For many citizens of Bremen-Nord, Knoops Park was, and still is, a popular destination.
But who knows the history of these park grounds, which is also the history of their creator, the industrialist Ludwig Knoop?
The Bremen merchant Ludwig Knoop (1821-1894), who came to wealth and reputation by company foundations in the Russian cotton industry and was made a member of the nobility by the Russian Czar, bought-like many wealthy Bremen merchants of his time-property in the scenically attractive St. Magnus on the Hohen Ufer of the Lesum, the manor of Mühlental. He spent the summer season in ‘Bremen ‘s Switzerland ‘with his family from 1861 till 1868.
In 1871, Knoop moved into a castle built in the English Tudor style, erected on the site of the old summer house and built by the Bremen architect Gustav Runge, with several stables and auxiliary buildings.
Around the castle, Wilhelm Benque, who was at the same time designing the Bremen Bürgerpark, laid out an English landscape garden. Big open spaces, arranged by Benque in an effective contrast to the old trees on the estate, create attractive vistas and long-distance views, skilfully contrasting native and exotic shrubs.
Benque used the shore, steeply descending to the Lesum, to lay out stone stairs and viewing platforms in the style of Italian renaissance gardens. With the Jünglingshöhe, he creates the most impressive vista over the wide Lesum landscape.
Ludwig Knoop bequeaths his daughters and sons-in law estates in the vicinity, where also magnificient villas are created: the ‘Albrechtsburg‘of the George Albrecht family, the ‘Kränholm‘ of the Kulenkampff family and the ‘Schotteck‘ house of the Woldes.
After Ludwig Knoop ‘s death in 1894, the castle with its grounds went down to the eldest son Johann. Through the First World War and the Russian revolution, the family lost all its English and Russian possessions.
Only the cotton spinning mill on the Estonian island Kränholm stayed, at first, in the possession of the family. The formerly so magnificient castle fell more and more into disrepair and got demolished on May 25, 1933.
In 1936, the Mühlental manor passed to the municipality of Lesum, so that the beautiful grounds could be preserved.
Three years later-1939- the Knoops Park was developed, after plans of the garden architect Christian H. Roselius and under the supervision of garden director Homann. With this, the famous creator received a memorial for the first time.
After the war, the adjacent parks downriver, with the former Albrechtsburg, Schotteck and Lesmona, were merged with Knoops Park into a harmonic, now 65 hectares-big complex. About 7 km of walks lead on beautiful avenues and romantic paths through the park, while creator Ludwig Knoop greets the visitor as a life-sized bronze statue by sculptor Claus Homfeld.
The gardening department of the building authorities Bremen-Nord and the Knoops Park association today take care that as much as possible of its former beauty survives.
(The text originates from the leaflet ‘Knoops Park-historical park grounds in Bremen-Nord‘, published by the Knoops Park association, text by Ulla Tesch).
Förderverein Knoops Park e.V.
phone: 0421 -63 977 30