Waldpark Lousberg


Prologue

 

 

One of the first public parks in Europe to be initiated by the general public rather than by princes was created in an unusual location in 1807, on Lousberg hill. Located high above the Dreiländereck, the area where three countries meet today, the park offers a sweeping view of the town of Aachen and the border regions of the Netherlands and Belgium. The citizens’ park was realised thanks to a committee created to enhance the beauty of the town.

When the first survey to measure the Rhineland took place under Napoleonic rule in 1794, the French engineers, working under the direction of Jean Joseph Tranchot, also used the Lousberg to draw up their maps. The Tranchot obelisk, which was erected in 1807 on the top of the hill, still marks one of their measuring points.

Maximilian Friedrich Weyhe, the horticultural director from Düsseldorf, was responsible for the layout of the Lousbergpark. He designed a landscape park based on a “choreography”: lines of sight were planned in order to draw the eye to certain details or into the distance.

The Belvedere, which was destroyed during the Second World War, was created on a slope of the. Today, the remains of its pillars are a reminder of its existence.

The Monopteros, a round temple which likewise failed to survive the war, was built on the hilltop. In its place there is now a converted water tower fitted out with a rotary mechanism. Restaurant guests in the Drehturm (Rotating Tower) thus enjoy a continually changing panoramic view.

Having matured over the centuries, the Lousberg is rather like a woodland park. The avenues of beech, linden and maple trees are particularly impressive when they take on their brilliant autumn colours.

A thorough restoration of this historically significant park is planned for its anniversary in 2007.