Eight questions for...

Bernhard Sallmann, film maker

When I visit the World Heritage Site of Bad Muskau, what should I definitely not miss?

To even comprehend the size of this park you really need to bring plenty of time for your visit. You should plan to be here for at least five or six days to walk or cycle through the entire park at least once. This is the only way to get a sense of the scale and the diversity that Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau created. More than half of the park is on Polish territory, so looking from Germany it's on the other side of the River Neisse.

What do you particularly like here?

What defines Muskauer Park is the number of different landscapes. From small-scale flower beds all the way to horse riding paths that stretch for miles. Or the so-called Wussina hunting park on what is today Polish territory, which is pretty much left to grow wild. It's an area where Pückler himself made very few changes. My personal favorite spot is on the hillsides overlooking the Neisse on the Polish side of the park. From there you get a very special view of the Neue Schloss on the German side.

Do you have an insider tip?

Muskauer Park offers an ever-changing landscape, so a walk through it keeps giving you unexpected sights that change with the seasons.

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

My first visit is so long ago. Back then, in 1998, the Polish side of the park was in a very different state. After 1945 it was turned into a nature reserve and pretty much left to its own devices. There was no active care for the park, as Pückler envisioned. That's the main reason why many trees on the Polish side still showed signs of damage from the Second World War. To see all these trees hit by bullets, bombs and shrapnel in this beautiful landscape was a very formative experience.

Which time of the year is the most attractive here?

In order to fully appreciate the logic of how the park was landscaped, you should definitely see the Muskauer Park in winter at least once. Because when the trees have shed their leaves and stand bare, the construction of the park becomes visible to the visitor. And then of course the time from the end of September onward, when the foliage changes color, is very attractive.

What else should I see here?

It's not just the beautiful landscape along the River Neisse that's so fascinating. As the Muskauer Park is on the border between Germany and Poland, it has a special cultural meaning - eastern and western Europe meet here. This conjunction of different cultural backgrounds means there is so much to discover. On top of that, the park is also in an industrial area that was defined by coal mining. The mining pits are right next to the World Heritage Site. You should also see this aspect of the park.

Visiting World Heritage Sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

I can recommend the local farmer's markets in the area. The rich Polish cuisine should also be tried. There's shashlik, grilled meat kebabs, in wonderful varieties - or there's pierogi - dumplings stuffed with mushrooms, sauerkraut or bacon.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

The Garden of Dessau-Wörlitz.

Bernhard Sallmann

makes documentaries. Born in the Austrian town of Linz, he studied media, German literature and sociology in Salzburg and Berlin.

After that he studied directing at the film and television school in Potsdam. His graduation film in 2003 was a documentary called "The Freedom of Trees," all about the Muskauer Park.