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The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle

The botanic garden of Trautmansdorff Castle in Merano truly deserves the quality mark “most beautiful gardens in Italy”, which it was awarded in 2005.

 
 
 
 
 
And if there were an award for the diversity and individuality of the flora, it would certainly go to this garden.
The visitor may in fact experience the whole world in a garden. This is made possible by the special climate of the sun-drenched Merano health resort.
Being the area with the mildest winters in the entire central European area, it allows both the exotic ornamental plants from the Mediterranean areas and the sturdy plants of the whole Alpine area to flourish.
The ordering principle of the gardens follows the complex interplay of natural vegetation, climate, human interaction with the environment and location. You will find natural landscapes as well as man-made cultural landscapes.

The structure

The reason why the word “gardens" is a plural noun here is because there is more than one. Whilst the “sun garden" shows the Mediterranean flora with little stones and olive trees, the “forest garden”consists primarily of plants from Asia as well as North and South America. The interplay of nature and culture can be experienced twice: The “terrace and water gardens” assemble, on very little space, the formal Italian as well as the English style, with its bushes, multicoloured flower borders, and romantic ponds with water lilies. Also, there is a miniature version of South Tirol which presents the history of an area where culture and nature merge. Walking through this garden you will see a natural Downy Oak forest, orchards and cornfields.

Suggestions

From the observation point at the end of the Sissi promenade, which was created by the renown architect Matteo Thun, you will have a bird’s-eye-view of the gardens; in addition, you will see the impressive mountains around Merano. If you would like to get a deeper insight into the workings of the earth’s eco-system, you should visit the pavilions located in the gardens, or the grotto: Here, you can learn about the vegetative rhythm of plants; their history is the subject of a multimedia show.
Another highlight that emphasises the connection between nature and culture is the „Garden Nights” at Trauttmansdorff Castle. From June to August, classical music is played in the gardens on five nights.