With a total area of 70 hectares, the Südpark is Düsseldorf’s biggest and most visited park. The popularity of the park is due not least to the 30-kilometre network of paths and the variety of things to do and see. The park comprises three very different sections: Volksgarten, “Vor dem Deich” and “In den Gärten”.
The Volksgarten, the oldest part of the Südpark, was completed in 1895/96 and formed the green oasis of the park in the 19th century. It was deliberately planned as an open, natural-looking park. Ponds with attractively curving shorelines, avenues, dense shrubbery, and winding paths offering sudden glimpses of groups of trees, are designed to give the illusion of a harmonious, almost ideal landscape.
On the south side, the area comprising 23 hectares of water and meadows is called “Vor dem Deich”. The starting point for the gardeners was a deep quarry pond fed by groundwater, which used to be a gravel pit. This, together with the neighbouring former industrial area, was transformed into a blooming paradise. Luscious vegetation thrives along the banks of the artificial ponds and chain of islands. The floodwater dike, which was built in 1573 for the Stoffeln cemetery and rediscovered by the planners of the Südpark, provides a good overview of this biotope. The dike is a welcome vantage point in the almost completely flat park and is crowned with a panorama restaurant.
The 20-hectare garden axis “In den Gärten” links the historic Volksgarten and the semi-natural “Vor dem Deich”. Here, the central eye-catcher is a 600-metre long water axis. Sixteen different theme gardens divided by hedges are grouped along this axis. The garden axis surprises with different plants and seasonally changing flowers.
Two surges of development, 90 years apart, gave the Südpark the appearance and design that it has today. In 1892 the city purchased 11 hectares of land from the Arenberg family for the creation of the Volksgarten, in order to provide the inhabitants of the densely populated parts of the city with somewhere to relax.
In the 1960s, an area of wasteland next to the Volksgarten with a derelict gravel pit, overgrown scrap yards and tangled gardens, had turned into an ugly back yard. These areas were cleaned up and redeveloped for the Federal Garden Show in 1987, and today’s Südpark came into being. Comprehensive maintenance measures were carried out again in 2008. At the time, the city of Düsseldorf was a participant in the “Entente Florale” competition, which it went on to win. The Südpark was also included in the application concept: it represented the city’s approach to public parks.
The many different types of landscape in the Südpark are complemented by numerous sculptures by international artists, who deal with the tension between art and nature in their work. Starting with “Zeitfeld” with 24 clocks by Klaus Rinke, via the water axis by Christian Megert and Wasa Marjanov, the steel elements by Erwin Reusch, a column by Ulrich Rückreim, through to the gate made of basalt lava by Erwin Heerich.
LocationOberbilk/ Wersten/ VolksgartenstraßeSiegburger Straße/ Werstener Straße40591 DüsseldorfTotal Area 70 ha