No matter what time of year - the Bad Gleichenberg spa gardens are always an extraordinary place.
Pleasure strolls in the green salonLined to the north by the "Gleichenberg Mountains", the 20-hectare spa park is nestled in a gently rolling landscape. Botanical exotics such as the 150-year-old Californian sequoia bear witness to the mild climate in the Gleichenberg Valley. Even emperors and dukes used to stroll through the promenades and small hidden paths and squares of this historic garden. For special contemplation and tranquility, a detour to the bark chapel is recommended.Walk through the spa parkThe facts are quickly listed: The spa park is about 20 hectares in size and is the heirloom of Countess Emma von Wickenburg, who had the spa park laid out in 1837 in the style of English landscape gardens. But even if it appears venerable and exudes a rare, soothing tranquility: the Bad Gleichenberg spa park is certainly not a "museum". Rather, it is a place whose charm lies precisely in the interplay - between young and old, between dynamism and tranquility. The master gardener particularly enjoys his spacious workplace in spring, when the trees gradually blossom. But autumn is also a season that suits the spa park. The fall color, as well as the smells, are a sensory experience. The pie tree, for example, gives off a sweet, pie-like scent when its leaves sail to the ground or a gust of wind passes through accumulated leaves. In winter, then, when all the leaves have been shed, the antler tree comes into its own. Its gnarled branches are particularly distinctive when covered with hoarfrost or snow.During the guided tours through the park, which Helmut Zotter offers all year round, he also presents other botanical specialties to the visitors. Plane trees, trumpet trees or the sequoia tree, for example. "This is an alpha tree, i.e. a tree that gives energy and strength," Zotter explains. Nowadays, he says, one can measure many energies, those of stones, those of trees, those of special power places.The variety of native and exotic plants and shrubs, the 15,000 flowers that give the park special charm, and the beautiful promenades for walking and strolling naturally attract visitors, but, as I said, one should not think that the spa park is not for the young. All generations are represented among the trees. "Schoolchildren and students (Bad Gleichenberg has 1,200 of them after all!), especially those in love, seek out the quiet spots just as much as old couples you see holding hands," says Zotter.