Since 1789 the Englischer Garten has been a place of calmness and peace in Munich, Germany. It is the green heart of the Bavarian metropolis and the biggest park in Europe, situated right in the middle of the city. The funny thing is that this park was created by an American, Benjamin Thompson, who later became Count Rumford and Bavarian Minister of War, as well as a noted social reformer.
Initially, the area surrounding the river Isar was a garden used exclusively by the military. However, the idea of a volkspark (a park for the people) was realised and several farms, nurseries, a sheepfold and an agricultural school were built, all with a view to them being used by the good denizens of Munich.
The natural beauty and romantic wildness of the Englischer Garten has been preserved to this day. Everyone can find in it a special place to go. Parents with children often came to this park because kids can roam freely about in the wide open spaces. They can play, shout and just be happy, free from the danger of cars or any dangers we normally associate with the urban sprawl of any city. You can really enjoy a walk with your dog too, because dogs are allowed off their leash. If you like to sunbathe without your clothes on, then there is a special area for lovers of naturism. Often you can see students from the nearby Ludwig Maximilian University taking a break or studying in the park.
Besides the common park activities, there are a number of aspects and ceremonies that are unique to the Englischer Garten. In The Japanisches Teehaus (Japanese Teahouse), built in 1972 by Mitsuo Nomara, you can watch an original Japanese tea ceremony, carried out by a Japanese Teamaster. The Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) is one of Munich's most charming beer-gardens, especially in summer. In the winter, there is a Christmas market displaying art and craft, Santa Claus and a nativity crib. From the Monopterus, a little round temple built by Klenze1 in the Greek style, one gets a beautiful view of Munich's skyline, particularly on sunny days. At the heart of the Englischer Garten is Kleinhesselhoher Lake, with its three islands and the seehaus (boat house), which is the best place to switch off, swim, or to feed the ducks. Near the Effner Bridge is the Amphitheatre which hosts many open-air concerts during the summer. Finally, in the north section of the Englischer Garten is the Aumeister, the park's largest beer-garden.