pixelAnglo-Chinese gardens of Europe

The temple of Friendship in Pavlovsk


A census


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United Kingdom
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Of course, the English garden as the Anglo-Chinese garden are originated in England.

The fashion was propagated in other European countries about 1750. It is not in France that it was established most quickly. In Sweden a park of Chinese pavilions goes back to 1753 and Frederic II of Prussia built in 1754-1757 a Chinese house of tea in Sanssouci, twenty years before the fashion grew up in France, which started about 1775. (the Chinese house of Lunéville, built in 1737, is not an early example of acclimatization of the kind in France. Stanislas Lesczinsky, king deposed of Poland, was the owner).

This page is devoted to parks in the Anglo-Chinese manner in Europe. I added some parks announcing that manner (like Stowe) and followers or somewhat related (like Sanspareil in Bayreuth). I never visited these parks located abroad; thus, there is no photographs.

In connection with the evolution of the English garden to the Anglo-Chinese garden then in Picturesque, have a look to the general bibliography, specially the book of Tom Turner external link, the articles on line of Kirk Johnson external link.

In addition to the parks quoted in this page, I dedicate a page to the Sweden, because of the links with the Désert de Retz.

Anglo-Chinese gardens in Europe

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Stowe external link, prototype of the English garden: to note that it isn't an Anglo-Chinese garden. I quote it precisely to judge the evolution. Stowe comprises about thirty small constructions, mainly neo-classic. The Anglo-Chinese garden is different from the English garden in what it calls systematically (but not exclusively) upon Chinese or oriental pavilions, by a compartmentalized landscape and curved alleys (the "Serpentine" style of the English garden) and by the preciosity of the decoration, the buildings as well as the trees. These attributes are not present at Stowe.

Stourhead external link and Painshill external link, other English gardens contemporary of Stowe.

Kew Gardensexternal link contiguous to Greenwich, prototype of the Anglo-Chinese garden. At least 40 pavilions, temples, follies adorn the gardens. Among them 26, of which the pagoda external link, were designed by William Chambers, who influenced all Europe.

Wrest Park (Bedfordshire) : Over 90 acres of wonderful gardens originally laid out in the early 18th century, including the Great Garden and the exquisite intricate French Garden, with statues and fountains. The present house, built in the 1830s, forms an elegant backdrop to the gardens, decorated with buildings and follies, including the Orangery, the Mithraic Altar, Bowling Green House and the Chinese Temple and Bridge, and at top the Archer Pavilion.

Shugborough external link (Straffordshire). The park was arranged in 1747 with Chinese buildings (of which the pavilion remaining today) for the admiral George Anson, who served in East and had stayed some months in Canton. Circa 1760 Thomas Anson commissioned classical follies to James 'Athenian' Stuart : a Palladian bridge, a Temple of the Winds, a Shepherd's Monument, the Lanthorn of Demosthenes, some ruins and a Doric Temple. This melting seems more Picturesque than Anglo-Chinese.

In Boughton House external link, "English Versailles" a Chinese house external link of 1745 built out of leather panels is preserved in the "unfinished wing".

I dedicated a page to the Leasowes, created by the poet William Shenstone, which are not exactly a park with follies (though some of them have been built) and even less an Anglo-Chinese garden, but rather the model of the romantic garden.

Must I mention Alton Towers external link, created in 1814 ? probably yes, for the follies built : a Swiss Cottage, a Stonehenge, a Dutch garden, a Pagoda Fountain, based on the To Ho pagoda in Canton, a Choragic Monument copied from Athens and many other features. Unfortunately, it turned to a theme park; I wonder on the result, and will probably definitely wonder, as I surely will not try to find there the sublime.

And, if I can afford a garden for my retirement house, I perhaps would order a Lusthus pavilion external link in the Swedish tradition of the XVIIIth century !

For England, I quote only a short list; parks are numberless and many have some follies; the style evolved; Tom Turner's site external link may be a starting point to widen that list


The Ireland was a part of the United Kingdom. Two "fermes ornées" : Kilfane external link, and Larchill external link, in the county of Kildare.


Sanssouci : Frederic II of Prussia built in 1754-1757 a Chinese tea house external link in the grounds of Sanssouci external link near Potsdam external link. This Chinese house is undoubtedly one of most luxurious and well preserved than one may admire today.

