|Samstag, 05. April 2008||Inhalt|
Tour of the City
The two municipal parks, the Luisenpark and the Herzogenriedpark, are firm favourites with the public, even beyond the city limits. With an area of 41 hectares, the Luisenpark is the bigger of the two. Its history stretches back to the time before 1900. It was laid out between 1892 and 1894 according to the plans of the Siesmeier brothers, Frankfurt landscape gardeners, and was named after the Grand Duchess Luise.
The Luisenpark was given its present appearance in 1975, the year of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Horticultural Show) in Mannheim. It was considerably extended and redesigned for the great event. Today the Luisenpark is considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful parks, and this is not only the opinion of Mannheim's citizens. Maybe this is so because it harmoniously manages to combine so many interesting features: a parkland right in the centre of a city, a botanical garden, a zoo as well as a leisure and recreational park. The Kutzerweiher lake lies in an idyllic spot of the park. When the weather is fine, many visitors venture onto the water in "Gondolettas". During the summer the lakeside stage offers a varied programme, from concerts of all kind to dances. Two of the highlights every year are the big Summer Night Party as well as the Family Day in autumn. But the Luisenpark is not only worth visiting during the summer. The winter programme is designed to especially appeal to families with children. Every year wide-eyed children can be seen gazing at the Lantern Procession and the St. Martin's Games in November and the Nativity Scene with live animals in December. But also the Epiphany procession in January as well as the procession on the first day of spring just before Easter, when winter is symbolically burnt, draw a lot of spectators.
140 species of trees, 85 of shrubs, 350 different herbaceous perennials or bushes, 400,000 bulbs and other flowers that blossom in spring as well as 250,000 summer and autumn flowers await the visitor. Tropical plants and animals can be seen in the botanical house (on 2700 square metres over 350 types of plants, 50 reptile species and 350 kinds of fish in salt and sweet water aquariums). At least eight exhibitions on different subjects are presented in the exhibition hall (400 square metres) every year. These range from the Spring Flower Show and the Summer and Rose Shows to educational and informational exhibitions on plants and animals. New attractions were included for the centenary of the Luisenpark in 1996, such as the fascinating Butterfly Paradise with numerous very different tropical butterflies, the Cacti House and the "Sound Oasis", a relaxing listening experience composed by the Mannheim musician Peter Seiler. The large complex for owls (13 species), the newly created penguin enclosure, the water playground which was enhanced in 1997 and, for art lovers, the Heinrich-Vetter path with its art objects are also worth visiting.