The original zoo Rostock is located beween the Tiergartenallee, Rennbahnallee and a railway, and is bounded on the east by the current polar enclosure. This part of the zoo gets listed status in 1986.
You can find the historic zoo behind the main entrance Trotzenburg. The old part is home to many bird species and contains several animal houses.
The Hirsch Haus is still the same place as a century ago. In 2010, it has been completed renovated; 75% of the costs financed from the EU-funds. The outdoor area of 0,7 hectares is planted with large trees, contains a pool of water and a natural grassy meadow. A dry ditch surrounds the paddock.
Elephant enclosure (1960)
In 2013, the zoo has decided to convert the elephant house for pygmy hippos. Old tiles have been removed and the area is outfitted with a new water basin and with plants and landscape paintings (by artists Andrea Bergmann and Ina Wilken) reminiscent of the forests and marshes in West-Africa.
Reptile- and bird house (1967)
The reptile- and bird house, opposite the cheetah enclosure, has ethnographic decorations.
South America house
Wolfram Graubner Planungsbüro has replaced the old monkey house by the South America house, which has been built in a semi-circle around an 80-year-old silver birch. The enclosure looks eco-friendly having a lot of wood in its facades and inside, a clay wall in the visitor area, woodchips on the floors (visitors and occupants) and a green roof. Visitors can meet free roaming cotton-head tamarins in the enclosed courtyard. Capuchins and coatis are housed together as are tamarins, marmosets, and macaws. Visitors are able to view the animals at ground level and from the spectator bridge at roof level. Kristin Jacobi was the landscape architect involved.
Big cat house (2000)
The enclosure for lions and jaguars has been opened on October 6th. Their cousins (?) - meerkats are related to civet cats - live on 65 square meters in front of the building. The indoor enclosure offers visitors an intimate glimpse into the bedroom and dining rooms of the big cats. The meerkats can be spied on through glazed openings.
The lions and jaguars are usually in the outdoor paddocks of 1500 and 2000 square meters respectively. Besides a lion savannah, there is a jungle-like mountain pasture for the snow leopards, with artificial rocks. In the Himalayas, a true jungle is absent, though. A staircase leads to a lookout. There is also a separate cheetah house.
Crocodile house (2004)
In the crocodile house, the clue is that visitors get a closer look at the caimans through thick glass panes. Black-mantled tamarins walk freely through here.
The owl barn dates from 2006.
Darwineum (September 2012)
In the western part, behind entrance Barstorfer Ring, the Darwineum by Rasbach Architekten covers 20.000 square meters and includes a tropical hall where apes play the leading part. The outdoor enclosures are spacious. Exhibitions flanking the tropical hall are devoted to biological diversity and the adventure of evolution.
The Darwineum offers a mixture of animals and living museum with interactive elements: totally 21st century and apparently the largest and most expensive construction project (€28 million) in this zoo.
Seabird aviary (1989)
The aviary by Architekt Gerd Vogt covers an area of 2200 m2. Four 15 meters high poles and 4-8 meters edge bars as a bearing structure are covered with woven wire mesh on the sides and the upper part with fishing nets. Visitors can enter the aviary to watch courting birds almost exclusively, or to catch the experience and the feel of juvenile birds leaving the nest....
On its opening day, January 4, 1899, the zoo consists of a fenced deer enclosure in the dendrological garden around a gardener's house named Trotzenburg. The animal collection expands when sea eagles, a bear, and a wild boar arrive. A giant sequoia, planted in 1883, is taking pride of place near the main entrance. From July 4, 1910, the public can visit the animal- and botanical park Rostock.
The dahlia corner in the zoo recalls a huge dahlia show in 1931. The oak avenue and rhododendron forest, planted between 1907 - 1912, are well taken care of. The oak avenue leads to the polar bear enclosure. Rostock zoo keeps polar bears since 1956. Polar bears in several European zoos are born in Rostock. The construction of a Polarium will start in 2016.
Rostock Zoo presents itself with polar animals. The Polarium will be an area for polar bears from the Arctic and penguins from the Antarctic.
War damage and reopening
The two world wars entailed lots of damages to the zoo. In fact, all buildings and enclosures have been destroyed in World War II when trenches ran throughout the zoo. Thanks in part to the efforts made by landscape architect Arno Lehmann and gardener Paul Stabel and in part to many many volunteers, the reconstructed Rostock zoo is re-opening to the public in 1952. On January 16, 1956, the Zoologischen Garten Rostocks is founded. Between 1956 and 1973, the zoo has been expanded from 7 to its current size of 56 hectares.
Visit September 2013
Once inside, the zoo turns out to consist of two sections, a newer, larger western part where the Darwineum is located on the right from entrance Barnstorfer Ring, and the historic zoo in the eastern part, behind the main entrance.
The western section is, in general, the lesser one: large outdoor paddocks where you find a variety of animals such as zebras and kangaroos, fur seals and also the Old World monkey house (1997) or Altweltaffen-Haus. It remains unclear though, whether the zoo has used a format to arrange the animal displays. Then one moment I see the tunnel to the historic zoo. Exactly what I was looking for.
Close to the elephant house Sara, the last African elephant and Cameron buck Gisbert keep each other company. Sara, on display in zoo Rostock since 1964, dies at the end of 2013, at the age of 51.
The zoo wants visitors to feel a stronger connection to nature and offers several experience stations. Children, for instance, can climb like monkeys next to the Old World monkey house.
Zoo maps Rostock
Map zoo Rostock, historic section
Map zoo Rostock, western section
Numbers 2012 vs 2015
- Januari 4, 1899
- Species: 320 vs 320
- Animals: 4500 vs 4500
- 56 ha
- 637.000 vs 639.513
- 19th-century zoo
- Architect involved
- Listed structures