On first seeing the bizarre rock formations in the beech grove not far from Zwernitz Castle a guest of Margrave Friedrich is said to have exclaimed ‘C’est sans pareil!’ – ‘It has no equal!’. Between 1744 and 1748 the Oriental Building and the kitchen building opposite were constructed in this unusual natural setting from designs by the court architect Joseph St Pierre. These two buildings, which were used for festivities at the Bayreuth Court, are grouped around a sunken garden parterre, which was recreated in 1984 from a copper engraving made in 1748.
The park bordering these buildings was decorated with very little alteration to the natural surroundings with a ruined theatre and numerous smaller buildings, most of them in an Eastern Asian style. These did not however survive beyond the 19th century; only the ruined theatre still exists. All these park buildings were probably the inspiration of the highly educated and artistic Margravine Wilhelmine.
9 am-6 pm
1-16 October: 10 am-4 pm
(except: Easter Monday, 1 May, Whit Monday, 3 October)
closed 17 October-March
Park accessible all year round
Visit possible only with a guided tour. There are guided tours (in German) on the Oriental Building every 45 minutes.
last guided tour:
April-September: 5.15 pm
1-15 October: 3.15 pm
Combination ticket "Sanspareil"
(Oriental Building + Zwernitz Castle)
3.50 euros regular
3 euros reduced
Oriental building accessible via back entrance
The Sanspareil Rock Garden, situated around 40 km west of Bayreuth near the village of Wonsees, can be reached on the road B 22 or the A 70 motorway (Schirradorf exit).
Car and bus parking spaces at the entrance to the park