In the New Gardens, arranged for Frederic-Guillaume II, stand a pyramid-shaped house from 1791-1792, by the architect Gottard. The work spread until the midth of the XIXth century, including the building of a late neo-classical memorial monument to the Queen Louisa. (I have'nt yet identified the actual place in Potsdam of the Chinese pagoda by Gottard).

Sanspareil : Whilelmine, the sister of Frederic II, arranged about 1770 a philosophical garden external link in the park of her palate, the Eremitage external link in Bayreuth external link. Rocks, grottoes, cabinets, ruins stand in the so-called Chinese garden (the main Chinese item is a luxury room arranged in the palate).

Kassel : Frederic II of Prussia commissioned a Chinese hamlet, called the Mulang, which was built from 1781 to 1785 and includes pavilions, ornamental farms and a wind-mill. The name of Mulang could seem Chinese, but it is only derived from the French "moulin", which means wind-mill. Some follies still exist, of which the main Chinese pavilion.

Dessau-Wörlitz  is the opus of the Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz of Anhalt-Dessau. Linking parks and palates still existing and implementening new ones, he achieved from 1765 onward the so-called realm-garden external linkbetween the river Elbe and the river Mulde, near Dessau.

The prince commissioned Wörlitz to the architect Erdmannsdorff. In the park, space is clustered in successive entities; in each of them a building and the surounding vegetation and water are related each other. This concept which will be the stone corner of the "parcs à fabriques". and, in my opinion, Wörlitz could be regarded as their prototype. The installation, started in 1765, was spread out over forty years; Erdmannsdorff died in 1800.
On the 120 hectares of origin Wörlitz external link is admirably preserved. Unfortunately a motor-way, roads and factories stand in the vicinity.

Oranienbaum, built at the end of the XVIIth century, was arranged in an Anglo-Chinese garden external link from 1793 to 1797 by the prince of Anhalt-Dessau. It's one another part of the realm-garden, with a pagoda and large green-houses.

Munich : in the late part of the XVIIIth century a large Anglo-Chinese garden, said to be the first public park, was arranged in the downtown. It included the Nymphenburg of the first quarter of the century, with grottoes and temples. Two Chinese pavilions were built in 1789 and still exist.

Schwetzingen "Versailles of the Palatinat" external link, most of the garden is formal (French style), with straight alignments. Beyond the water pond and on the right side, the landscape designer Ludwig von Skell arranged in 1777 an Anglo-Chinese garden external link, with a Chinese bridge and a decorated " Turkish garden " with a mosque.

Mergentheim: is an old castle of Teutonic knights. In the late years of the XVIIIth century, an Anglo-Chinese gardenexternal link was arranged. Still remain the half-moon pavilion (Halbmondhäuschen), the bell pavilion (Schellenhäuschen), the Chinese pavilion and the Turkish pavilion. The lake and the J.J Rousseau's island were refurbished at the begining of XXth century.

Karlsruhe : three Chinese pavilion in the park of the Margraves of Baden's external link palate. One of them was designed by Wilhelm Jeremias Müller (Guillaume Jérôme Meunier) circa 1780 and stand in the pheasant aviary. Two other have been designed by Friedrich von Kesslau in 1784 : one is square and wears atop the statue of a sitting Chinese; the other is octogonal and wears an umbrella out of iron. (thanks to Rolf Bühler and Jean-Pierre Volkmer of the city estate for their kind information).

Eulbach : in the 3000 hectares grounds of the castle, an English garden external link of the beginning of the XIXth century includes romantic ruins and follies : the Römerkastellen tower, the obelisk, roman ruins, the chapel.

Pillnitz (near Dresden) : a Chinese garden external link was arranged in the park from 1790 to 1804 by Christian Friedrich Schuricht, including a Chinese pavilion. I haven't yet more information about the survival of the buildings after the great bombing in 1945.


Pavlovsk the palate and its park external link are a gift of Catherine II to her son Paul, to celebrate the birth of her grandson Alexander. Charles Cameron, a Scottish architect, realized from 1780 to 1786, with the assistance of the French artist F. Violiet, the palate and the garden in the vicinity. This central part, treated as an Anglo-Chinese garden, shelters the temple of the friendship external link, the birdcage, the dairy, a colonnade of Apollo external link and bridges upon the Slavyanka, a small river flowing in the park.
The Old and the New Wood were commissioned to Vincenzo Brenna, an Italian architect. From 1790 to 1796, he supplemented the bridges (of which the Centaur and the Tower bridges), added the green and the stone amphitheater, the tower of the peel mill, the cascade with the ruin, a lattice, the gate of the theater.

