Bavarian State Garden Show Burghausen 2004


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Due to its special location on the Salzach, the town of Burghausen has a very distinctive landscape. The historic castle complex rises high above the river, the most important link between the old and new town as two very differently structured districts. The long tradition as a salt transshipment point, later as a location for the chemical industry, is reflected on the one hand in a rich historical building fabric and on the other in a dynamic, contemporary urban development.

An urban park was created in Burghausen Neustadt as the main area of the 2004 State Garden Show. Three different edges delimit a wide meadow area and mark the edges of the park. These zones are characterized by different spatial impressions and focal points of use.

The second focal point of the decentralized exhibition concept is situated in a scenically exposed location - between an oxbow lake of the Salzach and the old town: the longest castle in Europe. It forms the end and highlight of an urban axis. For the Landesgartenschau, the open spaces in the six castle courtyards were extensively renovated and partially supplemented. Garden areas were reconstructed on historically documented sites or reinterpreted using contemporary landscape architecture.


The town has set itself the goal of developing an overarching urban open space system in the long term with a decentralized garden show concept. The old town, new town and historic castle complex were defined with their own thematic focal points and functionally interlinked.

The planning competition was therefore already geared towards a primarily city-wide view, and despite the necessary shifts in focus in the subsequent work process, the result could be implemented in essential parts. Today, the areas of the garden show can be seen as integrated components of the urban fabric, as natural places for everyday use.

The city park and the castle are the two parts of the core area, both of which were areas with an entrance fee at the time of the garden show. In addition, a number of other facilities are integrated into the concept.

The garden show has succeeded in bringing a number of "forgotten places" back into the public eye and also providing significant impetus for subsequent developments.

Reclaimed gardens along the Salzach enhance the attractiveness of the riverbank and integrate these areas into the urban path system. The landscape space thus becomes a unifying feature of the urban fabric.

The extensive grounds at the Raitenhaslach monastery have been freed from decades of neglect with the garden show and are now looking forward to a careful redesign in keeping with their listed status. The restoration of the Hammerschmiedeweiher, a historic mill complex, is another component of the networked open space system.

And last but not least, a completely new leisure area has been created in the form of the forest park in the Lindach district. Sports fields, playgrounds and an extensive event area create synergies for a wide variety of uses. The transition to the open landscape is made a theme by improving path connections and staging visual relationships.

The route through the exhibition is also a route through the city. Arriving at the train station or parking lot, the visitor first reaches the city park in the new town, then crosses the elongated castle complex and then, descending from the mountain, has a direct landscape experience on the banks of the Salzach.


The city park in the new town of Burghausen is the most important component of the garden show. Right in the center of the lively district, the relocation of the municipal building yard was used as an opportunity to completely redevelop an urban open space.
Many years of preparatory work were necessary to achieve this goal. Among other things, extensive demolition work was carried out and the external traffic development of the site was partially renewed. With the dismantling of Vollmerstrasse, a traffic area that was no longer needed was returned to nature.

The inclusion of the former Maiwiesen site ultimately made it possible to implement a generous spatial concept that integrates a wide range of functions.

Differentiated garden areas develop around an extensive meadow space, some of which correspond in character with the neighboring settlement structures and each have a very independent formal character.

The main entrance on Marktler Straße, the "arrival point" of the garden show, links the urban areas of Bürgerplatz with the newly created park. The new "Bürgerhaus", which was built a few years ago, will become even more of a focal point of Burghausen's urban culture.

The garden show made it possible to "shut down" the main road at this point for six months. The roadway was dedicated exclusively to pedestrians. This also made it possible, at least temporarily, to create a link to the castle from this point via an extensive green corridor.

The entrance to the park opens directly at the community center. The "water square" is a thematic staging of Burghausen's unique landscape. Rising and falling water levels on a stone surface symbolize the course of the Salzach, the periods of drought and flood. Wooden decks above the water level reinforce the atmospheric impression, while a wide flight of steps now links the community center and the park.

As soon as you enter the park, you have a wide view of the park meadow. The Lindenheim building, a fragment of a former farmstead in the middle of the park, is the last evidence of its former agricultural use. A small farm garden picks up on this theme with typical shrub and fruit tree plantings.

Paths laid out in a network cut through the park and create direct connections between the city center and the adjacent residential areas. Mehringer Straße, a historic link to the neighboring town, was freed from traffic in the area of the city park and transformed into a spacious park axis.

The "garden cabinets" extend along the north-eastern edge zone. Pruned hornbeam hedges form regular garden spaces that open up towards the park meadow. The small-scale structure develops its character from the immediately neighboring garden estate. Perennial plantings ranging from dry to lush are displayed here in a thematic sequence. A gravel path running through the garden allows visitors to experience the rhythmic sequence first-hand, while large stone slabs lead to each planting area.

The adjoining "cloud forest" is a special space that creates independent references to the landscape features of the site. The area is shielded from the surrounding area by a high stone wall, the Nagelfluh used for this is a reference to the traditional building culture of the town of Burghausen, "Goldporen" and "Salzlade" symbolize the prosperity of the town resulting from the salt trade. The fog blows under a light canopy of trees, a typical feature of the river landscape on the Salzach.

