The history of Gagarin park in Zhitomir started in the XIX century. The picturesque park, which occupies the area of 36 hectares, was founded by a famous Volyn explorer and philanthropist Baron Maksimilianovich de Shoduar.
Plants growing in the park represent flora of various geographic zones. There are over 80 species of shrubs and trees from all around the world. Among exotic plants you can see gymnocladus, rock and red oak, red beech and other trees, imported from North America, Western Europe and India. The park has a unique Ginkgo tree. According to scientists, this tree appeared on our planet in the Devonian period around 550 million years ago. This old predecessor of modern firs and pines derived from primitive gymnosperm plants. Nowadays you almost can’t imagine that the modern fir needles used to be large, smooth leaves. At the distant times when the planet was inhabited by giant lizards and dinosaurs, Ginkgo trees were growing on the banks of rivers and lakes. Seeds and leaves of these trees were eaten by dinosaurs.
Ice age and the following warming period led to these trees being almost completely extinct. Nowadays you can only see them in Japan and China, where they are worshipped and considered sacred. The age of Ginkgo trees in Zhitomir city park reached 350 years. Before the World War II started, there were many more of them, but as a result of bombings and shootings only a single tree survived.
Sycamore and Turkish hazel, which are the only representatives of their species in Zhitomir region, also grow in the park. Plants brought from Central Europe, Scandinavian countries, Japan, North America and China also grow in the park.
Visitors of Gagarin park have always been amazed by its decorative artwork. Visitors are greeted by a bronze sculpture of Artemis, the goddess of hunting from Ancient Roman mythology, on a forest meadow. This statue stands here from Shoduar times. There are also a lot of sculptures of characters from children’s fairytales and legends.
Most of the park is located on the bank of Teterev river. Not far from the central entrance there are observation decks, where you get to observe a magnificent view. Stairs lead to the river and the boathouse. A 350-meter long footbridge is also one of the attractions of the area. Gagarin park is loved by Zhitomir citizens and guests.
Address of Gagarin park: Zhitomir, Stary Bulvar street, 34.