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Park Maksimir encompasses the bordering area of southern slopes of Medvednica and the flats of Sava river. For that reason forest associations that grow in large areas of surrounding hills and lowlands of north Croatia are represented in it. For centuries this area was abundant in oak forest, which is characteristic for north Croatian climate. And exactly in this autochthonous flora lays the beauty and stylistic value of Maksimir's park vegetation.

In the southern lowland parts of Park Maksimir dominant role has common oak (Quercus robur), inside forest association with hornbeam (Carpinus betulus).

Common oak is partially spread along valleys between the hills of the northern part of the Park. In common oak forests we can find European alder (Alnus glutinosa) and white willow (Salix alba), as well as Common ash (Fraxinus excelsior), English elm (Ulmus minor), White poplar (Populus alba) and Littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata).

On elevated Park terrains dominates forest association of Sessile oak (Quercus petraea) and Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), and bordering areas of these two associations are characterized by compositions of Sessile oak and Turkey oak (Quercus cerris). Next to hornbeam we can find European Bird Cherry (Prunus padus), European filbert (Corylus avellana) and other tree species. All these species, including Beech (Fagus sylvatica) on higher elevations, Acacia (Robinia pseudaccacia) and many other tree and shrub species contribute to exceptional diversity of Maksimir forests.

More than 300 species of various plants, besides autochthonous tree and shrub species, were planted in Park Maksimir at the time it was formed, but many of them have disappeared.

Pinewood in Park Maksimir is represented as introduction of Scotch and Black pine (Pinus silvestris and Pinus nigra) inside oak forests, or as elevated culture of Spruce (Picea excelsa) as a part of Common oak forest. From pinewood species Douglas fir next to Gazebo is worth mentioning, while a stronger participation of pinewood is noticed east of the Swiss house.

In the past many species of trees and shrubs were planted in Maksimir. Some of the species like African Tamarisk, Slippery Elm, English ivy, Lebanese cedar, Japanese privet, Japanese pagoda tree, Canadian plum were thriving in Park Maksimir.

Many species of ground vegetation in forest, as well as grassland and marsh vegetation give significance to biodiversity. Many among them are protected by law and endangered such as some spring flowers, Butcher's Broom (Ruscus hypoglossum), Common Turk's Cap Lily (Lilium martagon), Willow Leafed Gentian (Gentiana asclepiadea) and others.

/ Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis), source: archive PIM /

Grassland vegetation occupies small areas in the eastern part near Faculty grange, and in the southern part it is distributed, in a wider or narrower belt, between the lakes from the east to the west. It was developed after cutting down original forests, depending on natural habitat conditions. Drainage of the terrain, mowing, various intensities of transgression (playgrounds, paths, trails) and similar anthropogenic influences are responsible for its appearance. Developed grassland associations are included in class of marsh and valley meadows. Grasslands on the southern part of the Park have developed under anthropogenic influences and influence of various water regimes, porosity, that is, the capability of soil to retain water.

/ Dwarf periwinkle (Vinca minor), source: archive PIM /

/ Bear's garlic (Allium ursinum), source: archive PIM /

In the marshed parts of Park Maksimir various species of sedge (Carex spp.) and rushes (Juncus spp.) as well as groups of alders and willows occur.

Na vrh stranice


Park Maksimir is the most important Croatian landscape park, a natural rarity, monument of park architecture and a very significant cultural and historical park notability. The old oak forest, which used to be used for hunting and cutting, for centuries belonged to the central bishop's property. Maksimilijan Vrhovec, the park's conceptual founder, took a decision to turn the forest, along with arable land and meadows, into a park, and in the year 1787 construction begun. The Park was envisaged in a baroque French style, with simple geometrically designed planes of planted flowers. The characteristic of a French baroque style in Maksimir is the star shaped crossing which was common in baroque parks.

/ A star-shaped crossing, source: archives of PIM /

Large forest areas have been cleared, the Main alley from the main entrance to the hill of today's Gazebo, 800 m long, was constructed, and that is the only remaining of the baroque composition in the Park. After 7 years of construction works, in 1794 the Park was ceremonially opened and given to the people of Zagreb, for their enjoyment. It was the first public promenade in southeastern Europe. Aleksandar Alagović, Vrhovec's heir and the bishop of Zagreb from 1826 until 1837, renovates Maksimir in an English style park. After four decades that the Park was used, in 1838, bishop Juraj Haulik begins with the renovation of the Park in the spirit of English landscape romantic park architecture and is the true creator of the Park. At that time the park was called Jurjaves. Bishop Juraj Haulik had an exceptional taste for arts with a special feeling for nature, and was a great expert in botany and horticulture. As a member of the Viennese society for horticulture, in 1838 he issues a special instruction for designing and embellishing the Park. It was, in fact, a group of behavioral rules primarily intended for the supervisor, forester and gardener. According to Haulik's wishes, landscape architect of parks in Schönbrunn and the author of the park at the emperor's villa Laxenburg in Austria, Michael Riedl, planned horticultural interventions. Haulik's and Riedl's ideas were realized by at that time very famous Viennese gardener Franjo Serafin Körbler, which after one year of working in emperor's gardens in Schönbrunn and Laxenburg comes to Zagreb on the position of the bishop's head gardener, and stays there for 27 years. He participates on numerous exhibitions of gardening and receives many important acknowledgements and awards for his horticultural flower creations. In Graz, in 1855 he received two silver medals, and in Trieste receives an honorary diploma. In the spirit of those times, flowers in Maksimir were abundant, different flowering species exchanged with seasons, and flower beds were regularly maintained. The area of the Park was overwhelmed with webs of weaving romantic paths that wind through small forests, meadows and openings. Instead of long truncated hauls through which horseback riders and carriages of Vrhovec's time used to travel, the winding paths of Jurjaves were intended for pedestrian walkers. Numerous pavilions, romantic bridges, many resting places, isolated corners, poetry readings, lakes and streams were scattered all over the Park.

