The central square of Zagreb, Ban Josip Jelačić, is the starting point for the string of urban greenery that curves in the shape of a  horseshoe, Lenuzzi’s horseshoe, to be precise, named after the horticulturalist who designed and landscaped it. Starting in the centre of the city, the row of green spaces leads down to the main train station, continuing to the Botanical Gardens and ending with Marulić and Marshal Tito squares. A stroll through the open spaces is a real pleasure and a tonic for the eyes; art lovers will find real gems among the monuments, galleries and museums nestled within the flowers and greenery.

Green Zagreb

You can find spaces for recreation almost anywhere around Zagreb. Also within easy reach we find Medvednica, a popular destination for outings. Right in the city centre, parks, streets and squares intersect with green spaces and gardens. Landscaped in the 19th century, Strossmayer Promenade in the Upper Town is were you can enjoy a romantic panorama of Zagreb accompanied by the poet A.G.Matoš, in sculpture form.

Further evidence of 19th-century urban planning is providedby the so-called Green Horseshoe. This line of eight green squares created by Lenuci serves as the axis of the Lower Town. One of the most popular is Zrinjevac, know for its row of plane trees brought in from Trieste more than a century ago. Fountains, a music pavilion and busts of notable figures take us back to that time. There is also a meteorological display which citizens of Zagreb use to check the time, the daily temperature, local air pressure and humidity.

Those arriving by train are first greeted by lovely views of King Tomislav square, named after the first Croatian king; the Art Pavilion and Zagreb Chatedral. The Art Pavilion, venue for special culturalevents, was originally the Croatian Pavilion at the Millennium Exhibition in Budapest in 1896. Its innovative iron construction made it possible to transport it to its present location and for it to open to the Zagreb public two years later.

Nearby nestles another green oasis, the Botanical Gardens, containing one of the most splendid plant collections in Europe, with some 10,000 varieties. Behinde the walls of the Cathedral you'll find Ribnjak, 'Fishpond', a park where clergymen used to catch fish for their Friday meal.

In the eastern part of the city stretches spacious Maksimir. Zagreb's biggest park was landscaped in the 19th century, in what was considered the English style. It later became home to many animals when a zoo was opened here in the first half of the 20th century.

Outside the limits of the city centre, up on the hill, stands the main cemetery of Mirogoj. Its monumental arcades, pavilions and domes were designed in the late 19th century by prominent architect Hermann Bolle. One of the most beautful cemeteries in Europe and resting place or many public figures, Mirogoj is a lovely park in its own right, as well as an open-air art gallery.

Parks in the city

Parks in the City Centre The Green Mile To be in the centre of a city and enjoy nature and greenery at the same time – in    Zagreb, this is possible! Whichever way you go, Zagreb will delight you with its beautiful parks because the city boasts a long   park tradition and particularly valuable natural heritage. The Green Mile Today, Zagreb has some 30 attractive parks covering an area of more than 400,000 square meters. Among the most representative ones is certainly the complex of parks in the city  centre known as Lenuci’s or the Green Horseshoe. Lenuci’s Horseshoe (named after  Milan Lenuci, 1849 – 1924, who designed the green horseshoe) is the collective name for the sequence of seven of Zagreb’s squares and green surfaces which encircle one quarter of the Lower Town like a three-sided frame in the shape of the letter U. As you set out from Zagreb’s main square, the Square of Ban Josip Jelacˇic ́ towards the central railway station, you will pass through the Nikola Šubic ́ Zrinski Square, the first point of the green horseshoe featuring one of the most beautiful of Zagreb’s parks –

Zrinjevac, this is the oldest promenade in the Lower Town, which was designed and built in the 19th century. It is made of the recognizable Oriental Planetrees, flower beds, numerous water fountains and the famous Musical Pavilion. Next to Zrinjevac are the Josip Juraj Strossmayer Square and King Tomislav Square with one of the most beautiful urban gardens in the city.  From there, your stroll will take you to Ante Starčevicć Square, with the well-known Botanical Gardens In addition to the 10,000 different plant species, it features two small man-made lakes and an arboretum in the style of an English park. The western part of the Green Horseshoe starts with Marulić Square, a park dominated by the Secession building of the former National and University Library (today the State Archives) and a monument to Marko Marulić (a Croatian writer, 1450 – 1524). Only a few steps further brings you to the park in Mažuranić Square and Marshal Tito Square with the representative building of the Croatian National Theatre, also surrounded by flower beds the north, starts turning into gentle slopes, always attractive for a walk and in the winter even interesting for skiing. The first city gardens were designed in the 18th century. Not long after that,   the first parks and promenades were designed, among which Maksimir Park is probably the best known one. Maksimir is the most significant landscaped park in Croatia and the first public promenade in South-East Europe. It is located in the eastern part of the city,and it is only nine tram stops away from the main square of Ban J. Jelačić. Today, the entire park which can easily be called a forest park, is protected as a whole, and some of its features enjoy the status of cultural monuments, for example the Swiss house, the Echoes Pavilion, the gate house, the portal at the entrance into the park and the observation post. In addition to the sumptuous vegetation, Maksimir also boasts extensive water surfaces – a total of five lakes and seven streams which intersect it. The city zoo is located in the park. As you go from the east to the south of the city, i.e. towards the Sava River, you  cannot miss “the natural oasis in the middle of the city jungle”. This is the common description of Bundek Lake which had been asleep and resting for a number of years until it experienced a true transformation in 2006. Zagreb has its own sea – Jarun Lake in the southwest part of the city, between the Sava River and Vrapčak stream. One can easily reach it by tram. Hiding behind the modern high-rise buildings in the neighborhood bearing the same name is the popular sea of Zagreb, consisting of two large lakes. The Great Lake, a favorite spot for anglers, features a 2 km long rowing lane, which is the venue of numerous international and Croatian sailing and rowing regattas, kayak and canoe races and swimming marathons. The Small Lake is reserved for swimming, as well as for all other forms of leisure and recreational activities. Immediately across the Sava River – literally across the river from Jarun, there is a new golf course a mere 15-minute car or tram ride away from the city centre. This list of city parks  and recreational areas is not complete without the great number of smaller urban parks where children can play and the  elderly can find peace and quiet. Also, when talking about the way the city life is intermingled with its green surfaces, one should  not forget Sljeme (1033 m), the highest peak of Mt. Medvednica, literarily leaning against Zagreb and so close to it that it can be reached on foot from the very heart of the city. In the summer, Sljeme offers the citizens of Zagreb and their guests a  shelter from the scorching heat and possibilities for recreation, and in the winter, it offers them slopes for skiing and other winter  sports facilities. The famous Croatian skier and Olympic medal winner, Janica Kostelić made her first skiing steps here.


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