Set across 114 acres to the northeast of the city, the Rhododendron-Park Bremen is an extensive botanical garden that’s famed for its vibrant displays of rhododendrons and azaleas. It was established in 1905 by businessman Ernst Franz Schütte along the banks of the Weser River. Plants were organized in geographical zones from the Orient, Mexico and Caucasus and the gardens featured collections of medicinal herbs and poisonous plants. It was transferred to its current location in the mid-20th century.
Explore the landscaped Azalea Park where wild azaleas from North America and historic cultivars from the Czech Republic and Germany are displayed beneath old beech and oak trees. Wander through the dense Rhododendron forest to admire the more than 2,000 different varieties, then witness the new rhododendron varieties being cultivated by German breeders.
In addition to the park’s rhododendrons and azaleas, there’s an eight-acre botanical garden that features plants from the Americas, Asia, the Balkans and Australasia, together with more than 1,000 species native to northwest Germany, some of which are endangered. There’s also a rockery featuring rhododendrons from the Alps, Himalayas and mountains of East Asia, as well as one of Germany’s largest collections of medicinal plants.
Explore the Botanika exhibit that features woody species from Nepal, Tibet, Yunnan and Burma, together with a Chinese tea pavilion and what is the largest Buddha statue outside Asia. There’s also a dry Zen bonsai garden and a rose garden with more than 200 varieties, as well as a dedicated scent garden where aromatic herbs are showcased.