It all started on a certain day in 1871
The Old Zoo,formerly called the Menagerie, was founded in an unusual way by a group of witty bowls players. They met over a pint of beer in the now-defunct Railway Station restaurant ‘Starogardzko’ on. Zwierzyniecka Street. It was on a certain day in 1871,when the President of the Bowling Association was celebrating his 50th birthday. Imagine his surprise when it was not his guests who he saw carrying his gifts! On the streets of Poznan one could encounter: a pig, a goat, a sheep, a cat, a rabbit, a squirrel, a goose, a duck, a chicken, a peacock as well as a trained bearand monkey. The Menagerie, by virtue of its size and requirements was,at the request of the respected pentagenarian,placed in the restaurant's garden, "so that these animals were continually on show in the garden, not only for entertainment but also to show visitors that the as yet modest collection had become the nucleus of a future zoological collection”.Thus,in 1874. the joint stock company ‘Zoological Garden’was founded.
1874 - 1919
Up until theout break of World War One, the Garden developed rapidly and in many areas–apart from housing the animals concerts,shows and other events were regularly held. Strauss, the last descendant of theViennese"Kings of the Waltz " and the director of the Imperial-Royal Ballsof Court appeared here twice between 1913 and 1914along with his40-piece orchestra. In July 1914.a major exhibition presenting ethnographic tribes of the Nile valley was organized.
The time of World War Iand the postwar years were a period of decline fort he zoo. The number of animals, workers and visitors decreased. At the time of the acquisition of the Gardenby the Polish authoritiesin1919. it housed just 243 representatives of 75 species of animals.
The Inter-War Years
The 1920’s was a time of renaissance for the Zoo:in 1923 it joined the newly formed Society for the Protection of Bison, making an important contribution to saving this species from extinction. Upon the opening of the first State National Exhibitionin 1929 (now the Poznan International Fair) a new pavilion and facilities were built, while others were adapted to new purposes.
On the eve of the outbreak of World War II the zoo had a population of 1184 animals from300 species. Only175 animals survived until the end of the war, but in April1945 the gardenre-opened its doors to visitors.
By the 1930s the idea of transferring the zoo to another location was already being repeatedly raised. One suggested location, among others, was the Sołacki and Kasprowicz Park. The final decision was not taken until the 1960's. The construction of the new zoo was carried out mainly in the form of community work.
In 1974, that is the hundred the anniversary of the zoo at.Zwierzyniecka Street, the New Zoo was opened to the publicon the White Hill, near Lake Malta. The first inhabitants situatedon the edge of ahilly, wooded terrain were Europeanred deer, fallow deer, camels, llamas and their wild ancestors-guanacos. Their enclosures were temporary in nature, and some of the animal breeding facilities were housed within the fort. The New Zoo under went a systematic expansion and new enclosures and pavilions for the growing number of animals were created. It was originally planned to transfer the old zoo as a whole,but in 1976 it became a listed monument and had to be preserved.
The 1970’s and 1980’s
Due to the economic situation, the end of the seventies and the eighties were not conducive to further developmentof the NewZoo, or the reconstruction of the Old. Activities were limited to necessary repairs, and any new investmentwas particularly difficult.
The end of the 20th Century
New investmentwas started again in the mid-nineties. The New Zoo created a pavilion for nocturnal animals, a children's garden, a house and enclosure for giraffes, an aviary for birds of prey, a complex of facilities for South American animals, as well as enclosures for tigers and Japanese macaques. The Old Zoo, after solving the problemof heating the designated area, opened the pavilion"World of Reptiles" as well as displays of amphibiansand fish to the public. Yearly exhibitions began to take place at the caved enclosure.
In the future, the old zoo will fulfill the role of educating visitors with expositionsof small animals, host a new breeding center for endangered species and provide recreational opportunities..
How do the Poznan zoos look now? Please check them out! We welcome you!
The start of the 21st Century
The elephant house at the Poznań zoo-order of events
03/11/2003, The Society of Friends of the Zoo obtained approval from the Mayorof Poznan, and began work on preparing the design and cost analysis documentation for the elephant house
In 2003, the Society of Friends of the Zoo began working with architects Piotr Rafal Mysiakiem Poniatowski on the preparation of project documentation for construction of the elephant house atthe Zoo. A group of architects was sent to several European zoos in order toget acquainted with the methods and the constructionof such facilities.
05/01/2004, an agreement was signed by the Society of Friendsof theZoo with the MTTArchitecture Group Company to carry out a conceptual design project to guarantee the obtaining of a building permit..
In 2004 (July 20) The Society of Friends of the Zoo signed acontract with the company ‘Business Service’, which was to prepare a feasibility study for the construction of the elephant house.
The Zoo applied for European Unionfunding. The project was reported under the title: "Increasing the attractiveness of the regionthrough the construction of an elephant house at the Zoo," It was registered on 02.25.2004 by the Treasury with the reference ERDF/RR/II/9/3631 and ranked as a level 2 project.
12/01/2005, The Society of Friends of the Zoological Gardensin Poznan sent a donation agreement to the City of Poznań to finance the conceptual design project for the construction of the elephant house at the Poznan Zoo.
Subsequently the Zoo, according to the agreement,completed the design project for the elephant house in full.
2006 All necessary documentation was completed
12/01/2007The contractor launched a tender forthe project "Increasing the attractiveness of the regionby building an elephant house in the new zoo in Poznan."
23.05.2007 The tender process took place
30/05/2007 An agreement was signed with the contractor
08/30/2008 The building of the elephant house was completed