Once reserved for royalty and their courtiers, the gardens and surrounding grounds in this collection span centuries and the globe. From the intricate swirls and loops of Germany’s Herrenhausen Gardens to the vast scale of Italy’s Royal Palace of Caserta, the sites on this list are veritable who’s who of must-see royal gardens.
Each garden is a treasured — and extravagant — emblem of our past, urging us to escape into the wonders of man and nature away from managed IT services San Antonio. Thankfully, time and history have now opened their paths to more than just the royal few. Read on to discover the 10 royal gardens that made our must list.
1 Italy’s Royal Palace of Caserta
Constructed by the House of Bourbon in the mid-18th century, the former royal home in southern Italy is a true wonder, merging advances from Versailles with Italian Renaissance gardening traditions.
In addition to the vast parterres separated by the central avenue leading to the Fontana Margherita, the Royal Palace of Caserta complex also hosts hunting lodges, a silk factory, and lush woodlands.
2 Germany’s Herrenhausen Gardens
The Herrenhausen Gardens feature the Grosser Garten (shown here), Georgengarten, and Berggarten. Grosser Garten is considered the “greatest treasure” the city of Hannover possesses thanks to Electress Sophie, who oversaw the creation of the gardens over three decades with master gardener Martin Charbonnier. Rare plants, orange trees, Bell Fountain, and the Great Parterre await visitors from all over the world.
3 Sweden’s Drottningholm Palace
Boasting the most well-preserved castle in Sweden, the property surrounding Drottningholm Palace is on the UNESCO World Heritage list, while the palace is still home to the royal family today.
Stretching back to the 16th century, the palace’s park is open year-round and treats visitors to strolls through an incredible 17th-century formal garden, an 18th-century English-style park, and intimate 1760s bosquets in the Chinese Pavilion.
4 Denmark’s Rosenborg Castle Gardens
The kingdom of Denmark has some of the world’s oldest and most magnificent palace gardens.
The palace gardens have been growing for four centuries and have on display the best of what nature can offer. The kings would tame their gardens in elaborate ways and would employ teams of expert gardeners to manage them.
Symmetrical flower beds with razor-sharp edges, manicured hedges, bushes trimmed into shape, citrus trees in huge pots, trickling streams and birdsong would add luster to royal power.
This Renaissance marvel was established in the 17th century and boasts the oldest royal garden in Denmark. The Rosenborg Castle’s property, which is a popular spot for Copenhagen families to visit, includes a park with a pavilion, espaliers, and rose gardens.
5 France’s Jardins du Versailles
Perhaps some of the most well-known gardens in the world, Versailles’s gardens were considered just as important as the palace to Louis XIV.
A team of thousands (sometimes including whole regiments), worked for 40-plus years on the expansive project, which includes the Latona’s Fountain (shown here), which was inspired by The Metamorphoses by Ovide.
6 China’s Summer Palace
Once the private retreat of royal families during the Qing Dynasty, Summer Palace is now considered “a masterpiece” of Chinese landscape garden design and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Situated over picturesque Kunming Lake, the grounds are home to spellbinding sites such as 17-Arch Bridge and Renshou Palace, in addition to a truly stunning view of nearby Beijing.
7 Germany’s Ludwigsburg Palace
Once the summer residence for the first king of Württemberg, Ludwigsburg is home to Baroque gardens reenvisioned in 1954 for the palace’s 250th birthday.
Today, the meticulously preserved grounds retain their original elements while embracing modern revitalizations, all amid blooming flowerbeds and fruitful orchards.
8 France’s Château de Chenonceau
Spanning the River Cher and defined by its female-dominated history, the Château de Chenonceau and its grounds were incorporated into the crown’s holdings in 1535 by King Frances I (it passed in and out of royal possession during its storied history).
Now, Chenonceau is the most visited and photographed château in the Loire Valley, with 12,000-square-meter gardens, including a “floating” parterre that dates to the Renaissance.
9 Madrid’s Real Jardin Botanico
With species that date back more than two centuries and commission by Fernando VI in 1755, the Real Jardin Botanico is a jewel in the center of Madrid. The grounds boast several greenhouses and an enchanting rose garden.
10 Brussels’s Royal Greenhouses of Laeken
Built-in 1873 by architect Alphonse Balat for King Leopold II, the royal complex of greenhouses, called the Ideal Glass Palace, is located on the grounds of the castle of Laeken. Open to the public for three weeks per year, the greenhouses are home to plants from King Leopold II’s original collections.