History becomes a gimmick here, enlightenment becomes relaxation, science becomes a promise: the Garden Kingdom of Wörlitz-Dessau in Saxony-Anhalt is a utopia that has become a park with miniature architecture, an artificial volcano and a wide view over the Elbe meadows. Prince Leopold III. Friedrich Franz laid out the garden in the late 18th century as a model of rational rule and a ride through the history of style and nature. Strollers like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe felt like they were in a “fairy tale being told”. Today, the Garden Kingdom invites you to take an inspiring break. The art historian and SZ opinion editor Kia Vahland accompanies day trippers and those interested in history on a foray through this world heritage site threatened by climate change. Her new book tells the story of how Prince Franz and his wife Louise invented the Garden Kingdom and who their role models were. It leads through the attractions of the park and also into surprising hiding places.
Kia Vahland: Garden Kingdom Wörlitz. Excursion into a utopia. Insel, Berlin 2022. 85 pages, 15 euros