One of Germany’s largest gardens and leisure parks, the egapark sprawls across the 265-meter-high Cryiaksberg in the southwest of Erfurt. Originally established as a city fortress, the area was transformed into a public green space in the late-19th century before it became the venue for the International Horticultural Exhibition from 1961.

Today the egapark includes exhibition halls and greenhouses, themed gardens and an observatory, as well as the largest children’s playground in Thuringia. It’s also home to the only museum dedicated solely to horticulture in Germany, the Deutsches Gartenbaumuseum. The park was designed by landscape architect Reinhold Lingner and is considered one of the most important works of garden architecture from the 1960s.

Witness the largest ornamental flowerbed in Europe and wander through the fra-grant rose garden, then admire the fusion of landscaping and philosophy in the tranquil Japanese rock and water garden. Step into one of the tropical glass-houses or be surrounded by colorful butterflies in the Butterfly House and be sure to admire the impressive collection of orchids on display. If you’re traveling with kids, let them run loose at the children’s farm or explore the works by well-known German artists in the sculpture garden.

One of the old fortress turrets has been transformed into an observation tower where you can get sweeping views across egapark and the city of Erfurt. The Volkssternwarte observatory in the north of the former turret still features a 2.5-meter-long telescope from the 1940s and a rotatable dome, which was the first to be manufactured by VEB Carl Zeiss Jena following World War II.