Out into the green
There are many green oases in Braunschweig. As the Oker River forms a ring around the city centre, parks and nature can quickly be reached from the city centre. Lakes close to the city and the bird conservation area in Riddagshausen are attractive local recreation areas for the people of Braunschweig.
Richmond Park with Palace
This late Baroque palace with its park grounds was built in 1768/69 for the English Princess Augusta (1737–1813), wife of Duke Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand. The name is taken from her home palace in Richmond upon Thames near London. The adjacent park is one of the oldest English landscaped gardens in continental Europe.
Riddagshausen is a suburb to the east of Braunschweig. The nature conservation area there, founded in 1936, invites visitors to go walking through forests and meadows across a 526-hectare area and discover the flora and fauna. The expanses of ponds and lakes landscaped centuries ago by Cistercian monks offer a diverse world of plants and animals.
The Oker with the theatre and museum parks
The classicist wall embankment promenades and Oker moat waterways encircle the city centre. If you take a raft trip, you can see the wonderful 19th century Gründerzeit villas and old gardens from the waterside. The river passes the Theatre and nearby Museum Parks. These two formed the first large landscape park of the early 19th century in Braunschweig together with the former ducal kitchen garden.
In place of Baroque fortifications, Peter Joseph Krahe led developments to create parks and promenades with villas and private gardens starting 1803. The street names today all end in “wall”. The author Ricarda Huch was born in one of these villas in 1864, although this has since been demolished. There are now two information plates at this location as a memorial to Ricarda Huch.
Löbbecke’s Island is the western part of the Inselwall park. The Löbbecke Villa and a large children’s playground are located here. The name Löbbecke is that of a banker’s family who acquired the land in 1865 and built the villa in 1881/82 in Italian Renaissance style.
Bürgerpark was created in 1886 as a public park spanning 42 hectares. It is home to a variety of indigenous and foreign tree species. These include the Chinese Tree of Heaven, the blossom of which is used to make honey by a City beekeeper. The pillared portico moved to the park in 1896 is worth a visit. It was originally part of a guard house at what today is John F. Kennedy Platz.
Developed from a former parade ground in 1895, the Prinz Albrecht Park (“Prinzenpark” for short) is an official landscape conservation area and serves as a recreation area for the local people in the east of Braunschweig. The adjacent sports ground “Franzsches Feld” is home to the Konrad Koch Stadium, named after the co-founder of German football. There is an exercise ground with ramps for skaters in the northwest section of the park.
In the Technical University’s Botanical Garden (founded 1840), scientists carry out botanical research. It also serves as an outdoor laboratory for experimental plant research. There are around 4,000 different kinds of plants to see, some of which are rare and endangered species.
A special highlight can be found in the new greenhouse: the giant water lily Victoria Cruziana. This tropical rarity with its huge, resilient floating leaves blooms for only two nights in August; first white, then pink. Every year at the time of this sensational event, the garden remains open during the evening hours.
School and Communal Garden at the Dowesee
The City of Braunschweig’s school and communal garden (“Schul- und Bürgergarten”) at the Dowesee entices you to linger and serves as a local recreation area. In individual sections, nature-related teaching content is conveyed within the framework of an architectural garden concept. The individual garden subdivisions are connected by an encircling pathway. The school and communal garden is, furthermore, the location of the biology station of the regional environmental education centre.
This groundwater-filled former gravel quarry is made up of two parts and is a popular excursion destination and meeting place for Braunschweig families and young people (not an official swimming lake). Heidberg Lake is the venue for an annual triathlon and is popular with anglers thanks to its good stock of fish.
Südsee - The South Lake
Creation of this artificial lake finally began in 1965 after several planning and construction attempts from the 1930s onwards. As the location of the sailing club, the Südsee is a regular meeting point for watersports enthusiasts and is in winter a popular place for ice-skating. The path around the lake is an attractive place for walking and jogging all year round.
When the autobahns A391 and A392 were built, earth for the construction work was taken from this 15.85-hectare area in the northwest of the City, creating the lake we see today. The Oker river originally ran through this area. At the northwest point, an old arm of the river encircles an island which serves as an orchard.