Zatonie Ducal Park

Zatonie Ducal Park

You hear “Zatonie,” you think “a walk!”

Zatonie Ducal Park is one of the favourite weekend destinations of Zielona Góra’s residents. And this is not surprising, for a walk along the renewed alleys in the 52-hectare landscape park can be truly relaxing. During a leisurely stroll, you can see, among other things, the preserved ruins of the 17th-century palace and the beautiful Rose Temple, or just enjoy the joys of nature, including wild garlic, which has become the park emblem. Thanks to a cycle path leading from Zielona Góra, you can safely get to the park by bicycle as well. But no matter whether you choose to go for a walk or to ride a bike, you absolutely must visit the palace orangery. There, in the café, you can delight in aromatic coffee and delicious desserts that will make you forget about the passing of time. And it is worth staying there a bit longer, because after dark the ruins are floodlit with colourful illuminations. Zatonie Ducal Park is thus an ideal combination of history and modernity. 

Zatonie (Ger. Günthersdorf)

Zatonie is an old village located 10 km from the centre of Zielona Góra, the first mention of which dates back to 1305. Together with 17 other villages, Zatonie was absorbed within the administrative boundaries of Zielona Góra on 1 January 2015.

History of the park in Zatonie dates back to the 17th century

It was likely when Balthasar von Unruh decided to build a baroque manor house residence in the village. The first landscape garden layout was also created at that time, according to the trends of the then epoch. However, it was Duchess Dorothea de Talleyrand-Périgord who contributed to the development of Zatonie, and became the most famous figure related to this place. After the visit of the King Frederick William IV in 1841, the Duchess of Dino made a decision concerning the reconstruction of the palace and the extension of the garden in order to, as she mentioned in her diary, “make it really impressive and grand.”

Famous Prussian landscape architect

The first well-preserved park plan, designed by the prominent Prussian landscape architect, Peter Lenné (realised after his death), dates from the middle of the 19th century.

The park extended across an area of 32 hectares. In the heart of the park was the Johanna Meadow. The three main view axes radiated from the north façade of the palace towards the Gardener’s Lodge, the Big Pond and the hill with the Rose Temple. The last axis is the central one in the landscape park layout.

Historic glory 

In the second half of the 20th century, the deserted territory gradually lost its appeal, however, thanks to the endeavours of the local community, it was restored to its former glory. After the revitalisation completed in 2020, the 52-hecatre palace-park complex constitutes an unique attraction of Zielona Góra. The park looks spectacular every season, but it is particularly worth visiting in spring, when a characteristic aroma of wild garlic spreads in the air.

Magnificent interior of the café

“Café Orangerie” is the name of a little café opened on 16 October 2020 in the building of the orangery. A part of the café’s interior is also located in a glass trellis built in the place of the old loggia. Despite its little size, the orangery impresses with its architectural style. During renovation works, the architectural details, which had been ruined in 99% before, were meticulously recreated. The construction built by Duke Alexandre in 1871 delights with its interior design related to classical architecture which was fashionable in those times. Nowadays, “Café Orangerie” serves tasty desserts and beverages there.

Walks with a tour guide

Duchess Dorothea, architect Wilhelm Gurlt and the park gardener – these three figures can accompany you during your walk around Zatonie Ducal Park. Our historically disguised tour guides will show you the charms of the palace-park complex and make you acquitted with its history. Each of them will present the park from their own perspective which will make the walk even more entertaining and unusual. While sightseeing, you can see the most significant attractions as well as get to know lesser-known facts. If you want to go for such a special time travel, we invite you to book a guide service via e-mail: mateusz@visitzielonagora.pl.