7 The Most Beautiful and Unusual Urban Parks
The world’s largest cities are creating and developing parks and gardens in order to become as comfortable as possible for their residents. The main task of any city park is to be an island of calm and leisure in a noisy metropolis. In addition, parks are designed to surprise, entertain, and show something unusual. In most cases, parks reflect the spirit of the city in which they are created, so they usually become an obligatory point of the excursion program.
This article collects the most beautiful and unusual urban parks, located in the center of major cities in different parts of the world:
Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, Australia
Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne is one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. It was created in 1846 and today it is home to more than 12,000 plant species from around the world. The plants were selected for scientific, aesthetic, and agricultural reasons. The garden contains the Queen Victoria National Herbarium.
There are very comfortable walkways in the garden, allowing you to see a unique landscape behind every new turn. In the Royal Botanical Garden, you can meet unforgettable dawn on the lake shore and relax from the midday heat.
Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan
Ueno Park is located in downtown Tokyo and is an extension of Kan’ei-Ji Temple. There are several major museums within the park: the National Museum of Tokyo, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo City Museum of Art, and the National Science Museum. Ueno Park complex also includes the first zoo in Japan.
However, Ueno Park is not only famous for its cultural and historical value. It is one of Japan’s most popular parks, especially during the spring, when over 1000 cherry trees bloom. Usually, cherry blossoms between the end of March and the beginning of April, during which time the park becomes one of the most popular places for traditional Japanese admiration of flowering trees.
Güell Park, Barcelona, Spain
Güell Park is probably the most unusual park. It leaves an amazingly holistic impression due to the harmonious combination of architecture and landscape. The park was designed in the early 20th century. It was originally thought to be a small, privately owned garden city. However, only 2 of the planned 60 houses were built, one of which was inhabited by the famous architect Antonio Gaudi from 1906 to 1926. This house later became Gaudi’s museum.
Gaudi’s very characteristic architecture, the colonnades, traditional Catalan tiles, “organic” shapes that repeat the natural and so perfectly match it, give the park its unique appearance. According to the legend, workers collected pieces of tiles and bottle glass for majolica from all the surrounding streets. One of the brightest and most famous sculptures is the dragon, which every tourist should photograph.
Central Park, New York, USA
It is one of the largest urban parks in the world, with an area of almost 3.5 million m2. Central Park is a model park, a very successful project, which serves as a starting point for urban planners in many parts of the world. The landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, who won the competition for the design of the park, wanted to create a space for recreation and meditation, a place where everyone would be happy to come, regardless of their social status. In the mid-60s, Central Park went through a period of decline when gangs of hooligans drove ordinary residents out of the park. Central Park has revived only thanks to the initiative of the citizens who developed the concept of the park’s renewal.
Central Park often hosts important contemporary cultural events: it serves as a cinema venue, a landscape in literary works, and a concert stage. Many people consider it to be a historical monument.
Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo, Brazil
A good park is vital for the city of São Paulo, with over 20 million inhabitants. The park is home to the Museum of Modern Art, a conference center, pavilions for the Contemporary Art Biennale, and planetariums. Concerts of Brazilian music are held in the park every weekend. Ibirapuera is famous for its specially equipped skater lanes.
In the evenings, children from all over the city are going to admire the illuminated fountains.
Beihai Park, Beijing, China
Beihai Park is located in central Beijing. Historically, it was the imperial gardens (the park was privately owned by the imperial court until 1925) located along the perimeter of the Forbidden City. It is one of the oldest parks in China.
Beihai Park was built according to an ancient Chinese legend. Legend has it that there once were three magical mountains in eastern China — Penglai, Yingzhou, and Fangzhang. These mountains were inhabited by gods who possessed knowledge of the medicinal herbs that give immortality. Many emperors in search of immortality constantly sought these mountains or at least tried to recreate them. That’s why Beihai Park is located on three islands that symbolize these three magical mountains.
The park is a great opportunity to take a break from the feverish pace of life in modern Beijing. Tourists can find a huge amount of cultural and historical treasures within the park.
Luxembourg Garden, Paris, France
The Luxembourg Garden was the first of the French gardens and parks to be influenced by the Italian Baroque. Construction of the palace and the design of the garden began in 1612. Princess Maria Medici (1573-1642), who later became Queen of France, lived in the palace. Now the Senate meets in the Luxembourg Palace.
Despite the classical layout, the Luxembourg Garden is quite comfortable for relaxation: there are tennis courts and children’s playgrounds. There are over a hundred sculptures, including statues of Stendal, Chopin, Montesquieu, Baudelaire, and Delacroix in the garden.
The list of the best urban parks will not be complete without Hyde park which you can read about in this article.