200 letni zdraviliški park

200 year old spa park

The arranging of the spa park in Dobrna dates back approximately to the year 1820. The owner of the spa at the time the Baron Franc Ksaverij Kajetan Dienersberg arranged the chestnut alley, which connected the spa complex with the Dobrna settlement in a straight line. North of this axis were at the time farmlands, mostly held by the family Novak. They successfully connected their farming activities with catering, and regularly attracted the spa guests. South of the axis, a lawn leisurely spilt over into the forest. Between the alley and the northern path that wound from the bottom of the low hillocks towards the Novak lands was at first a levelled grassy surface broken only by the channel of the then a good deal unruly Topliški stream. However, already within the next few decades new parks and pleasure grounds emerged within the spa hollow. The surrounding area of the new spa buildings continued to be arranged as a park, and by mid century, an organised system of gardens was connected to the main park axis.

The years 1847 and 1848 proved to be excellent as the management of the spa was taken over by the Count Hoyos. In the woods above the spa stream, an extensive network of paths with smaller and larger flower rondos was arranged. In the 1870’s, when the spa grew to almost today’s extent, flowerbeds joined the tree stands, especially along the Lawn house and hotel Park.

In the further development of the park, we encounter an increasing emphasis on a combined system of communication. Tree stands are complemented with bunches of decorative shrubs and flowerbeds; the once monochromatic green is transformed into a colourful pallet of flower carpets with selected accents of the tree and bush fruits, all on a pervading background of hundred year trees.

Due to the different kinds of growth, especially the trees,  a walk through the Dobrna park offers in any season unimagined experiences for any nature lover. Apart from the wild chestnuts that predominate everywhere, there is as well maple, birch, catalpa, cypress, weeping purpleleaf European beech, blur spruce, sycamore, white poplar, bitter oak, ‘dob’ oak, yew, American arborvitae, asunaro, western hemlock, etc. There are a lot of everyday local trees, but some trees deserve special attention. There is a white poplar near the spa centre boasting a circumference of 515 cm, and is placed third among known poplars in Slovenia. Close behind it, there is a sycamore near the Hotel Park with a circumference of 464 cm, and a cypress in the middle of the park with a circumference of 280 cm. There is enough beauty to satisfy even the most pampered lover of tamed nature.

(from the book ‘Dobrna Ivana Stoparja’, Motovun 1986)