From Salzwedel’s Garden to Metzlerpark

The museum park connects the Museum Angewandte Kunst with the Museum der Weltkulturen, while also serving as a “passageway” to the Main for the residents of the Sachsenhausen district.

It ends in the east at a gate through the boundary wall opening onto Schifferstrasse; from there one can look along the entire length of the axis.

The park, which was likewise taken into consideration in the Richard Meier design, had already long enjoyed a special reputation on account of its rare trees and plants. Its origins can be traced back to the activities of the apothecary Peter Salzwedel (1752–1815), who purchased the property in 1800.

He planted ginkgoes, northern red oaks, a tulip tree, a giant redwood, common beech trees and chestnut trees in the approximately 10,000-square-metre area.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe is said to have been familiar with the garden, even though he already lived in Weimar, and to have praised it highly. In 1815 he dedicated his poem Ginkgo Biloba to his inamorata Marianne von Willemer of Frankfurt – with a leaf from the Salzwedel ginkgo.

Georg Friedrich Metzler (1806–1889), a member of the famous bankers’ family and the brother of Wilhelm Peter, purchased the grounds and the villa in 1851. In 1855 he had a garden house built in the park, the so-called Schweizer Haus, where concerts and plays were performed. The garden itself was re-landscaped as a rose garden.

In 1961 the property was sold to the city of Frankfurt am Main. The surviving Salzwedel trees are meanwhile very old and can still be admired. From the roots of the original ginkgo, new trees grew, and others were planted within the framework of the park’s reconstruction in 1971.

As a token of gratitude to the Metzler family for their continual efforts on behalf of cultural life in the city of Frankfurt am Main, and in particular its museums, the green space previously known as the “Museumspark” was renamed the “Metzlerpark” on 23 July 2013.