Island Stein
with Villa Hamilton

Princely Italy in Anhalt

The replica of Vesuvius on the wildly romantic island of Stein at the end of Lake Wörlitz still captures the views of visitors to Wörlitz Park, whether on foot or on gently rocking gondolas.

As you get closer, the artificial volcano offers a view of the graceful Villa Hamilton, a small jewel of classicism. If you climb the hill, the view falls down to an ancient theater, which is still used today for theater, music and film screenings. All in all: a place of longing for Prince Franz, who had lost his heart on his “Grand Tour” to Italy and now let the whole world participate in it.

Extracted from a headland, the island of Stein was created from 1788 to 1794 as a travel memory of the prince after his visit to Naples. Its educational goal was obvious: his subjects, who would never be able to visit southern Italy, were to be given the opportunity to explore the world of Mediterranean antiquity for themselves. In addition to the volcano and the theatre, the ensemble not only includes a miniature recreation of a contemporary Italian country house at the time – figs and Lombard poplars were also planted, agaves were provided.

With the Villa Hamilton designed by Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff, the prince also set a monument of friendship to the British diplomat, collector of antiquities and geologist Sir William Hamilton (1731–1803). In Naples, the two had met in 1766 and climbed Mount Vesuvius together. The villa contains three rooms richly decorated with Italian motifs, including gouaches by Erdmansdorff’s drawing teacher Charles-Louis Clérisseau. Unlike the original, the Wörlitz building is now completely restored.

Among the absolute highlights in the history of the Wörlitz facilities were the deceptively real and extremely rare eruptions of the volcano, which is clad with huge natural stones or entire boulders. Under the cone there is even more to discover: caves, grottoes, arcades, bathrooms – as well as a cabinet of the day and a cabinet of the night.

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Villa Hamilton

Monument of a Friendship

The replica of Villa Hamilton, executed by the architect Erdmannsdorff, where the prince was a guest in Naples, is equipped with a collection of valuable paintings and precious Wedgwood reliefs.

18/19 March to 31 October
Tue-Sun, public holidays 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Guided tours outside opening hours are possible by appointment at special conditions.

Individual visits
Price: 6,00 €
reduced: 5,00 €

(every Friday, 11:00 a.m. – or by appointment at the Garden Kingdom Information)
Duration: approx. 1 hour
Price: 9,00 €
reduced: 7,00 €


  • for groups of 15 people or more
  • Students up to 25 years, trainees, unemployed, severely disabled (accompanying person free), holders of volunteer cards of the city of Dessau-Roßlau
  • Children up to 16 years accompanied by an adult free of charge (except gondolas, ferries, holiday program and children’s birthday parties)
  • Guided tour for school groups € 2.00 per person (max. 3 accompanying persons)
  • Guided tours for student groups (art history, history, restoration, horticulture, etc. of all universities and universities of applied sciences) € 2.00 per person (max. 1 accompanying person)

Island Stein
D-06785 Oranienbaum-Wörlitz, Germany
OT Stadt Wörlitz
Phone +49 (0) 3 49 05.3 04 60