous trees in many different species, monuments, grottoes, canals, bridges, flowerbeds, groves of trees, vistas, a palm-grove, ferries, statues, reliefs and numerous small buildings.
Address: Angergasse 131, D-06786 Wörlitz, Germany

Schloss Wörlitz

Schloss Wörlitz (by Erdmannsdorff, 1769-73), modeled on Claremont House near London, contains a valuable art collection (pictures by Canaletto, grand pianos of 1810 and 1815, porcelain, glass, etc.); fine ceiling and wall paintings.


The Synagogue (by Erdmannsdorff,1789-90) in Wörlitz was partly destroyed in 1938 and restored in 1948.

Galerie am Grauen Haus

The Galerie am Grauen Haus (1790) in Wörlitz Park is used for annual special exhibitions. The inn Zum Eichenkranz (Erdmannsdorf, 1785-87) has been restored.

Georg Forster Museum

On the Eisenhart in Wörlitz Park are two pavilions (1781-84) which now house the Georg Forster Museum. Georg Forster accompanied James Cook on his second voyage round the world, and the museum commemorates his work as a traveler, scientist and writer.
On Rousseau Island is a memorial stone (1782) commemorating the 18th C writer and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Gothic House

In Schochs Garten in Wörlitz is the Gothic House (by G. C. Hesekiel, 1773-1813), which in its day was the largest neo-Gothic building in Germany. It contains a collection of South German and Swiss stained glass (15th-17th C.), Dutch paintings and pictures by Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Other buildings in the park include the Nymphaeum (1767-68), the Temple of Flora (1796-98; said to be modeled on an ancient temple in Spoleto) and the Temple of Venus (1797), which is reminiscent of the Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli.
The "Golden Urn" of cast-iron and sandstone contains the remains of a Princess of Anhalt (d. 1769).

New Gardens

The Pantheon (1795-96) in Wörlitz contains a collection of antique statues and busts, including the nine Muses.
The Herder Island (1788-94) commemorates Johann Gottfried Herder.
On the Amalieninsel, with the Amaliengrotte (1793), can be seen herms symbolising the poets Sappho and Anacreon.
The Iron Bridge (Eiserne Brücke, 1791), modeled on the bridge over the Severn at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, was the first of its kind on the European mainland.

Villa Hamilton

The Villa Hamilton (by Erdmannsdorff, 1791-94) in Wörlitz, named after the English antiquarian Sir William Hamilton, was built on the largest island in the park modeled on the Bay of Naples.

St Peter's Church

Wörlitz's principal landmark is the 66m/217ft high tower of St Peter's Church (originally Romanesque, 1196-1201; rebuilt in neo-Gothic style by G. C. Hesekiel in 1805-09). Remains of the Romanesque building are the doorway and the wall round the nave and tower.

Town Hall

The two-story Wörlitz Town Hall (by Erdmannsdorf, 1792-95) is in the style of an English country house.


Oranienbaum, Germany

At Oranienbaum 5km/3mi south of Wörlitz are a Schloss and a park in Dutch Baroque style (1683 and 1798). Part of the park was laid out in Chinese style (c. 1800), with a Chinese tea-house (1794-97) and a five-story pagoda. In the left-hand wing of the Schloss is the District Museum, with a permanent exhibition on printing.

Coswig, Germany

In Coswig, 5km/3mi northeast of Wörlitz, stands the Romanesque and Gothic church of St Nicholas (1150; rebuilt 1699-1708 and 1926), which has a finely carved organ case (1713), a font by Giovanni Simonetti, Gothic choir stalls, a "Last Supper" by Lucas Cranach the Younger, an epitaph by Lucas Cranach the Elder and stained glass of the Cranach school (1350).
The Schloss (1560 and 1667-77), an irregular structure of four wings round a central courtyard, was much altered in the 19th century.

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