In the northern area, the "Spielgebirge" offers a formative spatial impression. The "micro-alps", which initially appear strange in the flat terrain, symbolize the longing for the great mountains and are also an activity area for all age groups. The mountains and valleys formed from shotcrete, some covered with a plastic surface, are each thematically oriented. A water valley and climbing gorge, sand hollows and mountain slides offer a wide range of activities. A viewing point on the "summit", several meters above the park meadow, opens up a wide view over the park.

With the cherry grove in the north-west of the complex, the multi-storey residential buildings behind it are generously embedded in the park space. The expansive canopy creates a semi-shaded space, offering both screening and quality of stay. The perennial plantings inserted into it convey further differentiated plant characters and create a pleasant environment for seating arranged in the grove of trees.

The festival meadow was created on the former building yard site as a multifunctional open space. Its robust structure offers space for a May meadow, trade fairs and other events. Ribbon-like structured areas with different surfaces are oriented towards the park meadow. The open design offers flexibility in the day-to-day use of the space when setting up rides and stalls. Underground supply points minimize the effort involved in laying temporary access lines.

The former warehouse of the building yard was converted into a multi-purpose exhibition hall.

A roof of pruned plane trees additionally structures the large functional areas and creates a pleasant quality of stay. The trees, which are oriented linearly towards the park meadow, also create a visual connection to the open garden space.

The festival meadow is already the most functionally important area of the city park for the garden show. The central event area is located here, and the exhibition hall hosts the flower shows for one summer.

Visitors can find their way from Neustadt to the castle via a newly designed green link, which also creates a visual connection between the two areas for the first time at this point. An elongated open space has been created between multi-storey residential buildings, offering a wide perspective. Extensive grass plantings and a few groups of trees support the spatial concept.

The necessary screening from the neighboring street space was created by a mirrored wall, in which the visitor appears to be walking towards himself.

During the garden show, the themed gardens of the gardening and landscaping companies are located on the edges of the green corridor.


At the castle complex (at 1043 m, the longest castle in Europe), the sequence of the various courtyards was thematically placed at the center, with the historical context naturally exerting a formative influence.

Although located at an important connection point between the two parts of the city, the complex had previously been little integrated into everyday urban life. However, a few years ago, the exposure of the castle slopes from woodland growth brought the castle more into the focus of public interest.

The complex has always been a residential castle, characterized by ornamental and kitchen gardens. In recent decades, a large part of this has been lost, while other areas have been impaired by atypical planting and materials not typical of the area. The aim was therefore to correct some of these developments and restore the castle to its authentic character.

A few focal points were set with permanent plantings, while a further area is reserved for exhibition contributions. All plants were designed and implemented in close coordination with the Bavarian Palace Administration. The functional and thematic requirements of a state garden show lead to - at least temporary - restrictions on everyday life at the castle.

The overarching idea of the "borrowed landscape" stages the castle's prominent location on the elongated rock spur. Various vantage points along the ramparts offer a wide view of the Salzach Valley. The visual space is thus enlarged and conveys to the visitor the close connection between man and nature.

Historical fruit varieties were planted in the vicom garden. A wayside cross with a fragmentary fountain that had previously only been documented in pictures was recovered. The planting in the historically preserved quincunx structure illustrates the authentic form of the planting.

The garden at the Aventinhaus is dedicated to the historian and educator of the Bavarian princes Ludwig and Ernst (Aventinus, 16th century). Clipped yew hedges, a classic element of gardens from this era, symbolize education and order. Narrow paths lead through the garden amidst a planting of different varieties of lilies and roses. The metal plaque at the end of the paths shows a well-known quote by the scholar.

The world of little knights opens up in the moat in front of the main castle. Various "bouncy castles", designed as a knight's helmet, shield and throne, stand in a sea of golden spheres. A steep spiral slide leads down to the lower area and a wooden stair tower leads up again. The play facilities have been designed as temporary installations in consideration of the requirements of the listed buildings, which can be moved to other locations after the garden show.

For the first time after a long period of slumber, a large part of the kennels at the head of the main castle will be made accessible to the public. A circular path laid out with the simplest of means leads through the various sections. At the start of the path, a small garden displays various species of iris, a plant that stands for royalty and heroism in mythology.

From this point, you can also reach the Wöhrsee, a former bend in the Salzach river, via a reopened entrance.

It is already clear that the activities of the State Garden Show are reintegrating the castle more strongly into urban life. Parallel to the work in the open space, the State Palace Administration has carried out extensive renovation work on various buildings. The opening of the new castle café was the first sign of an incipient process of change.

The State Garden Show has created a networked urban open space system for the first time. The city park is becoming an identity-forming feature for the whole of Burghausen. New path connections and visual relationships enable an unprecedented urban experience. The activities of the garden show thus make a decisive contribution to long-term urban development and image shaping.

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Planning offices

Rehwaldt Landscape Architects

Heike Langkutsch (Projektleitung)
Angela, Aurin, Andres Friederici, Tilman Gebhardt, Michael Mitterer, Robert Storch

Project period
2000 - 2004

22,4 ha

Bayerische Landesgartenschau Burghausen 2004 GmbH



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Project type
Parks and green spaces
Garden exhibitions
Squares, promenades, pedestrian areas
Traffic facilities
Playgrounds, e.g. at childcare centers and schools
Planning of garden memorial care, park maintenance works
Redevelopment of (historic) open spaces