People love parks. Being caught in the madness of big cities, chocked by the fug and the deafening artificial noises, the citizens of the world regard parks as if they were real urban treasures. And they are right to do so actually, because these places are food for soul: a delicious mix of culture, and nature. How many times you entered a park, and you took a deep, slow inspiration, as if saying: ‘this is my first breath of air today ‘? If this is you, then you will enjoy these images of some of the most beautiful 10 parks in Europe.
1. Sofiero Park in Helsingborg, Sweden
Sofiero Castle was erected in 1864, by the monarchs of Sweden and it was conceded afterwards, as a wedding gift, to the Crown Prince Gustav Adolf and to his new wife, Princess Margaret. They dedicated themselves to the creation of Sofiero Park, which became a true work of art. While today, the building serves as an art gallery and cafe, the park is famous all over the world for its many rhododendrons that fill the gardens. Sofiero is rightly on the first place in the list: This corner of Heaven was nominated in 2010 the most beautiful park in Europe.
2. Keukenhof Park in Lisse, the Netherlands
If you don’t believe this picture is real, maybe you should visit the park and see with your own eyes. Be careful though: this beautiful park is open to the public only 3 months every year, in spring! Keukenhof Park belongs nowadays to a foundation, and it shelters roughly 7 million tulips. For this reason, it was voted the biggest floral park in the world. Every year a floral exhibition which attracts many tourists takes place in its perimeters. In case you wonder, the next one is scheduled for April the 27th, 2012.
3. Luxemburg Garden, in Paris, France
Is it just me or these former castle domains absolutely gorgeous? Luxemburg garden is the second largest parks in Paris and one of the most romantic tourist destinations. It is also very appreciated by the locals, who enjoy spending their free time in this place. The palace and the garden were designed at the command of queen Marie de Medicis, in Italian style, back in the beginning of the XVIIth century. With over one hundred monuments, a puppets theatre and many other attractions, this island of green is the pride of all Parisians.
4 Villa Borghese in Rome, Italy
In this top of the European parks, it would be a crime to neglect Italy. The opulent Italian style of the 17th century reflected on parks as well, and this is true especially for the Villa Borghese. The villa itself and the domain were the possession of Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V, who imagined a very refined English landscape park, which became the oldest park in Rome the second largest outdoors retreat. If you happen to be a tourist in Rome, this is one objective you shouldn’t miss!
5. Hyde Park in London, Great Britain.
Here is a park almost everybody heard of. As a royal possession, Hyde Park is loaded with history and it represents one of the greatest attractions of London. The estate was at first a hunting domain, and it only became a public park in 1637, during the reign of James I. It is renowned for its ‘Speakers’ corner’, where public speeches are held and for the ‘Serpentine Lake’ that divides the park in two. Symbol of London, unique for its cultural features and for its majesty, Hyde Park is one of the greatest open public spaces in Europe.
6. Berg Park in Kassel, Germany
Berg Park is amazing from multiple points of view. Firstly, it is the second largest park placed on a hill in Europe. Secondly, it is a landscape masterpiece in baroque style. Thirdly, its construction, which started at the end of the 17th century, took 150 years. Among the attractions of this place is the 250 meters running waterfall, as well as the Hercules monument, the symbol of Kessel. Berg Park is a magical place that combines the wilderness with architectural meticulosity, in German famous manner.
7. Cişmigiu Park, in Bucharest, Romania
The oldest and the most beautiful park in Bucharest, Cişmigiu is placed in the centre of the city. The park was designed starting with 1830 and it features the ruins of an old monastery, several monuments as well as ‘The writers’ circle’, or ‘Rotonda scriitorilor’, in Romanian. This garden is a romantic site, preferred by lovers over a century ago. The charm and the uniqueness of it brought this park into my attention.
8. Summer Garden in Saint Petersburg, Russia
This amazing park was conceived in the 18th century, by the famous Peter the Great, in the baroque style but following the model of French gardens. The image speaks for itself: a splendid monument of elegance and an oasis of peace and quiet. One cannot ask for more. But there is more: The garden took its name from the Summer Palace, which is located within the park. Saint Petersburg, a much appreciated touristic town, would not be the same without the Summer Garden, with its statues, fountains and its magic.
9. Parade Gardens in Bath, England
Bath was the favourite spa resort of aristocracy of the 19th century and it is situated 97 miles away from London. The park is situated near the Avon River and it possesses the greatest flower display in the country. This park is perfect for picnics and outdoors activities, because of the cheerful atmosphere created by the river and the colourful landscape. While Bath inhabitants may enjoy the park for free, tourists are compelled to pay a small entrance fee.
10 Városliget in Budapest, Hungary
Városliget means ‘City Park’ in Hungarian. The name was established in late 18th century, when the swamp which formerly occupied this area was drained. The park is one of the oldest outdoors leisure spaces in the world. Among the park’s attractions, there are a castle, a zoo and a lake as well as a permanent circus and playgrounds for children. This ‘all inclusive’ park is ‘a must’ for any touristic trip in Budapest and after the looks of it, you won’t regret it either!