Royal Garden of Herrenhausen
The Royal Garden of Herrenhausen consists of four gardens, the Großer Garten, the Berggarten, the Georgengarten and the Welfengarten. The Großer or Great Garden is considered the most extravagant, whereas the Berggarten is a vegetable garden, turned botanical miracle. Georgengarten and Welfengarten possess the traits and styles of an English Garden, and are mostly used for recreation and leisure.
The Great Garden is the largest of all the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen and spans over 50 hectares. During the Hannovian era the maintenance of the garden was commissioned by Sophia of Hannover to Martin Charbonnier. Within this magnificent botanical wonderland are the ruins of Herrenhausen Castle.
The garden fountains form a focal point, with their waters reaching a maximum height of 80 metres. Another attraction of the Great Garden is a showcase of art by Niki de Saint Phalle.
The Great Garden is the venue for events such as The Festival of Small Arts, The Small Festival in the Great Garden, Festival Week Herrenhausen and the International Firework Competition. During summer, the Garden Theatre is home to the State Stage of Hannover which hosts musicals and theatre performances.
The Berggarten has themed displays of exotic plants. The Georgengarten acts as a park, as well as the mansion's gardens. The Welfengarten is home to the University of Hannover. The Welfenschloss Castle, found in the middle of the garden, is the university's main building.