Maksimir Park

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This article is about the park in Zagreb. For the football stadium see Stadion Maksimir; for other uses, see Maksimir (disambiguation).
Maksimir Park main entrance

Maksimir Park is Zagreb's oldest public park. It forms part of the city's cultural heritage and is a habitat for many different plant and animal species.


An 1846 map of the park

Founded in 1787, Maksimir Park was the first large public park in South-Eastern Europe, and predates the majority of Europe's public park foundings.[1] The park was opened in 1794[2] under the initiative of the man for whom it was named, Bishop Maksimilijan Vrhovac of Zagreb (1752–1827).[1] At that time, the park was located on the outskirts of the city, although today it is surrounded by many of the city's neighborhoods.[citation needed] It was formerly a dense forest of hornbeams (Carpinus betulus) and oaks (Quercus robur and Q. petraea). The remainder of the original forest survives as a girdle to the park, the area in total measuring above 1,005 acres (4.07 km2).[1]


Maksimir Park in April

Although the landscaping was first conceived by Bishop Vrhovac in the baroque style,[1] in 1839,[citation needed] Bishop Juraj Haulik (1788–1869), and others redesigned the park. Haulik's vision was very much in line with Biedermeierist notions, and romantic neoclassicism, with elements from historicism; and in emulation of the park at the Laxenburg estate of the Habsburgs.

Aerial photo of Maksimir Park

The process of transforming Maksimir Park involved the felling of the forest interior, the grading of hills, the excavating of great holes for lakes, the laying of paths, and construction of bridges.[1]

Others who were instrumental in the making of the park were sculptors Anton Dominik Fernkorn (1813–1878), and Josip Kassmann (1784–1856); master gardner Franjo Serafin Korbler (1812–1866); landscape architect Michael Sebastian Riedel (1763–1850); and architect Franz Schücht.[1]

Schücht's contributions include, among others, Paviljon Jeka (The Pavilion of Echoes), a lookout known as the Kiosk, and a house called Švicarska kuća (The Swiss House).[citation needed]


Turtles in the Maksimir lake

The park has several big meadows, numerous creeks, and five lakes, and is a habitat for various plant and animal species, such as the Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), an endangered species in Europe.[citation needed]

Zagreb’s Zoo also forms part of the park’s territory, located in the southern part of Maksimir Park.

In addition to the park, the name Maksimir may also refer to one of Zagreb’s neighborhoods and NK Dinamo’s stadium, both of which are adjacent to the park.


  1. ^ a b c d e f ed. Patrick Taylor (2006). The Oxford Companion to the Garden. Oxford University Press. pp. 295–6. ISBN 0-19-866255-6. 
  2. ^ "Park's History". Retrieved 25 August 2012. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Maksimir Park at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 45°49′47″N 16°01′14″E / 45.82972°N 16.02056°E / 45.82972; 16.02056