The park of Rundāle Palace is an essential part of the palace complex; it has retained its original layout without any significant changes. The location map of Rundāle Palace was drawn by Francesco Rastrelli in 1735/1736. The garden was created between 1736 and 1740, at the same time when the palace was constructed. The location map provides evidence that the actual access to the Palace differs from the one intended by Rastrelli, as his idea of an access road on the central symmetry axis was never realized. The park was not affected by modernization in the 19th century when formal gardens were transformed into landscape gardens. The cartography and inventory carried out in 1974 revealed that in the 19th century trees in the park were still planted according to Rastrelli’s design.
The renovation plan for the park was prepared by the Institute “Giproteatr” in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) between 1975 and 1977. The dendrology plan was developed by experts of the National Botanic Garden.
At the time when the restoration works began, the Baroque garden had become overgrown, the trees were disfigured, and in place of the ornamental parterre there was a school’s sports ground. In order to restore the French formal garden to its original appearance, all the trees were cut down. This job was carried out between 1975 and 1978. The tree planting began in 1984. The renovation of the park was interrupted several times. The pace of works quickened after 1998 when the gardener’s house was restored and also after 2002 when the restoration of the southern facade of the Palace was finished.
The finished works include the reconstruction of the ornamental parterre (2004 – 2006), the Green Theatre (2004) and the fountain (2007). In 2007 the Museum’s staff began planting trees in the bosquet areas encircled by clipped hedges. Within the last few years the Museum has also completed footpaths in the bosquets, the Chinese pavilion and two pergolas, and has started the construction of two pavilions in the Green Theatre.
The Play Bosquet will feature play equipment such as swings made according to the late 18th century and early 19th century designs.
The selection of plants for the park is based upon the information obtained from the 18th century garden descriptions and books on Baroque gardens.