Friday, August 23, 2013

Nurnberg Zoo - Part 1

Yesterday we decided to head out on another travel adventure, to the Nurnberg Zoo! We had no idea how HUGE it was - I'm not sure we even saw half of it before we were totally exhausted. If you go, be sure to wear very comfortable shoes, because there's a lot of walking and it has very steep hills!

The History of the Tiergarten

From Luitpoldhain park to the Schmausenbuck premises As early as in the 19th century, Nurembergians thought about setting up a zoological garden. But it took as long as the beginning of our century that those plans took shape. Renowned Nurembergians wanted to open a zoo modelled against the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, with lavish and animal-friendly outdoor enclosures, on the grounds of the Bayerische Landesausstellung (Bavarian National Exhibition) of 1906 at the Luitpoldhain park.
Artificial mountains at the Luitpoldhain
Since the area did have water but no heights, a setting made of concrete was created for the alpine animals. The Tiergarten officially opened its gates on 11 May 1912. The huge amount of visitors filled the zoo's money boxes and allowed for the exhibition of more than 1,200 animals in the opening's aftermath. But soon WWI and the subsequent inflation it endangered the zoo's existence: Money and food were scarce. The people of Nuremberg, however, would not leave "their" Tiergarten in the lurch and in the golden twenties, the zoo experienced its height. With NSDAP’s rise to power, the end of the old zoo was on the horizon as early as in 1934. Adolf Hitler demanded for the Nazi Party Rally Grounds at the Dutzendteich to be extended. The Tiergarten was to give way to the Luitpold arena, the Große Straße (literally: Great Street - part of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds) and the Congress Hall. In February 1939 the zoo was closed for good. 
Restart at the Schmausenbuck
Thanks to careful planning and enormous efforts, in May 1939 already the new Tiergarten could be opened at the Schmausenbuck - after a construction period of merely two years. The search for new grounds had been started in due time. The timbered rocky landscape around the Schmausenbuck was eventually chosen. An incredible stroke of luck: Tiergarten Nürnberg is said to be one of the most beautiful German landscape zoos.
Recent history
Only a few months after the Tiergarten's opening, WWII broke out. Again food and staff were in short supply. Air raids destroyed almost all buildings and enclosures, many of the animals died. As of the end of the war and until 1947, the Tiergarten was under the protection of the American troops, which prevented it from major plundering. The reconstruction was finished by the end of the 1950s, around 1960 the pre-war level had been reached once more. Giraffe and tropical centre as well as the dolphinarium were built in the 1960s and 1970s; natural history centre, gorilla outdoor enclosure, Aquapark and children's and domestic animal area were added over the last few decades. The Tiergarten's face is going to change further - for the benefit of animals and visitors. 

This July they built something new! A meerkat habitat!!!

Llamas!!! This is for you, Jean! *wink*

Stay tuned for Part 2!!!


Jean Fitch from jlfstudio said...

Thanks sweetie for the llama pics. I really needed a laugh today! The zoo looks amazing and looks like the animals have a pretty fair amount of room to manuver in. Those meerkats sure look like they are planning a breakout soon don't they? Wonder if they've seen the Meerkat Manor show on Animal Planet or YouTube. Nah...the Nuremburgians wouldn't spoil their animals that much would they? Thanks for including the history of the zoo as well. Really puts it in perspective.

Hugs - Jean

Intense Guy said...

Meerkats and Manatees! And More!!

How cool!!! :)

AliceKay said...

Great pics. Loved reading the history of the zoo, too.

I love going to zoos and aquariums. :)

ChicagoLady said...

How did they get a manatee? I want one! :-(