The Kurgarten

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More About This Title The Kurgarten


The design of parks and green spaces in spa towns constitutes a branch of its own within the history of garden and landscape architecture. Kurgarten and kurpark are essential features of life at the spa, focal points of a spa landscape laid out for the purpose of providing recreation and therapy. The kurgarten is not primarily an exhibition space featuring a collection of botanical rarities, or a green setting for its architecture: it is an expanded kursaal intended to provide spa patrons with a summery open-air venue. For that reason, large areas of it often were (and in some cases still are) paved or gravelled, and as a rule are closely interconnected with buildings and facilities. Since the 19th century, however, the kurpark has gradually become more of a private refuge for spa visitors – a refuge, moreover, that also offers opportunities for a stroll in the open, or a walk in the countryside.


Born 1954 in Berlin, Fred Kaspar studied cultural ethnology, art history, and pre- and early history at Münster, 1975–1982. Since then, he has worked as a building historian for the Regional Association in charge of monument protection (LWL-Amt für Denkmalpflege, Landschafts- und Baukultur) of Westphalia. As a curator, he is responsible for the inventory of cultural monuments and the expert in charge of building research for several districts.