Gardening for the sake of people and nature

In order to secure the future of the large, traditional island of Mainau, Count Lennart Bernadotte and his wife Countess Sonja Bernadotte founded the Lennart-Bernadotte-Stiftung (Lennart Bernadotte Foundation) in 1974, based on the island of Mainau, on Lake Constance. They chose the form of a private law foundation with a legal entity, which exclusively and directly follows charitable purposes. As the founders set up their day-to-day work with the motto “gardening for the sake of people and nature”, over many years, the island of Mainau has developed into a synthesis of a botanical garden, historical castle park, cultural experience space and international meeting place. The tasks of the foundation were determined as follows:

Foundation purposes

  • Promotion of international ethos and the sciences, particularly by making contacts between older and younger scientists on an international level, especially by promoting the board of trustees for the “Kuratorium für die Tagungen der Nobelpreisträger in Lindau e.V.” conferences of the noble prize winners in Lindau.
  • Promotion of landscape management on the basis of the “Green charter of Mainau” issued on 20 April 1961 at the fifth Mainau round table discussion, particularly the promotion of the German Council for Landscape Management and the “Deutsche Gartenbau-Gesellschaft 1822 e.V.”
  • Promotion of “Europäisches KulturForum Mainau e.V.”, which is under the patronage of the European council in Strasbourg, and which promotes and moderates culture in international Lake Constance
  • In the area of “Pro Integration”, promotion of the association “Gärtnern für Alle e.V.”, which introduces young people with learning difficulties to horticultural but also other professions, and in the specialist area of “Green School” with school gardens, green classrooms, international Mainau Youth Games, teacher seminars and other gardening-related courses to show young people and adults the way to nature education.

The foundation tasks are primarily fulfilled by financial support from the relevant institutions. Finally, the Lennart Bernadotte Foundation awards the “Lennart Bernadotte prize for landscape management” annually, endowed with €5,000, for excellent dissertations at German universities in the area of landscape management, and the “Sonja-Bernadotte medal” for horticulture, endowed with €1,000, for particularly good dissertations in the area of garden culture.

Foundation assets

The foundation assets consist of company shares in Mainau GmbH, which has to work as a private tourism company without public subsidies in accordance with market-oriented aspects. The share profits form the financial basis for the fulfilment of the charitable foundation goals. The budget is supplemented by donations. A foundation council is responsible for the fulfilment of the tasks and administration of the foundation assets. Its role is subject to supervision by the regional council of Freiburg as a foundation authority. The members of the foundation council are Professor Dr.-Ing. habil. Dagmar Schipanski (chairman), Forstdirektor a.D. Volkmar Theo Leutenegger (deputy chairman), Count Björn Bernadotte, Countess Bettina Bernadotte, Countess Catherina Ruffing Bernadotte of Wisborg, Count Christian Graf Bernadotte and Countess Diana Gräfin.

Foundation philosophy

The fixed foundation purposes form the consistent continuation of the goals, that Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Count Lennart Bernadotte of Wisborg and Countess Sonja Bernadotte of Wisborg set in their life work. The island of Mainau in Lake Constance should not just be an experience space, but also consistently serve the large social tasks of our times. The centuries-old spiritual and cultural-historical heritage of the island of Mainau will be continued into the future by the Bernadotte family at Castle Mainau, with traditional and modern design skills.


Contact Information
D-78465 Mainau
Tel.: 0049 7531 303 355,

Konto-Nr.: 214 562 103, Volksbank e.G. Konstanz (BLZ 692 910 00)
IBAN: DE 60_6929_1000_0214_5621_03

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