The first Zoo of Pest opened its gates as a private institution in 1866. But the majority of its beautiful buildings were built during a large-scale reconstruction, which began in the beginning of 1900s when the Capital became the owner of the Zoo. A great number of the famous buildings were constructed: The artificial Great and Small Rocks, the row of Transylvanian-style buildings designed by Károly Kós, the elephant-headed gate of the main entrance and the oriental Elephant House decorated with Zsolnay ceramic tiles that has also become the symbol of the Zoo, both designed by Korné l Neuschloss.
The place is not only of interest to children, its huge green trees, particularly eye-catching flowers, and monuments make it a favorite spot for everybody. Kids come here to play, young couples meet for dates at the gate and walk hand in hand down the alleys, old folks sit chatting on the benches – age is of no importance here.
The most visited cultural institution of the country, the Budapest Municipal Zoological and Botanical Garden, welcomes its visitors with a variety of programs every day of the year from 9.00 a.m. to sunset.
Here are a few of the attractions:
– The Elephant House, from whose tower the whole panorama of City Park can be admired, can again be seen in its original beauty.
– The remodeled Kós Károly Bird-house, where the worlds smallest monkeys, largest vipers, and the frightening spectacled caiman can be seen.
– The only gorilla family in the country and many rare animals, for example: the bald crow, elephant shrew, Bali starling, Indian hornet hawk, jumping hare, fennec, and sea lion
– The artistic Bonsai Pavilion and Japanese Garden where bouquet-like dwarf trees are on display
– The remodeled Small Rock, with the country’s only cave restaurant and cinema
– The “Jewels of nature” exhibition, where colorful reptiles, amphibians and birds can be seen
– The “Life and Death House”, where one can glimpse the birth and passing of life
– The huge vulture-cage and squirrel petting cage, where visitors can walk among the animals
– The country’s only butterfly-garden
– The most beautiful playground in the country, where your child can experience how it feels to move underground or in the air.