In the first decades of XIXth century, architects A. Voronikhin and C. Rossi supplemented the landscape: three new bridges, a theater in open air, a Turkish tent, the pink pavilion, and landscape of ponds and alleys. Cameron himself added in 1801 the house of the three Graces, decorated of a marble by Paolo Triscorni.
This sumptuous park external link seems completely preserved (apart minor pavilions) on more than thousand hectares : miracle of the absence of land speculation and the obstinacy of the Soviets to raise the national treasures destroyed by the war!

Tsarskoye Selo , called Pushkin as from 1937, is now known under the two names. One could call it palate of the empresses, as Catherine I made there build the first house, a surprise gift for her husband Pierre the Great, then Elisabeth built a palate, finally Catherine II made there arrange by Cameron several of the major rooms of the palate and part of the park. The tsar Alexander took over after 1800.

As with the park of Trianon, the gardens knew successive installations related to fashions and imaginations of the sovereigns. The stages of the construction of the palates and the installation of the gardens are thus complex: on the 530 hectares of the grounds external link several palates and distinct parts of the park are juxtaposed. The Alexander park external link and the Catherine park external link, around the respective palates, form parts of the " landscape park ".

The landscape architect Ilya Neyelov had prepared as early as 1778 - 1783 the evolution towards an English garden and arranged ponds with irregular shapes. He formalized in 1792 the plans of an explicit command of decorated Anglo-Chinese gardens taking again these elements, around the palate of Alexander. One finds there Egyptian gates, a serial of pavilions, of which the Chinese village external link by Cameron. A Chinese terrace, ruined kitchens and the "groaning pavilion", at the edge of the park of Catherine.

In the park of Catherine is the pyramid external link by Cameron (built in 1774 in the place of a first pyramid), the Turkish baths, a marble bridge, a grotto and the Chesma column, 25 meters high, on an island. The menagerie, surrounded by walls joining at each corner a folly in shape of military bastions, sheltered in the center Mon Bijou (in French), counterpart in miniature of the Hermitage. It coexisted with the Anglo-Chinese garden inside of the park of Alexander, until it had been shaven about 1818 like its enclosing walls.

Lomonosov external link : in the park external link, two Chinese houses (the Chinese palate and Chinese kitchen) at the edge of a pond and, on the opposite shore, the pergola.

Gatchina external link : the central part of the park external link is also an Anglo-Chinese garden, all around the white lake, with bridges, an aquatic labyrinth, a temple of Venus on the Island of Love, and a column on the opposite bank.

Peterhof external link, counterpart of Pierre the Great to Versailles, doesn't have an Anglo-Chinese garden, but only classical pavilions.

These palates and their parks form an exceptional set around Saint-Petersburg, at the scale of the Russia. The first railway line of Russia connected in 1837 Saint-Petersburg to Pavlovsk and Tsarskoye Selo. Occupied by the German armies during the seat of the city in 1942, they were almost destroyed but today are entirely restored.

The Czech Republic and the Austro-Hungarian zone

Lednice-Valtice, in Czech Republic : this park external link arranged by the family of Liechtenstein is phenomenal (185 square kilometers, or 18500 hectares!). It extends in the south of Moravia between the two cities, the name of which it wears. Its southern limit is the border with Austria. The site was registered in 1996 among the World Heritage List external link by the UNESCO, and also among the 100 sites in danger by the World Monuments Fund external link.

Forests, rivers, ponds, make there the background of giant landscaped area, decorated with many follies, of which a minaret, ruins (Jan's castle) and a temple of Diana.

(Lednice had been identified by Ronald Kenyon) external link

Opocno an Anglo-Chinese garden external link had been arranged at the beginning of the XIXth century, with a Chinese pavilion, lakes, artificial hills. 350 species were gathered in the hot greenhouses.

Hungary : a Chinese house stands in the park of the Esterházy palate external link in Fertõd. Not far, at Sopron external link, the "umbrella house" was built in 1800.

Austria : Many gardens were created in the Vienna area in XVIIIth century. Neuwaldeck zu Dornbach would have an Anglo-Chinese garden.

Laxenburg external link has an important English park around the castle, commissionned with some fabriques, mainly : a grotto on the bank of the lake, the House of the Moon, the Concordia temple and the Knight's tomb.

