Already in the Middle Ages there was an alluvial forest on the same spot. The population of Bamberg also used this forest economically. With the secularisation in 1803, as a result of which Franconia became part of Bavaria, a public garden was created at the request of King Max I of Bavaria. This was designed by Stephan Friedrich von Stengel according to the model of the English Garden in Munich. Pavilions, monuments and temples were to adorn the garden.
At that time the alluvial forest was mainly used for agriculture. Thus farmers drove their pigs to the feeding in the forest equipped with many oaks. With the establishment of the Volksgarten, agricultural use was prohibited from then on, so that the park was to serve the Bamberg citizens exclusively for muse and relaxation.
A spa hall was also built in 1808, which today serves as a resting place or for performances and which is a popular meeting place for young people during the summer months.
The famous romantic, poet and composer E.T.A. Hoffmann, who lived in Bamberg from 1808 to 1813, also loved the Hain. Here he found inspiration for his literary work, as his story of Berganza, the talking dog, proves. E.T.A. Hoffmann claims to have met this dog one night on his way home through the Hainpark. One of the many statues in the grove illustrates this encounter.
In 1816 the part of the park known as “Unterer Mühlwörth” was renamed Theresienhain. The Bavarian crown princess Theresia was the patron saint of the park. 1823 followed a further extension of the park up to the Buger Spitze, which in 1828, in honour of the Bavarian princess Ludovika Wilhelmine, called Luise, was given the name Luisenhain.
In 1870 King Ludwig II decided to transfer the Hain to the city. He insisted that the town preserve the land and make it available to the people for free use. In 1910, the Bambergers erected a memorial to the monarch to thank him for this.
In 1923, Bamberg’s botanical garden was created, which was originally intended to serve as a medicinal, herbal and educational garden. This school-like character was soon forgotten. Instead, numerous decorative flower beds were created, which continue to enchant tourists and locals to this day.
The Bamberg Hainpark is still worth a visit today. For many inhabitants of the city, it is an important local recreation area. They go for walks, jogging or other activities simply “nain Hain naus” (to the Hain), where also some sports facilities, like the Bamberger rowing club, tennis club or the Hainbad, are settled. The Hain can be easily reached on foot from the town centre, either through the old mill district or along the old canal.