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"Jröner Jong" in the Hofgarten
"Jröner Jong" in the Hofgarten


The Hofgarten is the green lung of Düsseldorf. It stretches from the Jacobistraße with Schloss Jägerhof and the bordering Malkasten park to the Heinrich-Heine-Allee by the Altstadt (Old Town) and from the Königsallee to the Rheinterrasse (Rhine Terrace) on the banks of the Rhine. Because of its diversity and the pleasing contrast between nature and formal design, it is a popular destination for relaxing walks.

The Reitallee with its four rows of trees adheres to this formal design, as does the perfectly straight stretch of the Düssel and the flower garden with carefully delineated flower-beds. These stark forms create an attractive contrast with the remainder of the Hofgarten, which in the spirit of the English landscape style, is designed with attractive, “natural” features. On the 27.73-hectare grounds there are extensive meadows as well as impressive big single trees, which reflect the Hofgarten creator Maximilian Weyhe’s vision of a natural landscape. North of the Maximilian-Weyhe-Allee are most of the Hofgarten’s 2000, up to 200-year-old trees, which are reminiscent of a little wood. The gently babbling Düssel, the little lake with the “Jröner Jong”, and the quiet pond on the Landskrone add an invigorating element to the Hofgarten. The Hofgärtnerhaus (Court Gardener House) was once the abode of the renowned garden architect Maximilian Weyhe.

Strange as it sounds, the peaceful Hofgarten owes its creation to military events. The conflicts in the Seven Years War had dragged the grounds of Pempelfort – which then lay outside of the fortifications – into the midst of the troubles. Following the devastation, Imperial Count Franz Ludwig Anton von Goltstein, the Elector’s governor, wanted to restore order and harmony. So in 1769 the oldest part of the Hofgarten between Schloss Jägerhof and the lake with the “Jröner Jong” was designed by Nicolas de Pigage in the French classical style.

This makes Düsseldorf’s Hofgarten Germany’s first and oldest public park. Between 1797 and 1799, large parts of the Hofgarten fell victim to military planning. The French, who in the confusion of the Revolutionary wars had captured Düsseldorf, expanded the city into a fortification. However, following the peace treaty of Lunéville in 1801, the French had to leave Düsseldorf again and the fortifications were destroyed. This made room for the expansion of the Hofgarten, which was begun according to plans by Maximilian Weyhe in 1804.

The plans were expressly approved by Napoleon in 1811, who left the former wall site to the people of Düsseldorf with a “beautification decree”. Weyhe created a landscape garden in the English style. His art of designing gentle elevations and valleys to conjure up a “natural” landscape is reflected in the Hofgarten: the interplay of the Landskrone, Hexenberg and Ananasberg hills as well as the Napoleonsberg with the bordering, extensive meadows is a masterpiece. Weyhe also redesigned large parts of the old French section of the garden; only the Reitallee and the Seufzerallee beside the Düssel remained as they were. The Hofgarten was incorporated into the city planning of the time. Despite their differing characters and views, the garden architect Weyhe and the city planner Adolph von Vagedes worked together closely and fruitfully. The aim was to create a swathe of green stretching from the Rhine, through the Schwanenspiegel, Königsallee, Hofgarten and Heinrich-Heine-Allee back to the Rhine. For the EUROGA 2002plus with its theme “Decentralised State Garden Show”, the Hofgarten was the first public park in Germany to be renovated.

The Hofgarten is adorned by numerous historic monuments and modern sculptures. As “artistic objects” they complement the diverse landscapes of the park and add an attractive touch. Probably the most popular is the Märchenbrunnen: with its winsome forms and charm in a secluded corner near the pond, it invites those out for a stroll to linger and look at the fairytale figures. In addition there is the neo-classic-romantic Stephanien bust, the simple monument for the Hofgarten creator Weyhe, and the thought-provoking memorials for fallen soldiers; and last but not least modern sculptures like Vadim Sidhur’s “Mahner” and the reclining figure in two parts by Henry Moore.


Schloss Jägerhof
Located in the city centre on the eastern edge of the Hofgarten, Schloss Jägerhof is a former hunting lodge which, following renovations, served as the residence of Prince Friedrich of Preußen. The palace was built between 1749 and 1763 in the rococo style based on designs by the architect J. J. Couven. In 1796 the Jägerhof was plundered by revolutionary troops and only restored in 1811 for Napoleon’s four-day visit to Düsseldorf. Damaged in the Second World War, the palace was restored in 1950 by Helmut Hentrich, and was used to host occasional receptions of the young Federal Republic. Since 1955, Schloss Jägerhof has served as a museum. First it was used for the Stadtmuseum (City Museum) later for the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, which then moved into a new building on the Grabbeplatz in 1986. Today the Goethe Museum is housed in Schloss Jägerhof, a comprehensive collection devoted to the life and work of the poet. After the museums in Weimar and Frankfurt, it is the most important museum devoted to the great German poet.


Orientation map


Pempelfort/ Stadtmitte/ Heinrich-Heine-Allee/
Inselstraße/ Jägerhofstraße/ Hofgartenstraße
40479 Düsseldorf
Total Area 27,73 ha