June 11th, 2013
The floods in large portions of Germany have caused lots of trouble for the everyday life of many citizens, who sometimes just recovered from the floods in previous years. Floods in the Elbe region are nothing new, there were floods in 2006 and there was the ‘flood of the century’ in 2002. But this year it seems to be really bad, many record levels have been broken.
Along the borders of the river Elbe, at least three major historical gardens have also been hit by floodwaters: Schloss Pillnitz, the Grossen Garten in Dresden and -most recently- Wörlitz.
Wörlitz seems to have been less affected of the three, their website states that the garden can be visited. Be that as it may, the still increasing photoseries by Ludwig Trauzettel shows how much effort the park management, police, fire department, divers and volunteers have put in the protection of the park’s vital infrastructure. And how some bridges still disappeared under the water they were supposed to cross. The series is a stunning eyewitness account of a potentially devastating event.
As we know, not all gardens have equally good chroniclers. The Grossen Garten did flood, but I have not found as many images. The ones that are there, bring the message across, though.
Schloss Pillnitz had an exhibiton last year, remembering the 10-year anniversary of the 2002 flood ‘of the century’. So the images that presented themselves last week and over the weekend must have been very familiar:
At Pillnitz several events in the upcoming weeks have been cancelled. And that is where, besides all the damage to plantations and infrastructure, things start to hurt. Tourism and paid events are now an important part of the economy of these gardens and palaces. Without that, they cannot survive. Certainly not when the damage of the previous flood had only recently been repaired.
I visited Pillnitz last year and I sure hope this time the damage is limited.