New Marjan Zoo to Produce Cheese and Honey, Animal Petting Area for Children in Works

Daniela Rogulj

Natural History Museum Split | Simulation of the future Marjan Zoo
Natural History Museum Split | Simulation of the future Marjan Zoo

Natural History Museum Split | Simulation of the future Marjan Zoo

October 9, 2020 – The new Marjan Zoo will bring life to an area that has been neglected for years. A look at the plans for this once-famous Split attraction.  

Slobodna Dalmacija writes that if you climb to the Marjan Zoo, which, already dilapidated, attracts many visitors on sunny days, you are greeted by an unrecognizable illustration of what will one day be in this Split landmark. 

Surprised by the picturesque display of the potential hidden by this neglected location, Nediljko Zevrnja, the director of the Natural History Museum and the Zoo, is convinced that the best is yet to come.

“The presented conceptual design for the construction of the Zoo as an educational center with traditional native breeds was made at the beginning of the year based on the proposal of Mate Santic, Mirko Ruščić et al. Frane Strikić, who conceived this concept in 2014.

It was made by Katja Marasović, with the support of architect Rea Vidović. Unfortunately, we will not end the year with the preparation of project documentation because, like everyone else, we were hampered by the coronavirus, but we hope that this item will enter the budget for next year because we have the support of city authorities,” says Ževrnja, emphasizing that the investment is more than one million kuna, without which the project cannot apply for tenders available through EU funds and provide funds for the planned works.

As Slobodna Dalmacija found out, this is a unique zoo template for Croatia, which at this stage nurtures the basic task of recognizing and preserving native breeds, such as bush cattle, donkeys, Croatian. white goats, Dalmatian pramenka sheep, and Dubrovnik ore sheep. There are also traditional breeds, such as the Dalmatian pony, Dalmatian turkeys, and Dalmatian hens, better known as pogrmuša.

The latter is the subject of special interest to Zevrnja, who, through cooperation with associations at the institutional level, advocates for the recognition of the origin of the breed, which, he says, would make it easier to protect it from extinction, which is another task of this institution.

“As this is a breed that is important for Dalmatia, we hope that the City and County will support us because recognizing the originality of this breed would be a big plus in terms of protecting the traditional and cultural values of this area. That hen was a treasure of the inhabitants of Dalmatia, and I believe that even today, we know how to recognize it as such,” he adds.

The current animal fund, he says, is a kind of compromise between what they strive for and what they can support at the moment, especially considering the upcoming works, i.e., the possibilities of taking care of animals in the period of building new capacities. 

“In the center of the garden will be a small children’s zoo, where children and adults will be able to make direct contact with animals, pet them, and feed them because we see that this is a favorite activity of our visitors,” reveals Ževrnja, emphasizing that especially tourists delight in the possibility of interacting with animals they do not have the opportunity to meet elsewhere.

On the edge of the garden, on the north side, animal dwellings with green roofs will be built, along which a panoramic promenade will be stretched. Simultaneously, in the existing Art Nouveau facilities and the planned upgrade, several facilities will find their place, which will complete this zoo’s offer.

“Such a space, if only intended for sightseeing, is neither sustainable nor purposeful. The usual contents, such as recreational and entertainment, must be expanded, and we will do it primarily through education, introducing laboratories and workshops, where children will be able to use microscopes, research, listen to lectures and the like,” adds Ževrnja.

On the first floor of the main building, which is about to be extensively renovated, there will be a multimedia room for lectures, exhibitions, and more. On the ground floor, in addition to the children’s section, there will be official laboratories, where materials will be prepared for the gene bank, which, with the support of the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine from Zagreb, will preserve the genetic material of the original breeds.

Along with this house, according to the original design, the neighboring, also Art Nouveau building will be restored, which, he explains, was demolished just before it was declared a cultural property due to dilapidation and endangering animal safety. It will serve as an entrance to the park and souvenir shop.

Employees and the veterinary service will get new premises around the perimeter of the garden. In the building where the existing entrance is located, visitors will enjoy a catering facility.

“In the central part, two new spaces for education would be created, namely for honey extraction and cheese production, and one large incubator, as well as an entertainment space for children in the form of a theme park.

You know, our children, when you mention milk to them, they don’t know where it comes from, or where the egg comes from, and where the chicken comes from. Life is like that, there are almost no animals in the countryside anymore, so the connection that connects man with animals has been lost,” he adds, emphasizing that he hopes that this project will restore that connection.

The entire space will also be fully adapted for people with disabilities.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language – now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment