THE PARK includes traditional architecture from around the world.
The arboretum is located close to the town of Zlaté Moravce, and is unique in Europe because it comprises not only trees from the old continent but from around the globe.
On 67 hectares of land with more than 2,000 different tree species, as well as bushes and plants, the garden is very inviting for an excursion.
If you wish to make your stay educational, plaques labelling the plants in five different languages, including English, will help you to become an amateur botanist for the day. But your walk in the park will be as lovely if you remain a layman and just enjoy the beauty.
The garden is divided into geographical regions, and on your expedition you can walk from Japan to China, continue across the Himalayas and the Caucasus, fly to America and come back to Europe.
Mlyňany offers its visitors many possibilities for walks that are always charming, but most highly recommended in May, when the rhododendrons and other exotic flowers are in bloom, or in September and early autumn, when the leaves change colour.
The different paths through the garden lead you by fishponds and small lakes. Besides the overwhelming flora, you might also spot some of the rich fauna - more than a 1,000 different kinds of butterfly and 80 bird species have found their home in the Mlyňany arboretum.
The park was established in 1892 by Dr. Stephan Ambrózy-Migazzi, a Hungarian nobleman. By connecting the large landed estate of Mlyňany, which Ambrózy-Migazzi had received as part of his wife's dowry, and a forest in the neighbouring village, he created a dream garden.
Inspired by his travels to Italy, he imported plants and trees from the Mediterranean region, made them grow in the local climate and assembled an evergreen park.
In the centre of the park is the former residence of the noble family, a chateau that gives the garden a very romantic touch. Today, unfortunately, it houses the park's administrative offices and is closed to the public.
The Ambrózy-Migazzi family left Mlyňany in 1914 for Hungary and never came back. "There is a lot of speculation about why the Ambrózy-Migazzi family left Slovakia but none of it has been confirmed. The arboretum remained their property until the end of the second world war and has been owned by the state since then," said arboretum director Pavol Vraštiak.
"They don't have any surviving relatives who could claim the garden and the chateau for restitution", he continued.
Following Ambrózy-Migazzi's departure, work on the arboretum was completed by the family gardener Jozef Mišák, and the arboretum survived the communist era in good condition. The park has remained a favourite among both locals and tourists.
(For practical information about arboretum Mlyňany see 'What to do and where to go in Nitra region" on page 7.)
12. Aug 2002 at 0:00 | Saša Petrášová