How has the Mainau become the flower island, that it is today?


Rose garden in front of the Mainau-Castle.
The Mainau is well known for the splendour of it's flowers. 1.2 million visitors from many countries come to the island every year. But how did the island become an „El Dorado“ for fans of tulips, orchids, roses, dahlias and other flowers?

Count Lennart Bernadott strongly shaped the Mainau of today. And at the beginning, there was a love story. In 1932 count Bernadotte married the commoner Karin Nisswandt and was not entitled to become king any more by swedish law. In the same year Lennart Bernadotte and his wife moved to the Mainau (which was owned at that time by the swedish royal family) and began to reshape it.

The castle into which he and his family moved was finished in 1746 by the "Deutscher Orden". In 1827 the wealthy hungarian prince Nikolaus III. Esterházy bought the island and brought some rare plants to it. In 1853 the duke Friedrich I. of Baden bought the island. He travelled a lot and brought many trees from other countries to the Mainau and layed the foundation for it's park landscape of today. When count Lennart Berndadotte came to the Mainau in 1932 the vegetation of the island had run wild. Lennart Bernadotte soon began to improve the park and opened it for the public.

Spring on Mainau
Spring on island Mainau

Today the island Mainau in the Lake Constance is a widely known tourist attraction. And probably, this will not change. In 1974 the Bernadotte-family created a foundation which aims at preserving the Mainau of today for future generations as a park and cultural place. Thus, there is no reason to fear, that some super rich investor will buy the island and make it his summer residence.