Zagreb’s largest and lushest open space, Maksimir Park is 3km east of the centre. Named after Archbishop Maximilian Vrhovac, who in 1774 established a small public garden in the southwestern corner of today’s park, Maksimir owes much to his successors Aleksandar Alagović and Juraj Haulik, who imported the idea of the landscaped country park from England. It’s perfect for aimless strolling, with the straight-as-an-arrow, tree-lined avenues at its southwestern end giving way to more densely forested areas in its northern reaches. As well as five lakes, the park is dotted with follies, including a mock Swiss chalet (Švicarska kuća) and a recently spruced-up belvedere (vidikovac), now housing a café which gets mobbed on fine Sunday afternoons.

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