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EUROPE’S GREATEST URBAN PARKS

Central Park - Hold Tight!

Europe has a history to be amazed by. It's a place where every inch of soil has a story to tell and where every patch of land has witnessed monumental shifts of reigning ideologies, monarchies and countless transfers of power! To commemorate the continent and its people we give you the best urban spaces where to enjoy a Sunday morning walk or a lazy afternoon!

Buttes Chaumont, Paris

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image source: www.hypnoforme.fr

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is the fifth largest park in Paris. Created in 1897, the park’s most notable feature is the Temple de la Sibylle, a temple perched at the top of a 50-meter hill top, just at the head of the sandstone cliff, enclosed by a circular artificial lake and overlooking Paris. The parks land was chosen by the then Prefet of Paris Baron Haussmann as a site of a new public park. Based on the old quarries that supplied Paris with its limestone, the hill was long called as “Chauve-mont” or bare hill.

Park Güell, Barcelona

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image source: www.123rf.com

Located on the North West face of central Barcelona. Park Güell was designed by Catalonian modernist architect Antonio Gaudi officially opening to the public in 1926 and in 1984 UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site. The park was constructed during the time period of Gaudi’s naturalist phase, in which he predominantly gained inspiration from organic shapes and natural elements. The park is the brain child of the Art Nouveau genius, where Gaudi experimented and furthered his architectonic style, later culminating in the creation of Sangrada Familia.

Keukenhof, The Netherlands

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image source: www.ventureholidays.com.au

Keukenhof translated from Dutch mean “Kitchen garden”, also called as the Garden of Europe is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Located in South Western Netherlands the park covers 32 hectares of land with approximately 7 million flower bulbs being planted and replanted every year. The park is open annually from mid-March to Mid-May, but the best time to view the tulips is in mid-April., when they are in full bloom. The park’s grounds are based on the 15th century’s hunting grounds, which were transformed in 1949 by the then-mayor of LIsse into an exhibiting area for all the flower growers of the Netherland’s and Europe – to showcase all their tulip hybrids. The large park offers from Japanese gardens to English and non-traditional ones.

Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

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image source: www.thehistoryhub.com

The Luxembourg gardens are situated in central Paris in the 6th arrondissement, created in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici, she commissioned both the construction of the gardens and the Luxembourg palace as her new residence. Marie de’ Medici decided to build a palace imitating the style of the Pitti Palace in Florence, she purchased the Hotel du Luxembourg, which is now the Petit-Luxembourg palace, and began construction on a new, larger palace. She planted two thousand elm trees and commissioned the creation of a series of gardens. During the next four centuries the park was remodelled, enlarged and even cut down in size to take the trapezoid shape of today. It’s most famous for the lush grass lawns, Medici fountain and tree-lined promenades.

Regent’s Park, London

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image source: revaladventure.com

Regent’s Park is one of the Royal Parks of London stretching between two central royal boroughs – Camden and City of Westminster. Regent’s Park is based on old hunting grounds called Marylebone Park. In 1811 Prince Regent commissioned the architect John Nash to create a masterplan for the area. He envisioned a palace for the Prince and detached grand villas for his friends, but these plans were not carried out. The park integrates in itself Regent’s Canal, a zoo, a lake a Japanese’s garden, large open fields Queen Mary’s Gardens (with 12’000 roses of 400 varieties) and large sporting facilities. The Park is perfect for a romantic walk, picnic and group sporting events.

Volkspark Friedrichshain, Berlin

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image source: www.ytti.de

Volkspark Friedrichshain is the oldest Berlin public park. Opened in 1848 the park was created by the gardener Peter J. Lenne and funded by the Berlin city council for the centennial of Frederick the Great’s ascension to the Prussian throne, the park is based on a former vineyard. The only element of the park that survived the Second World War is the Fairy Tale Fountain, which consists of 106 stone sculptures representing characters from traditional German fairy Tales. The Fountain was created a s a monument for the children of Berlin at a time when rickets were endemic. The Nazis used the park for the construction of bunkers and towers, thus it was bombed constantly by the Allied air raids. During the post-war period the large bunkers were buried with rubble from the destroyed houses, thus two artificial mountains came to exist – the “tall bunker mountain” and “the small bunker mountain”. With the introduced greenery the mountains look completely natural now.

Volksgarten, Vienna

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image source: www.wikiwand.com

Volksgarten or “the People’s Garden” is a public park, part of the Hofburg Palace. Laid out in 1821, the park was built over the Vienne’s city fortifications that were disintegrated by Napoleon in 1809. This type of park was very common in Europe due to the dissection of the fortification systems around the central/old towns. The park is surrounded by the Viennese Parliament, Theatre and the Hofburg Palace. At the centre of the park a neoclassical temple stands as a replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. The Park engrosses beautiful rose gardens and large tree lined promenades.

Englisher Garten, Munich

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image source: www.ilviaggio.it

The Englisher Garten is one of the largest urban parks in the world, with a land area of 3.7km2 is, larger than New York’s Central Park, stretching from the city centre to the outermost northeast limits. Created in 1789 it is one of the oldest parks on our list. It’s named the “English Garden” because of its resemblance to the Brownian style which was very popular during the early 19th century in Britain. The garden has a long history starting with a ruler who died childless, his land passed to an archduke who wanted to trade the Bavarian land for the Austrian Netherlands, but the people of the city imposed. After some time, this land was used for the purpose of a military garden, where soldiers residing in their city could enjoy civilian privileges. But the park was soon transformed into a public park with the military park only constituting a small part of the total area. The park has undergone many changes over time, but now is a favourite spot four Germans to relax.

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