During your stay inCottbus you should definitely visit Branitz Landscape Park. It is a kind-ofmonument to the life and work of Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871).The eccentric aristocrat traveled a lot, was friends with many famouspersonalities, and had a wondering eye. According to legend created by himself,Pückler had more lovers than “Casanova and Don Juan put together". But hisserious landscaping work is still a leader according to specialists. The three-layerice cream, Fürst-Pückler-Eis, was named in honor of Pückler.
Pücklerpreferred to live in Berlin and in his estate in Muskau, alternatively till 60.In Muskau he created his first famous park, which is now on the UNESCO WorldHeritage List. But in 1845 the prince had to sell Muskau because of debts and tomove into a smaller estate in Branitz near Cottbus. In the English manner hecalled it Bransom Hall. For 25 years, until his death in 1871, Pückler workedon the creation of the second masterpiece of landscape art. Before it, this placewas just a plain. The prince brought here thousands of old trees - red maples,chestnuts, firs, poplars, oaks- from the entire region. He planted them on aspecial plan to achieve certain combinations of colors at different times ofthe year. In addition, according to Pückler’s plans, artificial ponds were dug,hills and hillocks were piled up, and walkways were paved. The two pyramids onthe west side are the most unusual decoration of Branitz Park. They are builton the model of the Egyptian pyramids (which the prince personally saw duringhis travels to Egypt) not of stone, but from earth. The remains of the princeand his wife are in one of them. The pyramid surface is covered with grass andivy. The reflection in the water creates the illusion of faceted emeralds. Itis extraordinarily spectacular, especially in summer and autumn. There is a palaceof the XVIII century in the park territory, rebuilt by famous architectGottfried Semper at the order of Pückler. It now houses a museum (Fürst-Pückler-Museum)that tells about the vivid and adventurous life of the prince. The exhibits includehis personal belongings, as well as exotic trophies brought back from numeroustravels. An English piano is exhibited in the music hall, which was played byClara Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn.