Did you know that our zoo is one of the oldest one in the world with its history of over 150 years? Due to the Hungarian revolution of 1848 the opening of the place got postponed, but finally it opened its gate in the heart of Budapest. Among the first animals there was a giraffe, that was a gift from Queen Elisabeth and Franz Joseph. After the golden age, the zoo experienced its darkest time during the WWII, when it was bombed and most of the buildings were destroyed. The animals were eaten by the starving people during the siege. It took so long till the place was finally restored and reopened again in the '50-s.
Since that it's a popular place in the city. The area is pretty nice, the zoo is surrounded by the City Park and it's very close to the Heroes Square. The historical, yellow metro line takes you directly to the district.
As soon as you arrive, pay attention to the architecture, the details are brilliant examples of Secessionist style. The Elephant House is my absolute favorite one with its oriental features mixed with Indian elements and colorful decorations inside. A truly elegant home for the elephants!
Another emblematic sight is the Owls House, which belongs to the oldest buildings at the premise. It was originally the home of birds and wolfs. Today you can only visit the ruins and it's housing different kind of temporary exhibitions.
Plenty of signs are giving us directions, there are different sections from Africa, Asia, America and Europe. You can visit the whole place within a good 2 hour. Pleasant walk surrounded by nature and animals. Check out the upcoming shows at the entrance, the seal show is pretty amazing!
Let me show you my favorite part of the zoo: this is the Japanese garden, it stretches close to the lake as a peaceful oasis of the park. It presents a rich collection of plants, where you can feel peace and harmony. Each section of the garden is carefully planned, since every element has its own purpose. The basic is respecting the nature. Once a Japanese landscape designer Shiro Nakane said, the goal is: “not to make a new nature but to make a copy of existing, desirable nature.”
What are the main elements of a Japanese garden? Water sustains life and it's also the symbol of life flowing. You will see stones, because water and stones are like Yin and Yang, according to the Japanese they complement each other. I'm not sure what's the reason behind, but this garden is truly unique, check it out and enjoy the atmosphere!
The zoo is very kid-friendly with its playgrounds and animal programs, but it's also a great experience for adults. Check out their upcoming events and concerts! The best part is yet to come, a huge animal and plant park, called Biodom will belong to the zoo, which is under construction right now. According to the plans it will be a modern structure with rare animals and a wide range of programs, an exclusive initiation in whole Europe. I will check it out as soon as it's ready. Enjoy your stay in this lovely city and keep tuned for more programs!