The oldest municipal park

The oldest municipal park

People living in large settlements began creating green areas for parks long ago. These parks benefited people by providing them rest and respite as well as providing shade from the sun during hot summers. There were obviously more reasons. Žilina was not an exception. The oldest parks were created in Žilina region, mostly near the aristocratic settlements in Budatín and  Bytčica. However, the historic core also had its own greenery. The Parish garden around the parish office is well - known, as well as the park in the middle of Mariánske (St. Mary’s) Square which is depicted on postcards from the late 19th century. Initially it consisted of only a few trees but gradually expanded to the extent that it completely overshadowed the statue of Immaculata. Later, this park was even fenced. The park served as  an everyday place to relax, not only during festive days. During the reconstruction of the square, the park was completely destroyed. It was relocated to a new area and replaced by a real municipal park called Millennium Park.

A green oasis in downtown

The name comes from the millennium celebrations of the arrival of Hungarians in the monarchy’s territory. Millennium parks were created in honor of this event throughout the whole country. Apart from the clear political overtone it had a positive impact on the town’s residents and visitors as well. During the era of industrial development the park was a green oasis bringing a gust of nature to the town. Hungary’s Millennium celebrations were held in 1896. This was also the year in which so - called beautification associations began to establish municipal parks throughout Hungary. Žilina’s town council led by Mayor Jozef Hrabovec and Žilina’s beautification association decided to establish a municipal park as well. They chose the area towards Závažie as the most suitable. On one side was the stream Všivák. On the other side were cabbage fields stretching towards the railway station, which could be reached along a country lane that existed there at the time. The park was established gradually, as firstly the land had to be bougt - out. There were also financial problems to solve. The construction of the park continued slowly and the final stage was not carried out until the mayorship of František Hoffmann.     

From Millennium Park to Slovak National Uprising Park
A natural disaster occured during the preparatory works in 1903. The river Váh poured out of its bed. Among other parts of the town, the area of the park under construction was flooded as well. Between 1907 and 1908, the works accelerated and the park was completed thanks to the contribution of Žilina’s beautification association. After the establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic, the municipal park was renamed Šrobár’s  Park, after Vavro Šrobár. He was a minister given full powers for the administration of Slovakia who resided in Žilina from 1918 to 1919. Gradually, the parkland teemed with lush vegetation, in which horse - chestnut prevailed. A bandstand was built in the middle of the park during the first Czechoslovak Republic. Here, for example, military music from the Žilina’s barracks was played. The park had other names such as Hlinka’s Park, then Sedláček’s Park. Now it bears the name Slovak National Uprising Park (Park Slovenského národného povstania). The liberation of Žilina on 30th April 1945 is commemorated by a sculpture in the front part of the park. Its creator is a national artist, sculptor Rudolf Pribiš.
Na Bôriku Park, Lesopark (Forest Park) and the smaller Na Studničkách Park are located in Žilina in addition to the Slovak National Uprising Park.                        

Source: M. Mrva

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