To the west of the castle is an English-style park that invites you to linger there. The freely accessible area always offers new and exciting views with its lake fed by man-made streams and the “Schneckenbuckel” or “Snail hump” island that lies in the lake, bridges of varying designs and the two small pavilions that are harmoniously integrated into the park.
Winding paths lead past extensive lawns that alternate with various groups of trees and bushes. The plants are labelled for garden lovers to examine. There is also a place for children in the park: there is a playground with a sandpit, slide, swings and climbing frame.
You can reach this green oasis on foot from the town centre and can continue walking to reach the spa gardens.
In around 1600 the German Teutonic Order had already begun a garden to the east and south of the residence. The southern part was transformed into a French flower garden in the 18th century and an orangery and sala terrena designed by Fran?ois de Cuvilliés were built. From 1791 Grand Master Maximilian Franz of Austria decided to completely remodel the castle park and rebuild it in the English style with an avenue of plane trees in the outer castle courtyard, which still leads into the park today. The two pavilions installed in 1802, the oriental-looking “half-moon cottage” and the “Turkish crescent cottage” built in the Chinese style, have both survived to this day. The lake and island were recently reconstructed.
The Turkish crescent cottage
The pavilion by the western castle wall, with its vast protruding tent-like roof and the high lantern appears clear-cut and clinical. In contrast to this, the high Turkish crescent and the little bells under the eaves look really exotic. This late-Chinoise architecture is closer to English Classicism than similar earlier exotic Rococo buildings of other parks.
You can still see a few originals from the range of figurines of the flower garden around the sala terrena (already broken off in 1823) in the German Teutonic Order museum. For example, you can admire the cherub quartet “Four Seasons” made by a Mergentheim sculptor, or two allegorical figures by Johann Georg Auwera. The model castle from the 1800’s in the “Building activity of the German Order” section of the museum also shows the courtyard garden in great detail. Various contemporary depictions (e.g. of the Chinese house or the former duck village) convey an impression of the historic park landscape.