HOUSE AND GARDEN GEORGIUM
The »Georgium« - An extensive landscape garden
Apart from the Wörlitz Gardens, the Georgium is art-historically the most significant English-style landscape garden within the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz. It was created by Prince Franz’s younger brother, Prince Johann Georg, and is named after him.
From 1780 onwards Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff, commissioned by Prince Johann Georg (1748–1811), built a small neo-classical country house situated to the north of the city of Dessau within a riverside forest. The surroundings of the house were transformed into an extensive garden in the English style. Similar to Wörlitz, the garden was ornamented with numerous neo-classical and romanticising structures and sculptures harmoniously embedded into nature.
The most important of these are the so-called »Fremdenhaus« (lit. guest house), the Roman Ruin, the Monopteros (a circular temple in Ionic order), two copies of antique archways and the statue of Prince Franz in classical dress.
Adjacent to the original »Georgium« (21.3 hectares – c.53 acres) is the so-called »Beckerbruch« (97 hectares – c. 230 acres), a landscape characterised by meadows and fenland which was left largely untouched, but ornamented with a number of smaller structures and monuments. The idea of a gradual transition from an ornamented landscape garden to the surrounding natural countryside is impressively evident here. The nearby Elbe-Pavilion and the »Wallwitzburg«, an artificial ruin, form two points in the distance that enabled extensive vistas across the garden and along the river Elbe into the surrounding countryside.
Today the gardens are looked after by Dessau City Council. Schloss Georgium houses the Anhalt Picture Gallery with a rich collection of German and Dutch old master paintings as well as an extensive collection of prints and drawings.