The egapark, a big park with gardens and an amusement park, is located in the south-west of Erfurt. It takes about 12 minutes on the tram to get here from the Old Town. On a sunny Tuesday morning, I headed over there to explore the area.
Development of the egapark
The area of the egapark is atop the Cyriaksberg (Cyriaks Mountain – 265 meters high) where the old fortress and citadel once were.
After World War I the City of Erfurt purchased the land off the Prussian government. The city committed itself to keep the fortress and citadel under monument protection and to open the area for the general public. The plan was to establish a recreational area for the people that lived in the city.
The new city park was handed over to the public in 1928. Military use during the Second World War destroyed most of it. When reconstruction began it was decided to give the area a permanent exhibition space for garden shows. Four exhibition halls were erected, exemplary small gardens were layed out, a fountain was added and the old towers of the fortress were converted into a viewing tower and an observatory. The first garden show opened in 1950 and became a magnet for visitors.
This solidified the idea to keep the area open for guests even after the end of the garden show and to host different exhibitions in the future. Over time restaurants were added, enclosures for animals, a playground and an outdoor stage. The area developed into a popular park and venue.
Most of the park still looks the same today. Some changes were made due to changes in management or political and environmental circumstances. But it remained a venue where visitors get to experience big events. In 2021, for example, the Federal Garden Show will be held in Erfurt. Some construction work is already underway to transform the park into a garden paradise.
A visit to the egapark Erfurt
It is still quiet as I enter the park shortly after it opened for the day. It had been raining the day before and because the sun hasn’t been shining on the flowers long I hope to get some good nature shots.
The first big flower bed starts right next to the main entrance. It is really big! 6000m² full of tulips and other early flowering plants are welcoming me. The tulips shine in the prettiest colours and indeed there are water droplets from the day before that are sparkling on the flowers.
I stroll down the path along the exhibition greenhouses (which were unfortunately closed because of the refurbishments) and arrive at an artificial pond. It is about 150 meters long and connects the historic park with the modern exhibition area. Old trees are creating shade for visitors.
As I pass the pond I decide to head to the Japanese Garden first.
The Japanese Garden stretches across two connected levels. Rocks, water, wooden buildings and plants from the far east dominate the picture. Depending from where the visitor views things and at what angle the garden presents completely new sights all the time.
The paths that lead through the Japanese Garden are winding and bumpy. They were very wet and slippery after the rain of the previous days.
I really enjoyed this part of the egapark and felt like I went on holiday and walked through unknown territory. I enjoyed how tranquil it was.
Viewing tower and sculpture garden
The viewing tower in the eaga park Erfurt is a converted gun turret from the 16th century. It is the southern tower of the former Cyriaksburg Citadel.
The old conical roof was taken down and additional structures for the viewing platform were fitted. Winding stairs on the inside of the tower take guests up to the first platform. From here, a spiralling path with small steps climbs to the top at 272 meters. The view of the egapark and of Erfurt is lovely from up here.
Beneath the tower is a little sculpture garden. 22 bronzes were placed into spaces divided by hedges. It almost feels like these are rooms inside a museum. It’s a good idea to slow down and really take in the art, maybe even take a little break on a bench.
I walked through the egapark for multiple hours and I didn’t come close to seeing everything. The variety of flowers, trees and grass left me deeply impressed. I can imagine that it is quite fascinating to explore the park in different seasons to see the different plant arrangements.
Gothaer Straße 38,
Main Season (Beginning of April to beginning of October)
Off-peak season (Beginning of March to beginning of April and October)
Winter season (November to beginning of March)
Different discounts are available.
Special hard ticketed events have their own ticket prices!
Beginning of March – 31st October: 09:00 – 18:00
1st November – Beginning of March: 10:00 – 16:00