A Glimpse of Queen Jelena Madije Park

What city park surprised you?

During a windstorm in Zadar, we walked through Queen Jelena Madije Park to check out the views. It was on a hill, so we could look back on the medieval part of town and down to the sea. We found there were some outdoor nightclubs up there that were playing music even though they were closed during the day. What we saw in the park surprised us.

A tree atop the hill in Old Town, Zadar, Croatia

Queen Jelena Madije Park is the first public park in Croatia and was created by an Austrian botanist in 1829. They built it on top of an old military bastion which was unusual at the time. It is a lovely park to walk through for the views and nature.

Lights strung across a plaza in Zadar, Croatia

The park is just outside the south end of the city walls of Zadar near Five Wells Square. In the Middle Ages there was a defensive ditch beneath the old city walls. There is a large water cistern with five wellheads, giving the square its name. The wells are no longer in use, but this is a popular place for events and concerts, and the start of the trail to the park.

Wells in a plaza in Zadar, Croatia
Five Wells Square

Up on the hill is a nightclub called Ledana Lounge Bar. We heard music playing and then found this place empty. It just wasn’t open yet, but at night would be a lively area full of booze and music.

An empty outdoor bar in Zadar, Croatia

We enjoyed walking all the trails around the park and finding the unexpected.

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