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Aims and Scope
The Peacock Island is a concrete example of how different property owners can change a landscape site over the course of history according to their particular predilections. The island, with its ancient trees and picturesque buildings – now a nature reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage site – was used experimentally as a location for breeding rabbits and then for a smelly glass foundry as late as the seventeenth century. These facilities were later replaced by the white castle, visible from afar, a dairy farm, fountains, and a place for the peacocks that had been settled there. Much like a zoo, the island maintained a population of exotic animals; there were also botanical rarities, which however burned along with the "House of Palms" in 1880, and above all the rose garden, which still exists today. The lack of war-time bombing was good fortune. As a result, the historical appearance of the grounds has by and large been preserved and the island is a popular destination for excursions, not least because of the many peacocks wandering freely about.