LECHNER, Johann Baptist

Chinese Tower

Englischer Garten, Munich

The Englischer Garten is a large public park in the centre of Munich, stretching from the city centre to the northeastern city limits. It was created in 1789 by Sir Benjamin Thompson (1753–1814), later Count Rumford (Reichsgraf von Rumford), for Prince Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria. Thompson's successors, Reinhard von Werneck (1757–1842) and Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell (1750–1823), advisers on the project from its beginning, both extended and improved the park.

The Englischer Garten is one of the world's largest urban public parks, larger than New York's Central Park. The name refers to its English garden form of informal landscape, a style popular in England from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century.

The most important buildings in the park are the Chinese Tower by Lechner and the Monopteros by Leo von Klenze. The Chinese Tower, a 25-meter high wooden building in the style of a pagoda was erected in 1789/90 according to a design by Joseph Frey by Johann Baptist Lechner.

The model for the Chinese Tower was the twice as high "Great Pagoda" at the royal palace gardens of Kew Gardens in London, which again centred on a majolica pagoda in the gardens of a Chinese emperor (Xiangshan Park, Beijing).

The Chinese Tower burnt several times, most recently in July 1944 after bomb attacks. However, it was always rebuilt faithfully, most recently in 1952.