/ The Echo Pavilion, source: archives of PIM /

/ The Park, source: archives of PIM /

Following the model of English gardens, Riedl introduces in Maksimir numerous exotic plant species that origin from the warmer parts of the world, and that are for the first time used for designing Parks in our parts. Those are the following species: Dahlias or Georginas (Dahlia sp.), Hydrangeas (Hortensia sp.), English holy (Ilex aquifolium), Box tree (Buxus sempervirens), Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), Norway spruce (Picea abies), Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens), Austrian pine (Pinus nigra), Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus).

All of these decorative plants were not chosen only for its decorative shape and color, but has a certain symbolic meaning in the spirit of the mystery of nature and life. As an example, European larch (La rix decidua) is a symbol of light, Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana) is a symbol of perseverance, and the Northern red oak (Quercus rubra) is a symbol of eternal friendship.

Baron Leonard Zornberg made a situation plan of the Park in 1846.


/ Zornberg's map of Park Maksimir dating 1846, source: ZCM /

On of the most significant meaning of the map is in its chartered views. The characteristic of Maksimir park is the notion that its boundaries cannot be perceived from any place in the Park.




By renovating former historical features and complexes we are striving to bring back to Park Maksimir the, in style, romantic atmosphere of the golden Haulik's ages. During 2008 renovated were lots that in time almost completely disappeared: Steinsitz - the Rock center, Lindensitz - The lime-tree center and the Valley of the Dahlias.

Plans originating since the time the Park was formed were used in the project of renovating horticultural parts of the Park, and data from the album Park Jurjaves were used, as well as numerous articles that describe the appearance of the stated parts in the Park.


The Valley of the Dahlias

The Valley of the Dahlias is located between the Gazebo and the hill with the chapel of St. Juraj. From the north and northeast side it is surrounded by natural forest, and through the valley, by the stream, leads a slightly cranked path all the way to the Obelisk. The most beautiful valley in the Park is formed with the variety of colors and shapes of species, the floral broche is imaginatively horticulturaly designed and maintained with care. The original plan of the Park dating 1846 by baron Zornberg is the most authentic and very precise, and from it one can precisely determine the way to form the Valley of the Dahlias.

/ The Valley of the Dahlias, source: ZCM /

During the renovation of The Valley of the Dahlias the meadow by the stream was renovated, and cleaning and nursing works of the oak grove were performed. Stream banks were partly cleaned from weeds and from the bed leaves and mud were collected. Renovation of the floral broche of dahlias was done on the exact location determined by original plans. The floral plantation shaped as a medallion is 450 m2 in area. The colors of Dahlias are very impressive ranging from white, yellow, pink, from bright red to tan red with all the hues in-between.

/ The Valley of the Dahlias, source: archives of PIM /


Kameno sjedište (The Rock center) - Steinzitz

The Rock center, which met the needs of tiered or sad visitors with its peace and remarkable view of the Second Lake and surrounding, was constructed in 1846 when bishop Juraj Haulik completely finished designing Park Maksimir. This is also witnessed by Zornberg's plan of the Park where it is charted. In front of the Rock seat decorated was a floral rundela, which is also one of the elements of romantic style that bishop Haulik implemented when designing the Park, taking into consideration harmony, composition and views. The Rock center was renovated according to the original route, with pebbly path that leads to the Main alley and circularly ends at the Rock center. The semicircular sub-wall is constructed as stonewall followed by a semicircular wooden bench. The floral rundela is completely in accordance with the design style, but it must be taken in account that the horticultural solution assumes planting plan for all seasons. In accordance with the character of Park Maksimir, the chosen ornaments are known in romantic parks.

/ Kameno sjedište (The Rock center), source: archives of PIM /

/ Kameno sjedište (The Rock center), source: archives of PIM /



In the Zornberg's plan dating 1846 charted is the position of the Lime-tree center. In the album PARK JURJAVES dating 1853 marked is the position of the Lime-tree center, and it is also mentioned in the text Prve šetnje (The first walks) of the same album: "Following is a group of Lime-trees on a smaller hill, on a slope where the Lesser Periwinkle grows. On the round top of the hill stands a great Lime-tree, surrounded by the mighty oaks, and in their shadow is an armchair and benches. This is a very suitable resting place with pleasant perspectives in the direction of the Gazebo and the creek near by, which is overgrown with beautiful flowers."

The lime-tree center - Lindensitz is located west of the Second Lake, between a meadow and the oak forest. A green, circular hill was formed around the very lime tree, to which leads a path. Around the lime-tree located in the middle of the hill is a center, which has a decorative function with an emphasis on the particularity of the tree trunk that it surrounds. Planting of soil cover the Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor) was done.

/ The lime-tree center - before renovation, source: archives of PIM /

/ The lime-tree center - before renovation, source: archives of PIM /

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Public Institution »Maksimir«, Maksimirski perivoj bb
HR-10000 Zagreb, phone: ++385 (0)1 2320 460, fax: ++385 (0)1 2320 461
e-mail: park-maksimir@park-maksimir.hr