Croatia : the count Juraj Niczky (who was a freemason external link ) created about 1790 an Anglo-Chinese garden in Paukovac near Zelina. Around a neo-classic villa, the garden included a pond and fabriques: an hermitage, a ruin, a decorated sheep-fold and an animalery, painted houses and statues of gods of antiquity. It seems that there remain nothing about it. That park could have been the closest to the French concept of "parc à fabriques".

Other countries

Denmark : The Frederiksberg Have park external link was transformed into a romantic landscape around 1800. The painter Nicolai Abildgaard designed the Apis Temple and the interior decorations and terrace surfacing in the Chinese Pavilion, which itself was designed by the architect Andreas Kirkerup. They still remain, but the Chinese pavilion of Søndermarken had been shaven.
Frederiksberg Have, 2000 Frederiksberg (tender to Copenhagen), Information: Tel. 33 92 65 86

Frederiksberg Slot, or the yellow palace, was built in Italian baroque style around 1700 as a summer residence for King Frederik IV. The English landscape park around the palace has several water basins, a Chinese pavilion and a Swiss cottage. It's now the military academy.

In the island of Tåsinge external link, the castle built for Valdemar is surrounded by grounds with a tea pavilion of 1790.

In the island of Møn, the Liselund external link manor is surrounded by a landscape garden created by Antoine de Bosc de la Calmette and his wife Lisa. It's decorated with a Schweizer cottage, a Norwegian house and a Chinese pavilion external link built in 1800. The chapel, the bathhouse and the ruin disappeared when the chalk cliff felt in the sea in 1905.

Finland : an important factory was erected in Fagervik external link at the end of the XVIIIth century. In the middle, a luxury house, probably built for owners, in a park including a Chinese pavilion, looking like the most romantic that I know.

Poland : bishop Michal Poniatowski, brother of King Stanislaw August, built in 1774 the residence of Jablonna external link. The roof seems to have a Chinese style. In the grounds an English scenic park was arranged, with at least a Chinese pavilion to take hot baths.

The Wilanów palate external link, now in the suburbs of Warsawa, had been since 1680 a summer resort for Jan III Sobieski. At the corner of the 19th century, an English garden was arranged including bridges and follies, of which a Chinese pavilion. They are preserved, as is the former Italian baroque garden.

Belgium : Park and castle of Beloeil, 11, rue du château, B-7970 Beloeil, 069 68 94 26 and 68 96 55. It seems that it remains nothing of the follies arranged for the prince de Ligne (of which a Chinese pavilion and a Turkish one).

The Chinese pagoda in the park of Schonenberg in Laeken (Bruxel suburbs), inspired from the pagoda in Kew Gardens by William Chambers, has been destroyed during French occupation. Now a Chinese and a Japanese pavilion decorate the park; they had been moved from Paris, where they had been built for the Exposition in 1900.

Switzerland : close to Basel, the the Ermitage of Arlesheim external link, was created in 1785 for Heinrich von Ligerz, Franz Carl von Andlau and Balbina von Staal. This English garden, somewhat wild, features brooklets falling in floods, remarkable trees and follies : a grotto, temples, the house of the Ermit and engraved rocks.

The South of Europe haven't been very poorly involved in this fashion.

In Italy : the Chinese Villa external link of the Favorite in Palermo, and the magnificent gardens of Caserte external link, 30 km south of Napoli.

In Spain  a Chinese kiosk in the park of Aranjuez external link, some follies in the Park of the Retiro in Madrid (opened in the XVIIth century) and a true Anglo-Chinese garden, El Capricho external link.

The most beautiful visits in Europe are probably Kew Gardens, Wörlitz, Lednice, Pavlovsk and Tsarskoye Selo. One can't draw aside Stowe, although it is an English and not an Anglo-Chinese garden.

None of the French sites can compete in extension and richness (of course, at their time the Désert de Retz and Méréville were at least equal to them, and Mereville undoubtedly superior in refinement, as well as Ermenonville in the philosophical park kind).


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Copyright of author : Dominique Césari
Last update : May the 21th, 2001
Main parks in France Denmark Sweden : the Athens of the lake Malaren The twinkeling ring of Saint-Petersburg Germany Germany Kassel Austro-Hungarian zone Poland England : the birthplace The Leasowes Spain : Aranjuez and El Capricho Italy : Caserte and Palerma France : country parks France: Chinese follies (page in French) France: Chinese follies (page in French) France : destroyed places (page in French) Croatia Finland Belgium Switzerland Ireland back to page