Maksimir Park, an oasis of peace

Maksimir Park, an oasis of peace

A popular green oasis for Zagreb's inhabitants is the largest city park Maksimir, which has marked 220 years since its founding. The park was founded in the late 18th century in a dense centuries-old forest, thanks to Bishop Maximilian the noble Vrhovac, a great nature lover, in whose honor the park was named. 

The bishop began works in 1787. on the hunting grounds of Zagreb's bishops, wanting to design it in a classic French style, with flower beds, plants, pavilions, rose bushes and greenhouses. The park was partially furnished and officially opened for the public in 1794. The Archbishop of Zagreb, 
Cardinal Juraj Haulik, the ultimate creator of the park, left the French idea of the park and in the 19th century edited it in the style of an English romantic garden – a natural, luxurious park-forest. The 316 acres are governed by meadows and clearings, paths and trails, regulated streams and five artificial lakes that were formed. An imposing entrance gate was built, pavilions, the bishop's summer residence, viewpoints, decorative sculptures were placed and areas with plants were allocated. 

One of the most recognizable symbols of the park is the 'Vidikovac', the central building was built on the clearing in 1843. when the park was completed and opened to the citizens of Zagreb to use. Vidikovac is designed as a two-storey tower surrounded by two terraces where you can still to this day have a drink or enjoy the view of the park.

In 1842, modeled after the then modern houses, the Swiss House was built, a rustic wooden structure with a stone ground floor. This used to be the woodsman's house, and today it is arranged as a small bistro. 

In 1925. the zoo built and a memorial mound – barrow, in the memory of the one thousand year old Croatian kingdom. The monument was created by bringing earth from 155 sites of important cultural and political events around Croatia. 

The northernmost part of the park is wild, where a thick, primeval forest extends. 
Park Maksimir was protected in 1948. as a natural rarity, and in 1964. was declared a monument of landscape architecture and protected cultural property. The harmony of its sunny meadows, gorgeous trees, lakes with white swans and long, winding hiking and biking trails, attract fans of botany and bird watchers, but mostly ordinary people, hikers who seek peace and respite from everyday life. 

Today Maksimir park is an ideal place, five minutes from downtown, where you can at least for a moment remove yourself from city noise and enjoy your break and recreation. There are many possibilities in this respect the park offers its visitors, such as the walk along the landscaped park paths, Nordic walking, running, cycling, rowing boats on the Third Lake, and for younger visitors there are two modern playgrounds. 

Maksimir Park is to Zagreb as the Bois de Boulogne is to Paris, the Tiergarten is to Berlin or the Regents Park to London.